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Where do you do your best thinking?

In the shower… Driving in the car… Lying in bed… Exercising… Gardening… Dancing…

Thinking while gardening

We ask this question at our Six Thinking Hats® training sessions.

If you are like 95% of people we’ve surveyed… your answer is doing something alone that takes place somewhere other than at work. This discovery leads to a robust and meaningful dialog between workshop delegates. Even in the rare cases when someone reports that they do their best thinking in a group, often it is still not at work, but takes place at a pub or  friend’s house, or another social gathering place. Keep in mind, this question relates to a self assessment of where and when you personally feel you do your best thinking.

Further digging into this topic has revealed a few other key findings:

  • People understand “best thinking” to mean creative and innovative.
  • People report they spend too much time “putting out daily fires” or attending too many meetings to have time to think while at work.

All of these findings are most unfortunate news for businesses. Research shows that ‘thinking time’ up front on decisions, projects and processes is the #1 factor leading to success.

So, what to do? Here are three practical tools, developed by Edward de Bono, that are proven to work:

  1. Six Thinking Hats®:  Focus on one type of thinking at a time. Bonus!  The process shortens the amount of time you spend in meetings.  And gets you better results.
  2. Power of Perception™:  Make sure you have a clear view even when you don’t have time or solitude.  Bonus!  You won’t have to put out so many fires because you’ll get it right the first time.
  3. Lateral Thinking:  Make creative connections on demand, when you need them.  You can even use these thinking tools in the shower if you want!  Bonus!  A system for challenging the status quo that won’t get you fired.

Others researching the topic of ‘best thinking’ are finding the same results that we are.  Read here from a recent Fast Company blog.

Your best thinking may always be in the shower, while gardening, etc. but now at least you’ve got some good suggestions for best thinking while on the job.

Think on…

Want to learn the De Bono tools?  Find out more at