OPV lesson plan

7. OPV lesson plan

OPV: Other People's Views


OPV is a crystallization of the process of looking at other people's viewpoints so that the process can be used consciously and deliberately.

In the preceding lessons, the enlargement of the situation - the broadening of perception - has always been from the point of view of the thinker. But many thinking situations involve other people as well. The point of view of these other people is also an essential part of the enlargement of the situation which is the basic theme of these first lessons. Thus, another person may have different objectives, different priorities, different alternatives, etc. In fact, when another person does a PMI, CAF, C&S, AGO, FIP or APC, he or she may come up with different ideas because he or she is in a different position.


Being able to look at and understand another person's point of view may be a very important part indeed of the thinking process, and so a deliberate effort may have to be made to see another point of view. This deliberate effort is the OPV. It may apply to another person's point of view or to other people's points of view in general. 

Like many of the previous operations, OPV as a tool can be applied in different subject areas. It may be applied by itself, or it may be applied in conjunction with another operation. "Do an OPV-AGO for the other person."

Once students can escape from their own points of view, they can take other people into consideration. They may even come up with useful new ways of looking at a situation.

The OPV is an antidote to selfishness. Instead of a general vague feeling that Other peoples' points of view matter, there is a deliberate attempt to see another person's point of view. 

In teaching, the emphasis must be on how the view of another person in the same situation may be entirely different. It is the possible difference between points of view that matters here. If it is assumed thm any sensible person would have the same point of view in a given situation, then no effort at all will be made to see other points of view. 

PRACTICE ITEM 1. Each group works on both points of view for 3 minutes. At the end of

this time one group is designated to give the father's point of view and another group is designated to give the girl's. Other groups and individuals can then add to these as usual.



  • She only wants to try it out, all her friends smoke and she does not want to appear afraid.

  • She wants to be able to make decisions for herself; sooner or later she will be able to smoke if she wants to.

  • She cannot see any harm in it.


  • It is bad for health.

  • It wastes money.

  • She would smell awful.

  • It shows that he is not bringing her up properly.

  • She is too young to think for herself as an adult.

PRACTICE ITEM 2. One group is selected for each of the categories (or more than one group if necessary). They work on the item for three minutes. Then a group is designated to give each of the outputs.



  • The joy of invention and seeing it work.

  • Wants to get it into use as quickly as possible.

  • Money from royalties.

The factory owner

  • Bigger profits.

  • Less trouble with labor.

  • Can produce much more and compete with countries where labor is cheaper.

The workers

  • Losing a job for the sake of someone else's profits.

  • No other jobs in the area.

  • Would need training for other jobs.

  • Do not mind invention as long as their jobs are secure.

The general public

  • If cloth were cheaper, clothing would be cheaper to buy so they are in favor if invention lowers prices.

PRACTICE ITEM 3. After 1 minute's prepartion each group is asked to play the role of one of the categories. They may be allowed to choose these roles but the unchosen roles get distributed. One group only for each role. Then the role groups in turn give their assumed point of view. The other groups can comment but an argument or general. discussion is not intended. 


The refuge owner

  • It is her house and she wants to do something to help people.

  • The least contribution those around can make is to keep quiet.

The people using the refuge

  • At a time of need and desperation it is a very welcome place to go.

  • Those who are fonunate should not object.

Those who object

  • There are proper places for refugees which should not be placed in a quiet residential district.

  • There might be disease brought in.

  • The children might be upset.

  • The welfare system makes proper provision for such people.

  • Such people should have worked harder when they could.

Those who do not mind

  • It is the owner's business what she does with her house.

  • It is good to help the unfonunate.

  • There is no real disruption.

  • Children should learn about another side of life.


Open discussion-with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups.

  • Is it easy to see other viewpoints?

  • Whose point of view is right if two points of view differ?

  • If other people cannot see your point of view should you bother about theirs?

  • Why is it necessary to see someone else's viewpoint?

  • Should your action be based on your own viewpoint or someone else's as well?

Learning points

The groups look at the learning points given in the student workcards. They are asked to pick out the principle they think is most imponant. The groups can also be asked to criticize any one of the principles, or to make up a principle of their own. 

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).