Within psychology there has been a great deal of debate about the exact nature of an emotion or behaviour. For our purposes, a mental model can be seen to consist of four elements:
- What we think – our interpretation of events that produce a particular emotional response or thought
- What we feel – a Label that we use to describe a particular state
- How our bodies react – e.g: racing heartbeat, feeling tense
- How we behave – e.g. running away, hitting out, or hugging someone.
These elements are key to our self awareness and help us understand our mental models. Although our mental models are internal they are often accompanied by outward (often physical) manifestations. By paying attention to these external signals, you can begin to understand what these feelings and beliefs mean for you and your underlying mental models.
Certain feelings and beliefs drive particular behaviours. By retracing the link between a physical response, your interpretation and the feeling/belief, you can begin to identify you mental models in any given situation.
Activity – Self Awareness
Produce a human figure out of pipe cleaners – this represents YOU. Create Eight ‘Labels’ and attach to your figure which describes the following;
- Self Talk – (I am…)
- Non Verbal Behaviour – (As a Rule…, I feel…. About others, I feel…. About myself)
- Energy Levels (Draw a picture as a metaphor of your Energy right now)
- Impact on Others (Cut out three shapes that represent the impact you have on others)
- Personal Style (I believe…. About myself, I believe…. About my colleagues, I believe…. About the Organisation)
- Skills (I am good at….)
- Physical Presence (I am afraid of…)
- Judgements (Individuals are difficult when they…., A good team member is….)