Making Sense of Mental Models: Your Perception of Reality

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Just as each person has a perception of reality about how the world works, each person’s perceptions also help develop their mental models. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline said, “Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures of images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.” Another way to look at it is that mental models are your perception of reality about how something works in the real world.

There are benefits and drawbacks to mental models. They can serve as an information filter, but they are not always based on facts. They can make you more efficient at processing information, but they can also blind you to ideas that challenge deeply held beliefs. Do you see how they can be both?

Don’t miss this intriguing
webinar from HRDQ-U

Don’t miss this intriguing webinar from HRDQ-U

Mental Models: The Key to Making Reality-Based Decisions

A mental model will often help you predict what will happen. For example, if you see a hot stove, you think your hand will burn, correct? What if the stove is an induction cooktop? Then your hand will not burn, but you probably already made the assumption that it would.

There are many companies that have adjusted their mental models over time.

  • Nintendo used to be a company that made playing cards.
  • Tiffany & Co. used to be a stationary company.
  • Gap used to be a record store that just happened to sell jeans.

 

Those companies (and more) changed their core product to adjust their mental models.

Is it important to both separate facts from opinions as well as clarify assumptions when it comes to mental models. Our assumptions have a very significant impact on how we view reality. There are also many hidden assumptions that must be revealed in order to change or alter your mental models.

Assumption traps to avoid:

  • Noticing what supports your mental model and ignoring what doesn’t.
  • Remaining attached to what made you successful.
  • Not trying what you believe could be bad or impossible.
  • Focusing on the current situation, not anticipating.

 

To learn more about mental models, watch the webinar, Mental Models: The Key to Making Reality-Based Decisions, presented by Diana Durek, and find out how you can open your mind and understand as well as maybe even change your mental models.

Recommended Webinar
Mental Models: The Key to Making Reality-Based Decisions

Examine your mental models and gain an understanding of your reality to learn how to create awareness and improve your process when making decisions.

HRDQ-U Webinar | Mental Models
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