Transforming Meetings by Creating a Thinking Environment

Everyone wants the best possible results from meetings.  But people are often unaware that these results - the quality of the group's decisions and actions, depend on the thinking they do together first.  Therefore, throughout the meeting, people need to be able to think for themselves well.  And the quality of their independent thinking depends on the way they treat each other, the way they behave, during the meeting.  But - too often - and even with the best will in the world - people in meetings behave in ways that prevent good thinking from occurring. This course will enable you to learn the necessary skills for Transforming Meetings.

The Thinking Environment® is a set of conditions that help people to think well for themselves. It was developed by Nancy Kline and her company Time to Think.  Kline’s discovery, supported by much research, is that, for people to think clearly and independently, the people around them need to behave in certain ways. These have become known as the Ten Components of a Thinking Environment.

Research by Havers, 2008 found that, with Thinking Environment® meetings, individuals experience increased self-confidence, equality and self-esteem and these meetings create greater participation, more inclusion and better-quality thinking.  The performance of the chair/leader is enhanced (they realise that the answers don’t need to come from them), and the meetings are more efficient in generating better ideas, solutions, and decisions with a focus on the collective agenda rather than individual agendas.

We will also have time to explore a second application: The Time To Think Council.  You want to solve a problem.  You would like to think for yourself about it, but along the way you would like access to the knowledge, experience and information inside the treasure troves that are your colleagues.  How can they offer you what they know without telling you what to think?  The Time To Think Council is an effective way of allowing the wisdom of several people to contribute to the thinking of one.

Angela Blacklaw is a qualified and registered Time To Think facilitator and has use her skills to bring the benefits of the Thinking Environment® to many sectors.


Key Training Features

Who Can Attend

Learning Outcome


Key Training Features:

  • Understanding the Thinking Environment® and its Ten Components
  • Practising key building block applications of the Thinking Environment®: Thinking Pairs, Dialogue, Thinking Rounds and Open Discussion
  • Transforming Meetings – preparation and experience
  • Time To Think Council – preparation and experience

Who Can Attend:

This course is suitable for managers, leaders or anyone who needs to ensure that high-quality decisions are being made in meetings

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will understand the Thinking Environment® and its Ten Components and be able to put them into practice by preparing for and experiencing a range of practical applications designed to help people think for themselves with imagination, rigour, and grace.



10:00 - 16:00


£595 + VAT


Civil Service College, Westminster, London


Face to Face 12 June 2024 Book8

Virtual 17 October 2024 Book8

In-House Option

This course is available In-House and can be tailored to meet your individual training requirements.


Lead Trainer

Angela Blacklaw

Angela Blacklaw

Angela has a broad range of experience working in and providing training for the public sector. Her expertise covers; communications, leadership, talent management and more.

Read Bio
Angela Blacklaw

Angela Blacklaw

Angela has years of senior expertise in personal and organisational development, leadership, change, wellbeing and resilience, operating at both strategic and practitioner level. Questioning and curious, she often brings an alternative perspective and encourages others to see things differently too.

Following 20 years of supporting individual and organisational learning and change in the civil service, latterly as Head of Talent Development in the Department of Health, Angela quickly built a reputation for solid delivery.  In that time Angela has worked as an associate for respected consultancies such as Ernst & Young, Korn Ferry and the Civil Service College and is a member of the faculty of the NHS Leadership Academy.  She has worked with clients from varied backgrounds including civil servants, scientists, analysts, musicians, High Court Judges and healthcare practitioners at all levels.

Her core specialisms include:

  • Building warm, honest and challenging coaching relationships, enabling people to achieve more than they thought possible; 
  • Expertise in leadership and talent development, change, wellbeing and resilience;
  • Designing and facilitating powerful and memorable learning experiences;
  • Enabling people to learn the skills to support and challenge others.

Angela is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and an Accredited Time To Think® Facilitator.  She also holds a Certificate in Organisation Development, and a Master of Science in Human Resources. 


  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Certificate in Organisation Development from the NTL Institute
  • Accredited Time To Think® Facilitator

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