Time to Think

Time to Think

Time to Think Technique

Time to think is a discussion technique and one of the best ways to encourage and increase people’s participation. Everyone needs to process new ideas and information and the best way is to encourage them to reflect as a group.

People are given a set number of minutes to think and/or write freely and process their own understanding or opinion on a topic. Between 5 and 10 minutes is recommended.

They then share their thoughts or writing with a partner during another brief, focused session. The time period should be enough for both people to share and debate their views.

A successful strategy is to exchange opinions by allocating 1 minute to each person to speak. If this action is repeated 3 times, the conversation should last 6 minutes.

After the couples argue, they must find other couples and share ideas as a quartet. Finally, people share with the whole group.

The facilitator can record the various ideas and then the group has the goal of creating a summary together.


To get the most out of this technique, have people internalize the following concepts:

  • Group discussion is not always a debate in which you support or oppose the topic
  • There are not always clear positions or positions to adopt. You may have ambiguous and contradictory thoughts.
  • Group discussion is an ongoing discussion, a live interaction in which a topic or problem is examined from different angles and points of view. And as a participant you can disagree or support other points of view or contribute another point of view.
See also  The Stepladder Technique

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