Structured and Critical Thinking – Notes for Managers, Coaches and Mentors of Participants

Illumine Training - Parts of the brain

To get the most out of the course, delegates will need to be supported as they start to think and work differently. This page will help managers, coaches and mentors to provide that support.

Here you will find:

  • Information about the course
  • What to expect after someone has attended the course
  • Suggestions to help you perform a useful review with the course participant

The Course


The course provides a toolkit for tackling challenging situations, systematically thinking through them, and swiftly considering all options. The structured thinking techniques will provide fresh insights and a better understanding of problems or challenges, making delegates better equipped to deal with them more effectively.


We run this as a half day in-house course which can be tailored to meet particular needs.

The importance of structured thinking
Gain clarity on what structured thinking is, why itโ€™s important, challenge and develop new patterns of thinking.

Understanding a challenge, problem or situation
Identify a problem, understand its root causes and explore the problem fully using visual thinking tools.

Multi-perspective thinking
Consider the challenge from different perspectives.

Using questions to search for answers
Questioning techniques that will help to broaden thinking and find solutions to a challenge.

Delegates will explore the application of the tools and techniques, bring the learning to life, make it practical and enhance their confidence to use the learning back in the work place.

Action Planning
At the end of the course delegates are encouraged to think about how they are going to use what they have learnt. We emphasise that it is up to them to put the techniques and perspectives covered into good use.

What to expect after someone has attended the course

Everyone attends the course for slightly different reasons but they will all have opportunities to use what they learn. Delegates are usually very keen to put their new skills into practice. A little well-directed support and encouragement by manager, coach or mentor can make a big difference. We hope the following notes will help you give that support:

What to expectWhat you can do
While on the course the delegates will learn tools and techniques to help structure their thinking.Encourage them to show you the tools learnt on the course. This will reinforce their learning.
Some of the tools are particularly useful for understanding the root causes of problems, so delegates may analyse situations and challenge how problems or situations are presented to them.Welcome the insights they bring to your discussions and encourage them to continue to look below the surface of problems in order to understand better the underlying causes or contributing factors.
They will want to set goals.Help them set reasonable goals and timescales.

Conducting a review after the course

Many managers like to follow up courses that their people have attended. The style and format of these reviews varies widely so here are some prompts for suggested discussion points:

  • Action Planย – at the end of the course all delegates are encouraged to commit to specific actions to use and reinforce the things theyโ€™ve learnt. That action plan is a good start point for a review.
  • Coaching Othersย – have there been any opportunities to coach others in the use of the tools or in any of the other things discussed or taught on the course?
  • Generalย – it will be worth going back to the original reasons for attending the course and also review the other notes in this section that describe the course and use them as a prompt for your discussion.

Our Clients

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