Place: The tenth Component of the Thinking Environment
Updated: Jul 18, 2022
Because you and I have been taught to think linearly, and that A is at the start, and Z is at the end, and 1 comes before 10, you could be forgiven for thinking that the 10th component of the Thinking Environment might be the least important one. And that is just not true.
I think I said, at the start of this exploration of the 10 components of a Thinking Environment, that every single one of them matters individually. And without each one, the Thinking Environment starts to fragment, and over time will disappear completely. And this couldn't be more true than it is of this component, the tenth component of a Thinking Environment, which is the component of Place.
Because try thinking for yourself in an environment where Place isn't in place, and you'll soon start to realize its importance, and the profound impact that it has on the quality of thinking that we can do for ourselves.
Place is presenced in three different ways.
The first is in the physical environment in which we're in. Does the room in which you're in say back to you: “You matter”?
Does the desk at which you sit at say back to you: “You matter”?
Having a physical environment that says back to you: “You matter” makes a huge neuroscientifically proved impact on the quality of thinking that you can do.
I attended a workshop once, which was led by a neuro-psychologist in which he gave us this fascinating piece of information, which is that the height of the ceiling of the room that you're in makes a difference to how well your brain can work. There are so many things about the physical environment which either give us space and literally room to think or not.
One of the ways in which we can presence this aspect of the component of Place is think about people before they arrive, and make sure that the physical environment that we're creating for them to walk into immediately gives them an experience of mattering as they walk through the door. And these days, as we work in virtual environments, we can think about the ways in which our Zoom room says back to people: “You matter.”
We can send emails to people - ahead of joining together with them in our Zoom rooms - that communicate how much they matter to us before they arrive.
So, creating physical environments that say back to people: “You matter” is one aspect of the component of Place. “
The second aspect is our bodies. Are you taking care of your body in a way that says back to you: “You matter”? Because if you're not, you literally cannot think well for yourself. Are you getting enough sleep, enough hydration? Are you nourishing your body with food that is good for your physical system? Are you exercising? Do you have enough fresh air? All of these things make a huge difference to the quality of thinking that you do.
And finally, we ourselves can be the component of Place for each other. And this really wraps up the whole journey of the 10 components of a Thinking Environment: that you are the component of Place for me and I am the component of Place for you, because I can listen to you in a way that says back to you: “You matter”.
I can be with you in a way that says back to you: “You matter”, and you know what? You can't fake that. I either do matter, or I don't, and if I do matter to you, I will know it. I will feel it because of the way you're being with me. And that’s the component of Place.
In case you missed the earlier videos in this series, here are the links: