Posted on 24 Comments

THINK Acronym for Kinder and More Effective Communications (Infographic)


This THINK acronym and infographic helps us communicate more kindly with others. Originally the THINK acronym was created to help reduce online bullying (to be used before posting something on Social Media), but it’s actually useful for all our communications…

Where Could You Enrich Your Communications with the THINK Acronym?

THINK_Kindness_in_Communication_Infographic_For_WebTo deepen your learning, ponder the questions below:

  • How could the THINK Acronym help your clients? How could you use this THINK acronym in workshops or groups?
  • Where could THINK help you in your relationships (work, home, socially)?
  • Where could you post this THINK infographic to reduce online (or other) bullying? Who else could find this acronym helpful?


Finally, if you liked this THINK Acronym Infographic on Kindness and Communication, you may also like:

24 thoughts on “THINK Acronym for Kinder and More Effective Communications (Infographic)

  1. Hi Emma, do you know the original source of THINK? It is a great tool, thank you for sharing it! Warmly, Lynda

    1. I did some research and couldn’t find the original source. It seems to have originated as an anti-bullying acronym for social media posting. But sadly, no luck as to finding the origin! ๐Ÿ™‚ Warmly, Emma-Louise

    2. I knew the THINK acronym well before there was such a thing as “online” anything. Don’t know who created it, but it didn’t have anything to do with online bullying. However, it is a great acronym to live by and remind us that our words have consequences.

    3. i believe it is based upon a Buddhist saying: Before you speak, let your words pass through 3 gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

    4. Do all these need to be true? Sometimes something needs to be said that isnโ€™t kind, but it is true, helpful, important….if we apply this to everything we communicate, everyday, why would we even speak our opinion on something?

      1. Hi Fern,
        Great comment! And I agree (personally). I think we can ALWAYS be kind – but that doesn’t mean we aren’t firm or even fiercely kind. In fact, I am in the process of developing a new practice/website and much more – based on exactly this, Fierce Kindness.
        Kindness that is strong, protects boundaries and speaks the truth – is still kindness!
        Warmly, Emma-Louise

      2. I am looking to it as applicable only if we are talking about another person, it’s how to avoid being critical/rude to others or gossiping about others.

  2. Many times there are infographs…where can I get a copy of them as a poster like the “think’ one?

    1. Dear Pam, great question. You can always “right-click” on the image, save or copy the image and then print it if you’d like a copy to refer to! Warmly, Emma-Louise

  3. I’m trying to find the source also. I’ve heard it for many years, way before social media.

    1. Dear Peggy, well, if you ever do find the source, I’d love to hear about it. And if I find the source, I’ll share it here too. Warmly, Emma-Louise

  4. In 1932 A 4 Way Test was created by Rotarian Herbert J Taylor
    1. Is it the Truth?
    2. Is it Fair to all concerned?
    3. Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendship?
    4. Will it be Benefical to all?

    1. Thank-you Pamela – that’s lovely! I have heard it before, but didn’t know where it was from ๐Ÿ™‚ Warmly, Emma-Louise

  5. Hello ๐Ÿ™‚ I would like to share this graphic for a blog post I am doing. I would like to keep it attached to your website so coaches can find it. Let me know if this is okay with you, please ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Rocio, this is fine with us! We designed our infographics to be helpful – and shareable! Warmly, Emma-Louise

  6. I found you in a Google search as I couldn’t remember the “I” in THINK! I was given this back in the 1980s in management training programs, long before online bullying needed the refresher.

    1. Hi Claudia, thank-you for your comment! That’s great to hear – I’ve had trouble finding the origin of this acronym! It’s been around for quite a while then! Warmly, Emma-Louise

  7. From Claire …………..

    June 13, 2018
    i believe it is based upon a Buddhist saying:
    Before you speak, let your words pass through 3 gates:
    Is it true?
    Is it necessary?
    Is it kind?

    1. Hi Lynda, that definitely fits the THINK Acronym. Thank-you for that reference ๐Ÿ™‚ Warmly, Emma-Louise

  8. With each word that is spoken, let it edify the hearer

  9. I found a little hand-made book of my mother’s, when she was a little girl, that had this saying in it. And she quoted it to me once as well. This little book would have been made in about 1946. The difference was that “Inspiring” was definitely not the word for “I”. That “Inspiring” part strikes me as very wrong. We should never speak unless we think our words are inspiring? If so, only narcissists would be talking. I believe the original might well have been “Important.”

    1. How interesting! Yes, maybe Inspiring isn’t always possible but in the image it also says “Does it IMPROVE on the silence”.

    2. Here it becomes interesting. (No pun.) Although acronyms may be useful, the difference between Important and Necessary is often overlooked in this scenario. Also, a thought is easily lost in translation to the spoken word, and words that may trigger the listener don’t really help (to convey the message, any message). With this in mind, Kind should alwas come first, imo. And then there is Inspiring, often misused for Motivating, and vv. Inspiring, Important, Necessary, Helpful and Interesting may well be within the Buddhist’s Necessary. I wonder who translated the Buddhist saying into English? Also, in Al-Anon and Co-dependents Anonymous (CoDA) I came across different versions of the THINK tool.

  10. Itโ€™s from the 12 step program, Al-anon. Z12 step programs are largely based on Buddhist principals.

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