Thinking Tactics that Move You to Action
You can do anything if you put your mind to it
No Matter the Challenge
You Can Move Forward Using Targeted Thinking
Your own mind is your greatest resource
You have crucial experience and expertise that can help you with your toughest problems, decisions, and people issues.
It's information stored deep in your brain. Sometimes it flows spontaneously to mind, just as you need it. You have a brilliant insight. You make a savvy judgment.
Other times, it comes only with 20:20 Hindsight. You think, "I should have thought of that before." The question is, can you access that information, when you need it?
Yes, you can, if you know how to target your thinking using my "thinking tactics."
My "thinking tactics" ensure you get the best information your mind has to offer
My thinking tactics are simple procedures that quickly trigger useful, relevant information. They help you sort out what's true, what's important, and what you need to do. As an example, check out the "Thinking on Paper" video on this page.
Like my other tactics, "Thinking on Paper" helps information flow easily, even if you are facing a new challenge (or maybe an old fear) and your mind is not functioning so well. A thinking tactic helps you make a timely, solid decision about how to move forward.
Don't let overload, blankness, and conflict stop you in your tracks
Overload, blankness, and conflict are normal, predictable problems. Every ambitious person will face them at times. They often appear when you tackle the new, the non-routine, and the next level of difficulty. They strike with intensity when you are under pressure. They bring thinking to a halt.
What you need at that moment is a tool in your back pocket that you can whip out to get your thinking engine revving again.
That's why I have developed a set of thinking tactics that help with all the basic mental obstacles. My thinking tactics provide mental leverage, leverage that takes the strain out of thinking.
You won't be stopped, if you know what your mind needs
The thinking tactics work because they build in respect for your mind. When you know what your mind needs, you can feed it so it functions properly.
- You need to find the way forward in minutes, not hours. Thinking tactics can be adapted to the time you have. Often, just 3 minutes of targeted thinking solves your problem. When it doesn't, a few more minutes can help you focus on priorities and identify an action plan.
- You need to take into account everything relevant, without being overwhelmed by the details. Thinking tactics help you hold the wider context of the goal, the circumstances, and your values, without adding to the overload. They help you get an overview, so you can put the details in context. They help you get your mind around complexity.
- You need to stay clear and focused in a moment of pressure. Thinking tactics help you clear the load off your mind.
- You need passion to serve logic, not annihilate it. Thinking tactics help you be emotionally resilient, so you can learn from intense feelings, and factor that information into judgments that draw on the best within you.
These simple thinking tactics can draw out insights and wisdom you didn't know you possessed.
The goal of thinking is action
You do not need to know everything to get out of a thinking tangle. You do not need to solve every problem or answer every question. You just need to figure out a good next step. If you know a set of flexible thinking tactics, you can always do that with a few minutes targeted thinking.
When you can think clearly, you can see exactly where you need to go, and then you step forward decisively
That's why when you use my thinking tactics, you solve problems faster, make better decisions, and get projects finished.
Thinking is not a game divorced from real life. Whenever I teach these tactics, participants bring their own real-life issues to think about when they test-drive the tactics. My flagship course, Thinking Tactics, is appropriate to self-starters who always have something they're thinking about. Such people—managers, engineers, writers, and small business owners—know they think for a living.
In a mixed group, it's often better to focus on the particular challenges facing the audience. Then each person sees that the thinking tools are immediately relevant.
Application Areas for Thinking Tactics
Any challenge can be addressed in part by better thinking! These are the areas where I have developed classes on thinking tactics specifically tailored to address a common business challenge:
- Time Management: Tools for figuring out priorities, making a plan for your time, and following through on the plan
- Project Planning: Tools for juggling long-term uncertainties with the need for continual short-term progress, and for planning without overplanning
- Thinking Under Pressure: Tools for keeping a clear head for problem-solving and decision-making, clarifying motivation, and maintaining good judgment despite strong emotions.
- Communication Prep: Tools for collecting thoughts, in order to identify what to say and how to say it (or write it)
- Learning and Discovery: Tools for actively processing incoming information (from others or your own observation) so it will be mentally organized when you need it
What people have said about Thinking Tactics:
John Allison, Former Chairman & CEO, BB&T, one of the nation's largest financial holding companies, writes: "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."
Andrew Layman, Product Unit Manager, Microsoft,
writes: "I met Jean Moroney [some] years ago at a conference when we sat
together at the same table for breakfast, and, when I learned that she was a
professional coach in improved thinking techniques, naturally I asked her
for some advice. She gave me one idea, a process she called 'thinking on
paper,' and I tried it out for the next six months and noticed a
considerable improvement in my ability to get my mind around some tricky
"When Jean offered to give a free, short workshop to my team at Microsoft, I invited her in and the results were positive: a month later, many of the participants were still using the techniques (a key measure, in my mind, of whether a class has delivered actual value!). Since then, Jean has returned several times to teach larger classes at Microsoft, including two days of training for the Windows Mentoring Ring. Attendee feedback has been broadly positive, with many reporting that the class — unlike any other classes they had taken — gave them a systematic method for sustained, efficient thinking on complex problems."