Time to Think – Leading with Compassion

Creating a Thinking Environment 

The NHS is facing unprecedented challenges at a time when it is also under-managed.  Therefore, the ability to increase leaders’ and managers’ productivity by developing skills to think better together, lead and chair meetings more effectively, and facilitate groups in a way that is inclusive is key.

Nancy Kline’s Thinking Environment principles help leaders and managers make powerful choices and take positive action, improving their leadership and relationships.

The behaviours and structures of a Thinking Environment will support the participants to create a culture within their organisation where people thrive because they know they matter and are able to contribute their best ideas.   The 10 principles that underpin the Thinking Environment are aligned to the NHS People Promise and align to the attributes required for compassionate leadership.

We need our meetings to be places of shared insight, inspiration, and constructive dialogue where we’re able to ask the right questions and constructively challenge one another so we can make high-quality decisions.

We need to learn how to truly listen to one another so that we can create the conditions for people to think well every single day.


  • Significantly improved listening skills with an immediate reduction in verbal and nonverbal interruptions increasing the quality of thinking in all interactions.
  • People will be encouraged to think for themselves and to know their thinking is valued – as such they will be more willing to take risks and suggest considered solutions – increasing the quality of thinking organisationally.
  • People will prioritise taking time to make quality decisions rather than rush to provide immediate solutions.
  • People will understand how to create the conditions for compassionate leadership to become a way of being.
  • Meetings will be calmer, more focused, more engaging and will take less time as a result they will be more productive and more engaging.
  • Diverse viewpoints will be welcomed rather than seen as a challenge or obstacle, as such there will be a greater willingness to debate, challenge, and seek the best possible outcomes for all.
  • People will improve their facilitation skills – a key leadership attribute required for both online and in-person meetings.

The programme will be for up to 20 participants and will include four consecutive 4-hour weekly sessions.

 Programme dates

Cohort 1

  • 27th November 2023 – 09:00 – 13:30
  • 4th December  2023 – 09:00 – 13:30
  • 11th December 2023 – 09:00 – 13:30
  • 18th December 2023 – 09:00 – 13:30

Click here to register

Cohort 2

  • 15th January 2024 – 09:00 – 13:30
  • 22nd January 2024 – 09:00 – 13:30
  • 29th January 2024 – 09:00 – 13:30
  • 05th February 2024 – 09:00 – 13:30

Click here to register

Facilitator Bio

Sophie Stevenson has been a Time to think facilitator since she qualified in 2006. For further information about Sophie, please have a look at her website About Sophie — The Thinking Project and also her blog pages Blog — The Thinking Project


If you would like to explore more about Time to Think, please see Nancy Kline’s website Thinking Environment – Time to Think