Models: an exercise in spotting the model

January 15, 2012 by Joshua
in Awareness, Exercises, Nature

[This post is part of a series on The Model — my model for the human emotional system designed for use in leadership, self-awareness, and general purpose professional and personal development — which I find the most effective and valuable foundation for understanding yourself and others and improving your life. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

Let’s do another exercise in beliefs and models.

One of the challenges in models is that people act on them without realizing them. If someone else acts on one without realizing it, they will stick with it strongly and may influence you to seeing it from their perspective, probably unintentionally.

As an entrepreneur, I often interacted with people who saw innovation and change as difficult or impossible, so they made it difficult for others, often without realizing it. Even when they meant to help, their latent models undermined their intent.

Look at this list of common responses to innovation. See if you can state the model or models motivating them. If you act in a field other than entrepreneurship, see if you can translate these responses to some equivalent in your field.

  • It’s just not right; I can’t tell you why.
  • Here’s my idea, now execute it.
  • It shouldn’t take more than an hour to do.
  • Put it in writing.
  • Don’t ask questions; just follow the rules.
  • You need the approval of five unit heads.
  • I personally wouldn’t do it, but you can try.
  • Why say thank you? It’s his job, isn’t it?
  • What will the boss think?
  • Don’t rock the boat.
  • We’ve never done it this way before.

If you don’t recognize other people’s models and you disagree, you often have to butt heads with them, but you end up doing it in an area different than where you disagree. If you recognize the underlying source of disagreement, you can face the conflict directly, giving you a better chance to resolve it.

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1 response to “Models: an exercise in spotting the model

  1. Pingback: A model that answers all of life’s most important questions » Joshua Spodek

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