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FIP lesson workcard

5. FIP lesson workcard

FIP = First Important Priorities 

Some things are more important than others. Some factors are more important than others. Some objectives are more important than others. Some consequences are more important than others. In thinking about a situation, after you have generated a number of ideas, you have to decide which ones are the more important ones so that you can do something about them.


Someone wants to borrow some money from you. From the different factors, you pick out the following as being priorities:

  • Do you have the money? 

  • Do you trust the borrower?

  • Can you afford to lend it? 

  • When will the borrower pay it back?


1. In doing a CAF on choosing a career, you may come up with the following factors: the pay; the chances of improvement or promotion; the people you would be working with; the work environment; the distance you would have to travel to get to work; the interest or enjoyment of the work. If you had to pick out the three top priorities from these factors, which would you choose?

2. A father finds that his son has stolen a fishing rod from someone fishing in the canal. In dealing with the boy (aged 10) what should the father's priorities be?

3. Do an AGO on buying clothes and then do a FIP on the objectives you find.

4. In deciding whether you like someone or not, which factors do you think are the most important? Give the top three priorities.

5. If you were organizing a party, what would your priorities be?

6. A nineteen-year-old boy wants to spend a year travelling around Africa. He asks his parents for some money. What should their priorities be in deciding whether to help him or not?

7. When people vote to elect a politician, what do you think their priorities should be? List four priorities.

8. In running a school, what do you think the priorities should be?

9. What makes a TV program interesting. Do a CAF and then an FIP. 

10. If you were in charge of giving out money for research how would you choose to divide the money? What would your priorities be?


  • Are priorities natural or should you make a special effort to choose them?

  • Are the priorities always obvious?

  • When is it most useful to find priorities?

  • How do you choose priorities?

Learning points

A. It is important to get as many ideas as possible first and then to start picking out priorities.

B. Different people may have different priorities in the same situation.

C. You should know exactly why you have chosen something as a priority.

D. If it is difficult to choose the most important things, then try looking at it from the other direction: drop out the least imponant and see what you are left with.

E. The ideas not chosen as priorities must not be ignored. They too are considered - but after the priorities.

These de Bono Thinking Lessons are free to use by parents, guardians and teachers. (This means on this website, or to print and use in home or in the classroom. Not for further distribution or commercial use). 

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