Think of a time when someone presented his or her mental model as if it were a fact. What kinds of responses did this elicit? Can you think of a time when you have done this? Clearly and succinctly describe this, connecting to the idea of mental models.
We have learned that mental model is defined as an explanation of someone’s thought process of how something works.
The next time you are personally offended or frustrated by someone’s comments, what questions could you ask to better understand the other person’s mental models? How could you help him or her do the same for you? Explain your answers.
Consider the “different towers with different views” metaphor as it applies to your own life. What “towers” do you inhabit? To get your mind flowing, it may help you to think in terms of your beliefs about, for example, how organizations should be run, or beliefs about leadership and motivation, political ideology, theology, parenting style, etc.
Think through at least a few beliefs you hold. How has your tower view affected your life? Have you changed a view? Also, comment on how your beliefs have led to disagreements or impasses with others who inhabit “different towers with different views.”
Now we are going to work through the “ladder of inference” to get a sense of how self-reinforcing dynamics are at play in our own lives. Review the material on the Ladder of Inference (page 72 of the Neanderthal story/debrief), and describe a conflict that took place in your life (personal or professional) in which someone hastily climbed up the ladder and “jumped” to conclusions about something (or someone).
TRACE THE STEPS OF THE LADDER, working through all seven steps of the ladder briefly describing what was happening at each step.
Finally, review the guidelines for making your thinking explicit (the bullet points on pages 75-77 of the Neanderthal story/debrief). With the conflict you identified in the previous question, which of these guidelines seem most relevant? How might the application of these guidelines have helped to shed light on the problem or helped to facilitate its resolution? Be specific.
How could you help him or her do the same for you?
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