Mental Models: The Key to Making Reality-Based Decisions

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This past Wednesday, we hosted a free webinar entitled, Mental Models: The Key to Making Reality-Based Decisions with Diana Durek. Durek is a leadership development specialist with an emphasis on emotional intelligence and personal change. She spent 11 years with a leading, global psychological test publisher. There, she worked with clients as diverse as the U.S. Air Force, American Express, and Air Canada, building evidence-based models for predicting individual and organizational performance.

Over 480 people registered for this interactive and informative webinar. You may click here to watch it now.

The feedback we received from this webinar was very positive.

“Great webinar–excellent and interesting content, delivered by a true professional.”

“Very good webinar.  I liked the pace, the examples, and the ideas to take back into the workplace and try.”

“First webinar I have done. Very good and will plan on doing more in the future.  Thank you”

Durek began the interactive webinar by asking what the participants expected. The replies ranged from “thought provoking” to “informative” to “learning something new”.  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 head beliefs. Do you see how they can be both?

A mental model will often help you predict what will happen.  For example, if you see this image, what do you think?

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 had 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 current situation, not anticipating

Get started with the program behind this webinar, Mental Models. Available as classroom training, and as a self study e-learning program, Mental Models is part of the Reproducible Training Library, a full suite of unlimited-use content that’s downloadable, customizable, and reproducible. Easy to edit in both Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files, this training solution is an affordable, one-time purchase and yours to reproduce as needed. Be sure to use the discount code you received if you listened to the webinar live!

Listen and watch here to find out how you can open your mind and understand as well as maybe even change your mental models.

Sign up today to make sure you don’t miss the next free webinar!

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