In 1982, Professor Edward de Bono was asked by his co-founder, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, to write out the benefits for School of Thinking members. Edward was asked what he personally thought were the value and growth attributes of graduates that were SOT trained. He wrote:
“I would expect an SOT graduate to use thinking in a quiet and confident manner. I would expect that person to have pride in his or her thinking skill. I would expect that skill to be focused in a deliberate manner on whatever needed thinking about. In any situation I would expect a “thinking reaction” rather than a reaction based on emotion or experience alone. The thinking might make use of experience and emotion, but these would be part of the thinking instead of controlling it.
It is the deliberate application of thinking to both problems and opportunities that is most important. I would not expect that person to be right all the time but I would expect a conclusion based on objective thinking. An SOT trained person would not try to defend a point of view at all costs. There should be an ability to see other points of view and to consider the many factors involved. An untrained person will use thinking only to back up a chosen point of view, without exploring the subject. A trained thinker will use thinking first to explore the subject, then decide priorities and make a decision.
I would expect a trained person to possess a great deal of wisdom and common sense. This arises from an ability to see any situation in a broad perspective. Wisdom is quite distinct from the sort of cleverness that is taught in school. Cleverness may be alright for dealing with puzzles but wisdom is required for dealing with life. I would expect a trained person to get on with his or her work and to get along with other people. If things went wrong I would expect that person to think them through and to put them right without creating a fuss.
I would expect a trained person to be able to spell out the factors involved in a situation and the reasons behind a decision.
Above all, a person trained in thinking can be asked to think about something. He or she can be asked to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Thinking should have become a tool that can be used at will. The use of this tool should be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking is practical–the sort of thinking that is required to get things done!“
– Professor Edward de Bono, Co-founder of the School of Thinking.
Exerpt from the Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructors Manual
© 1982 Edward de Bono and Michael Hewitt-Gleeson de Saint-Arnaud, Capra New USA.