I want to share something with you that I learnt from a client recently and it’s called ‘extrovert your thinking.’ I really was quite fascinated with this when she shared it with me, and it occurred when we were in a meeting together with some members of her team. She said, ‘Just wait here for a moment. Allow me to extrovert my thinking.’ Then she started saying, ‘This is what I’m thinking about, here’s what the process is,’ etc, etc. In other words, she was articulating her thoughts while she was forming them in her head. You know, some people call it thinking in draft form.
The reason, I really liked that term, is because there are times when you’re in a meeting when you actually want to say something but you’re not sure what to say because you’re still formulating your thoughts. Maybe you have been in a situation where you kind of say, ‘I’ve got all these different alternative points of view floating in my head, how do I bring it together to present it in a coherent manner, by which time the whole conversation has passed? Well, the whole thing around extroverting your thinking is actually putting that out there.
It’s actually saying to the person or team you’re dealing with, ‘Allow me to extrovert my thinking.’ That gives you the opportunity of saying, ‘Here are my thoughts and I’m just forming it.’ It’s about being in the flow or some people talk about it as flow of consciousness. ‘Nothing is fixed, here it is, I’m just making it up as I go. Let’s kind of just see what comes out of it.’ Since I learnt this from my client, I’ve actually used the technique quite a number of times with my clients and I have actually taught it to other people and had feedback that they have found it really useful.
It gives us permission to actually put things out there without having it formulated, without having it perfect, having it in draft and then being able to get some feedback for it. Here’s my reflection point on it. Why don’t you go try it? Try saying to your team, ‘Let me extrovert my thinking,’ and put it out there and see what the reactions are.