Changing your Mindset will Change your Results


The participant is requested to investigate three topics which will be discussed during the course:

1. Define a real case which has the following conditions:
- The participant has the wish to change the topic or problem. 
- The topic has a real impact on the present work of the participant
- The topic is complex, there is no obvious solution and it cannot be answered by a simple yes or no statement
- The participant is personally and directly involved in the topic
- The participant can influence the topic

2. Define a good idea from yourself or your department that is new and interesting, knowing that the acceptance and the introduction of this idea will involve a lot of effort to get it widely accepted.

3. Describe a policy conflict in your environment. This conflict can be between departments, between hierarchical layers and / or between colleagues and is focused on the long term strategy, the way of working, the use of protocols, the choice of a tool / software.

The program

Day 1: understanding brain processes and the role of mental models

Day 2: recognizing mental models and their impact

Day 3: changing mental models


Day 1, Session 1: Introduction in the basic brain functions

1. Learning: The brain is a very dynamic organ which has the possibility to learn from internal and external processes. During this session they will be an introduction in the main brain functions that are involved in learning. Participants will learn to understand what it takes to learn and which different forms of learning are active in the brain.

2. Perception:  The brain has a lot of different perception processes and the two basic one's will be explained during this course. Understanding these two will give insight in a few fundamental rules of perception. Participants will learn to understand the impact of the fact that all reality is created and that the result of perception process is strictly individual. Everybody perceives the world in his/her own way, which can cause problems and challenges.

3. Group thinking and behavior: Due to so called Mirror processes, the brains of people are connected with each other (see Topic letter 12 on this website). This gives people the possibility to understand each other, to feel what somebody else is feeling, to think what others are thinking and to act in ways others act. The Mirror processes give people the opportunity to learn from each other and to model each other's behavior. Group processes can also lead to group pressure and restrict possible actions. 

Day 1, Session 2: Mental models and their role in understanding the world

Preliminary there will be done a small exercise, explaining and using the basic communication skills. The purpose of this exercise is to understand and experience different ways of communicating with each other and the effect of these different ways on the conversation.

The content of this session will focus on the fact that we always use all kind of models to simplify the large amount of information we receive. In this way models help us to make the world more understandable. They have a function in organizing our thoughts and reducing the options. In this session we will discuss how the reduction of information works and what the consequences are of this way of handling reality. Using the methodology of Action Researching (see Topic letter 9 on this website), the participants will experience  how different the mindsets from people can be. Action researching makes visible and touchable that one story creates as many realities as there are listeners. In the end of the session we will examine the mental models that lie beneath the exposed hypothesis of the listeners. During this session we will use a prepared case of one of the participants.

Day2, Session 3: The connection between a problem and a solution

The results from the Action Researching are used to examine the relationship between problem definition and problem solution. Each problem definition creates ánd deletes possible solutions. Both can be seen as the two sides of a medal. We will see how inevitable this relationship is and how strong it is in all our thinking. Observers during the Action Learning exercise can with some success guess the hypothesis used by other participants, simply by examining their behavior during the exercise. Here we will see how a change of a mindset actually creates new possibilities or solutions.

Day 2, Session 4: Recognizing mental models

Once we understand the nature of mental models we can recognize them everywhere. In this session we will start to work with a tool called Assumption Inventory & Dialogue (AID), a structured way to identify and examine some dominant mental models in a personal case, in a policy of a department or company, or even in a culture of a country/region. Knowing these models is a necessary condition in order to get real contact and influence.

Day 3, Session 5: Changing mental models of others

In this session we will focus on the difference between advising and coaching. Advising is imposing a mental model which might be foreign to the total mindset of somebody, coaching is helping the other person to change his/her own model. The process of fostering mental models will be explained and practiced.

Day 3, Session 6: Changing own mental models

Changing mental models. Knowing your own mental models is half way the success. If we can change mental models we can learn and generate new possibilities to solve present topics. In this session the results of the Assumption Inventory & Dialogue will be used to change mental models and to investigate what the effect is of this change on the problem definition and the possible solutions.

We end the program with an action plan, based on all the notes that are made during the course in the learning log.

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