Reframing Mental Models

Friday, 27th Feb 2015 @ CSC College

I attended a one-day course which taught us how to reframe our thinking, which means looking at things we normally do with a different perspective.

The trainer is someone I know, a woman I respected a lot and this is not the first time I trained under her. This is the woman who taught me to add values to other people’s lives. I don’t know whether I have done that, this adding values to other people’s lives but I hope indirectly or/and unknowingly I have somehow, sometime in my life have managed to do so even if it’s such a small manner.

Anyway, back to the course, we were taught (or rather reminded) that :

– no one is perfect

– do not expect perfection

– that weakness can be a strength and vice versa

– do not waste time covering up our weaknesses (admitting to the weakness to others will make it easier than pretending and covering up)

– learn to enhance our strength and made the weaknesses irrelevant

– allow ourselves to become more confident

– be more humane

– ask questions always to check the self before doing any actions

– the true and real enemy is within us and not other people

– don’t impress people, impress yourself

– don’t let other people’s negative moods affect us

This course also taught me what I have learnt before, that our thoughts control our actions and our actions determine the results, this is known as the B.A.R. loop = Beliefs (perspective on things) –> Actions –> Results

Our thoughts can at times lock us in and often due to these thoughts, we dare not try to do something different than what we know. These are what we called paradigms, mental models, frames and mindsets. Most of us since young has been programme to think in a certain manner due to our culture and family values. Thus, our behaviour is shaped. It’s a fact that all of us have a certain Mental Models on almost everything in this life.

There’s a saying from Marcus Aurelius “Our life is what our thoughts make it”. True isn’t it?

Now, what is Reframing Mental Models?

As we all knows, a frame is something that holds either a picture or glass. So in this case, frames are lenses or tools that holds how we view things (mental models).  Reframing means, taking out the old frame and replacing it with a new ones, a different one that allows us to view the same situation differently, thus leading to different results.

Many of us handle problems in the way which we know or have experienced before.  We look at things with the same assumptions and images we have all along and so the results of our problem-solving would turn out mostly the same. Now, what if we change how we look at the problems and throw out our assumptions? Just by looking at the problems, not as problems but rather as a learning point, a challenge or even an opportunity to try other methods for instance, would then give us a different results, perhaps a more positive ones.

We have to remember that a negative Mental Models either at work, home or school … will prevent us from performing to our best ability and hinder us from improving.  Some of the examples we learn at the course, is to look at a person who always picks on us differently. For example, telling ourselves that instead of “he/she picking on me”, we could trained to tell ourselves that “he/she sees our strengths and wants us to improve further”. Positive words and influences will create positive Mental Models and will help to create positive results.

In life, we actually have assumptions and seldom “truths”. This is because we see the world through our Mental Models and Mental Models are always incomplete.

So this course trained and reminded us to take time to look through our Mental Models and change any negative to positive ones. Asking questions such as “What else am I not seeing?” would help us to focus to uncover our blind spots in our thinking.  We are reminded that each person’s “seeing” is different from the other’s. For example, if two persons quarrel, each will say and claim that they are in the right, and this is because each of them view the situation from a different frame.

As a summary,”reframing mental models means taking the same situation, same constraints and give the ‘facts’ a different meaning” – Dr LGT

I thoroughly enjoyed the course, not only for the valuable lessons it holds, but the wonderful shared inputs and laughter. We all had a wonderful time interacting and sharing jokes along the way 😉

Truth to say, reframing our mental models is not easy. Still I can try learning to do so one-step at a time. Definitely will need reminders to remind me not to rush in my thinking and actions, since I am such an impetuous person.  Another life-long lessons to be learn 🙂

 

 

 

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