Book Review: More Time to Think by Nancy Kline

March 17, 2021by Sandy Wilmer
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Building on her previous work, Time to Think, which came out in 1984, Nancy Kline asks us a question: “I ponder what it will take to produce a planet of people thinking for themselves.” And she postulates the answer: “Turning our organizations and governments and religions and schools and families into thinking environments.”

This is what I love about the book. First of all, it’s all about thinking, independent thinking. The author doesn’t go down the tried and tired path of ‘you need to think better’ but how do you help others think?

We all play a role in not only in our own thinking, but how does our behavior impact the thinking ability of others? In order to create this environment. She has 10 components.

The first one is attention. Others might call this listening, but listening has become a somewhat polluted term interpreted in different ways. It’s really about attention, to attend to, where the ‘tend’ comes from the same root as the word tendon. That is to say, to stretch forward toward. Attention, she says, is an act of creation.

The 10 components are:
Attention
Equality
Ease
Appreciation
Encouragement
Feelings
Information
Diversity
Incisive questions
and Place.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to anyone who thinks we’re suffering from a shortage of thinking. I personally do not believe that thousands of account managers at Wells Fargo were evil, that hundreds of engineers of Volkswagen were evil, or even that the players on the Houston Astros were evil. These things happen because there are a few misguided people, and a culture of unthinking obedience. Let’s all work together and fix that.

Sandy Wilmer