3-Minute Thinking

    Make decisions, solve problems and resolve conflicts in less time without worry or stress.


Eric M. Bienstock, Ph.D.

Vice-Principal, School of Thinking (www.SchoolOfThinking.org)

      eric@3MinuteThinking.com       www.3MinuteThinking.com



Some Feedback from Online Course Participants


I worked on three issues, all job related.  One had to do with improving my public speaking.  The new insight I gained is that I wish to enjoy public speaking. The other issue was reducing printing and postage expenditures.  I found two new possibilities to explore.  My third issue is helping a staff member improve their job performance.  I found two new things to try by using the [very first lesson]. 

Thank you, Eric!  Geraldine R.


I found that the process provided the means to have a number of thoughts/ideas that I wouldn’t have looked at before such as the minimum or the ideal.  I was able to enhance the value for me by taking the thoughts/ideas after my 3 minutes and filling in the missing M, A or I for each.  Creating a continuum for each thought/idea made the picture clearer. – Harman B.


The AIM technique reminds me of a way to cope with anxiety, especially when it comes to the Minimum results; in times of anxiety, if we mentally accept the worse-case scenario (M), then we are very much able to reduce the level of anxiety allowing us to look for the best approach to the issue (A+I). Jacques


… makes me consider the Achievable option which is very helpful in planning. It is probably because of this I am not in war with my employees... Thanks. – Mare Z.


The list of items generated in such a small time is considerable...shows that a task has many dimensions.  Another session would produce a lot too.  Shows the importance of giving the points the ABC treatment. -- Graham M.


… helps me to reflect on a deeper level about how I really feel about an issue. This reflection prompts me to ask a lot of questions when I am pondering the points of an issue…the quality of the questions you ask yourself and others can really determine your quality of life and quality of thinking. – Don W. 


I appreciate the logic of trying to organize and focus my thinking…I particularly like the AIM concept, and trying to quantify desired goals. – Jay L.


This was an EXCELLENT exercise…I’ve already made good use of your pointed questions.  Inserting the word "something" rather than using "anything" is of significant value in my communication with work colleagues. This word appears to focus their input on the specific topic. – Sheri M.


I used AIM on the weekend after a very confused and emotional family discussion of monthly bills for e-mail and Internet access. We focused on the AIM points and were able to calm down and arrive at a decision to drop AOL and Verizon DSL and go to Broad Band (Ideal). 

Used ABC technique to identify what I need to prepare before I go to my board with a request to continue a staff position for an additional six months beyond what the board had originally approved. – Geraldine R.


Well this really gets you outside your own box to think about others involved.  It shows there is an ecology of viewpoints! - Graham M.


The…viewpoints exercise was helpful in assessing who would support me in starting my own business and whom I needed to persuade/be sensitive to. - Harman B


…helped me make a better decision because the process of doing forced me to become more aware of the possibilities and alternatives available, and also the possible repercussion of my choices and actions.  A lot of times when we make decisions, we never dream or fathom all the possible consequences that could result from a tiny or major thought process…I can see that doing this…more frequently will help me to become a better decision maker. - Don W


… My friend had also asked for advice from other friends.  He received consolations, sympathy, empathy, gloom and doom, but no concrete ideas that could possibly lead to a plan.  After we performed this focused thinking, 48 hours worth of mental torture was relieved in 5 minutes. (Sorry Eric, I know it should only take 3 minutes, but we were excited, so we babbled on a bit during the thinking session). - Leon M.


3-column-thinking gets you away from black/white two-column thinking, resulting in greater insight. Graham M.


… excellent training techniques and clever use of follow-ups.  These little reminders with a dash of trainee feedback are so cool. Michael H.


I'm going through a possible marital separation coupled with a geographic relocation so life has been very chaotic. I genuinely appreciate your course and it has been serving as a safe harbor for me. – G.M.


…it [3-Minute-Thinking] is scary useful…this time I used your technique [Points to Ponder] to determine my December shopping list.  It was a challenge because my budget is the limit and I used the smallest possible amount of money I will have. – Mare Z.


The benefits of 3-column thinking can really help someone achieve a higher level of clarification and wisdom needed to resolve or properly evaluate a situation. - Don W.


Excellent process [Lesson 10].  I am starting a business and the process helped identify the things that were bothering me but I hadn’t really defined.  In 3 minutes, I defined my fears and dreams and a probably more realistic future. -- Harman B.


Using the "agree-disagree-bridges" thinking tool in lesson #7 allowed me to consider alternative strategies to the issue I faced.  The "bridges" are a wonderful method for expanding my realm of perception regarding other possibilities.  The "bridges" also helped me to realize how two opposing sides may actually have more in common than they realize at first glance. – Don W.

This technique was an eye-opener [Lesson #5]…I regularly consider others' viewpoints in my workplace, but rarely consider them in my personal life. Living alone has provided me the luxury of believing that my lifestyle routines and fitness are of concern only to me...This awareness is motivating me to implement change beginning NOW. – Sheri M.

[Your course] has had a big impact on my thinking.  It's an amazing change that I notice both at work and at home. -- Geraldine R.


When applying [Lesson #11], emotional points can also be considered and even measured. It is my guess that the distinction between thinking and emotions (what we like or not like) is smaller than we think…this exercise requires some courage because the result might not be what we expected or wished most…this kind of rational decision binds me to appropriate action. – Mare Z.


I just wanted to tell you that I have found them [lessons] valuable in that it's having me think in a new way. I like the idea of not having to look at things only in black and white, that there is a third way of looking at things and that this can sometimes be the most valuable. – Richard B.


I've just completed Lesson 8 and have to say the experience was amazing…it works like magic.  Thank you so much! – Geraldine R.


Thanks very much for the thinking lessons…an excellent framework to count on. – Rajesh K.


Eric, I've just done Lesson 10, which helped me to get a better perspective on something I've been worried about for some time.  What a relief!  Thank you!  – Gary R.


I am significantly speeding up my response time, not only on the job, but during my responses to these lessons…I find that I am incorporating your techniques into my conversations with others...sharing the wealth of knowledge. I feel empowered! – Sheri M.


I used lessons #5 and #7 to good effect with my wife and one of my sons who were in complete conflict over the young man's future aims…they each spent 3 minutes listing their viewpoint and what they thought the others viewpoint was.  Then they sat together and built bridges. They both have better understanding, not quite agreement, and the situation is much calmer.  – Graham M.


Today, my Board voted unanimously in favor of a proposal I presented to them that was based on an early 3 minute lesson in which I listed everything I needed to think about to make my case and then ranked them A, B, C.  I'd written it all down about a month ago and when the time came, I was ready.  Thank you so much! – Geraldine R.


Thank you again for offering the 3-Minute Thinkers training. It was valuable, and immediately useful. -- Sheri M.


Your course has changed so many wrong thinking habits; I am more successful now at work. Thank you.  I am looking forward to your next course. -- Opher B.


It makes you think ... it gives you a set of techniques potentially suitable for any problem ... at times it made me work hard ... clear and easy to understand.  -- Len B.


Feedback showed understanding and focus.  Plenty of fuel for future use.  Thanks for your constructive feedback. -- Rob S.


Change your thinking and all else will follow.





Copyright 2003-2009 by Eric M. Bienstock, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.