During a recent Thinking Partnership Programme I was struck afresh by the precise intention of what it is that we aim to do at that moment when the Thinker pauses. It’s the moment when as the Thinking Partner we consider what’s just happened, whether the further outcome is known, then the nature of the need arising, and finally the question that meets the need. (Unless of course it’s not a question that’s needed, but something else entirely).
What an extraordinary thing to be doing. Extraordinary because so few people in this world ever do this consciously. Even though we do know that as Thinkers we can do this very well non-consciously, and that our minds flash through these ‘considerations’ in nano-seconds when thinking well and independently and for ourselves.
Which is why it is also quite ordinary. Ordinary, and extraordinary. How typically Thinking Environment!
The point is that this is so rarely offered to us when we are thinking outside of a Thinking Environment. The pause, the considering, the focus on the further outcome, the recognition of the need and then the question that meets the need – rare as hens teeth.
Instead, usually, urgency takes over, and the desire to help/ advise/ fix/ kicks in via all kinds of other questions, questions that meet the need of the listener at least as much as the need of the Thinker. Questions that derive from the mind of the listener, rather than from the precise pausing of the Thinker.
Which is why I am loving this metaphor of the Hummingbird Moment. Do you recognise it? It’s that glorious David Attenborough-style frame-freezing that slows down the frantic, beating blur of wings so we can more clearly see the tiny hummingbird hovering by the flower, dipping its beak here and there, finding what it needs, nourishing itself even as it moves at what seems the speed of light.
Isn’t that beautiful? It feels to me like that’s exactly what the Thinker is doing, when given the space and air and freedom of the Thinking Session. Slowing down to observe, choose, digest – and then moving on to new horizons, new thinking, sometimes at quicksilver speeds.
So I’m delighted to be reminded this week of the Hummingbird Moment metaphor, and have chosen this glorious image (with thanks to @DulceyLima) to illustrate and share it with you. Does it capture the pause for you too, or perhaps remind you of its essence?
It’s all part of the continuous evolution of the best possible Thinking Environment, driven as it is by the challenging, rich principle of being more drivingly interested in discovering what might work even better than being held by what was previously ‘right’.