Thinking Tactics that Move You to Action
You hire the people with the best experience and judgment for every job. You present them with tough challenges.
And those challenges are always changing, because the business environment is always changing. Your business is always looking for another way to grow revenue, a better way to motivate employees, an innovative service or product to offer.
To achieve those ends, you’re asking your people to take on new, unfamiliar, uncomfortable tasks, with no cookie-cutter procedures to follow. You're asking them to think afresh to come up with one more marketing idea for your product, one more alternative for how to solve that tricky people problem, one more item to consider before making a decision.
You need them to dive into such projects, without bogging down or struggling, without burning out, and without a lot of hand-holding.
Thinking Tactics is an interactive workshop which teaches your team members powerful tactics that they can apply every day in their own thinking to make it more productive, more efficient, and more pleasurable.
In Thinking Tactics, professionals learn how to focus their thinking effort where they can get the most leverage. They learn to monitor their thinking processes to bring them under conscious control. They learn specific techniques to untangle mental knots and get answers, rather than depend on hit-or-miss inspiration.
They learn the secret to concentrating, even in poor working conditions and on difficult tasks. They learn a method to gear up quickly on a large task, keep it going, and get a high-quality product done on time.
Everyone who comes to the class has some experience solving hard problems. In class, they learn how to systematize techniques they sometimes use, to make all their thinking smoother, less burdensome, and more productive.
They learn a system to pick their own brains for information, catch problems quickly so they can be solved quickly, and keep the pace of work in the “flow” zone where it is most productive.
A key part of the workshop is the chance to use the tactics on their own issues to solve problems before they leave the workshop. This enables them to have surprising insights into how to use what they already know more effectively.
"Having participated in the Thinking Tactics course, I would recommend it
to anyone who wants to improve their thinking methods. The course is
particularly helpful in bringing to consciousness practical techniques to
focus your thought process and overcome thinking inertia. Every participant
in the course I attended found it to be extremely helpful."
"This class teaches practical tactics which
apply directly to real-world problems. The lessons are well-integrated and memorable: months after the training, the vocabulary and
tactics from class are still seen commonly in our group's technical reviews, brainstorming sessions, and other meetings. I recommend
Thinking Tactics as a tool for developing your top employees."
"As Jean energetically
presents her course in an organized, skillful manner, I listen with a big
grin knowing how much extra profit I will make by having our employees spend
a day with her being taught how to think better.
The attendees come back charged with Jean's energy and ideas, ready to work."
"I use 'Thinking Tactics' for a lot of day-to-day activities at work. They're great tools to have available. Before I took the class, I might delay working on a problem when I got stuck, and move on to something else. Now I know what to look for and what to do. I've not had an instance where I haven't been able to come up with a solution using the tactics. Thanks for a great life lesson."
—Brett Crawford, Automotive Engineering, Detroit, Michigan
To help participants get the most out of the workshop, they get training materials to help them before, during and after the workshop.
Prior to the workshop, they receive a packet with the course description, topical outline, and pre-work exercises to help get them excited about what they'll learning. The pre-work is important in this regard, because it helps them choose real-life topics for the in-class individual exercises.
During class, we work through a 70-page workbook filled with information and exercises. At the end of the workbook is a summary section and references for review later. Participants also take away a 14-page "Thinking on Paper" pamphlet and a laminated summary sheet for quick reference.
"I've taken many great training courses, however, I can confidently say
that I have never before had a course that within 30 minutes on my first
back on the job, I'm referencing the training materials for on-the-job
guidance! What a testimonial as to the applicability of "Thinking
"P.S. Jean—I've posted your laminated Thinking Flow Diagram right by my workstation!"
—Rachel M. Floars, BB&T EDC Risk Manager
"I was working on a strategy document for my new team and getting stuck. So I pulled out my binder from the course and reviewed the 'Thinking on Paper' section. The technique really helped. Thank you."
—Randy Henne, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft Ireland
In this class, they learn that stretching their minds to tackle new, hard issues doesn't have to be painful. When they use an active thinking approach, their work will become more pleasant and more productive, and they feel more confident.
In the morning session, Concentrating the Power of Your Mind, they learn:
In the afternoon session, Making Complex Tasks Fit in People-Sized Brains, they learn:
People at every level in your organization will flourish when they feel able to use what they know, flexibly, adaptively, to help make their own work process better.
They will be willing to embrace challenges, apply their experience, and speak up when they see a problem brewing. There's no better prescription for success all around—for the business, for the employees, and for you.
"After Jean gave Thinking Tactics 1: Concentration to the legal department, I had at least a dozen emails saying how great it was."
—David Miller, General Counsel & Secretary, Rogers Communications Inc.
The target audience for Thinking Tactics is professionals of all kinds, but particularly those whose jobs require extensive active thinking, such as newly-promoted managers, creative writers, strategists, entrepreneurs, and anyone undergoing professional growth.
This is a fast-paced, intense course with a lot of interaction. We fit a lot of material into one day. (Because of the importance of interaction, I limit the workshops to 30 participants.)
People who don't view themselves as "thinkers" sometimes find it's too fast. If your audience needs a slower-paced course, or you have a mixed group, I have developed a variation I call Zap! Ten-Minute Thinking Tactics which may be more suitable. "Zap!" covers roughly half the material in one full day. At that easier pace, we can put more emphasis on motivation and the payoff for thinking, and help attendees identify when these tactics can most help them.
Other variations are possible. Some corporations prefer to run the class as two half-day sessions. Also, it's possible to use a current company project as the focus for exercises in the afternoon session.
I would be happy to discuss how to accommodate the particular needs of your audience.
What additional information do you want or need? Shall we talk? Would you like to see some physical samples of materials for the course, such as the laminated summary sheet or "thinking on paper" pamphlet? Do you want information on scheduling an all-day workshop, or maybe arranging a "Lunch and Learn" session with your group? Please fill out the form below so I can provide any additional information you need.