top of page
OPV lesson plan

7. OPV lesson plan

OPV: Other People's Views

This lesson plan is for the OPV lesson workcard.


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 that 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. A father tells his 13-year-old son not to spend more than one hour a day on social media. What are their differrent points of view?

Each group works on all points of view for 3 minutes. At the end of this time some groups are invited to give the father’s point of view while the other groups are designated to give the son’s point of view.



  • He might miss out on what his friends are talking about and might lose his friends as a result.

  • He wants to be able to make his own decisions.

  • It is fun and he cannot see any harm in it.

  • Other people spend more than an hour.


  • It is bad for your health to spend too much time on your phone.

  • It is a distraction from more useful ways to spend your time.

  • It is less socialable than meeting people in person.

  • It shows that he is not bringing his children up properly.

PRACTICE ITEM 2. An inventor discovers a new way of making cloth. This invention means that only one person out of every twenty would still be employed in making cloth. Do an OPV for the inventor, the factory owner, the workers, and the general public.

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. A next-door neighbor opens her home as a refuge for sick people who have no one to care for them. Some neighbors object very strongly and some do not mind. What are the points of view of the refuge owner, the people using the refuge, those who object, and those who do not mind?

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). 

bottom of page