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“Never let your memories be greater than your dreams”  - Doug Ivester

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Change leadership: quote of the week

Quote of the Week

The Map is not the Territory

The phrase was coined by Alfred Korzybski in the 1930s. In other words, the map (our language) is not the thing mapped (our experience). Words are not the objects they represent. Words only indicate the structure of the experience. Words are far more limited than the experience itself and mistaking the two can lead to pain and frustration.

Source of conflict

Confusing the map with the territory is a major source of conflict in the world. Korzybski maintained that humans need to be properly trained in the use of language to prevent unnecessary conflicts and confusion that arise from confusing the ‘map’ (words) with the ‘territory’ (sense experience).

A useful way to try this on for yourself is to think of the times you’ve gone to see a movie with some friends. You leave the movie theater and your friend says: “That was a brilliant movie… I loved every minute of it” and you’re thinking “That was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen… I didn’t enjoy that at all.”

The movie is the “territory”, your and your friend’s thoughts about it and the words you use to describe it are two “maps” of the “territory”.

In organizations it is useful to appreciate the variety of “maps” or mindsets that are describing your “territory”. Another interesting thing is to look at the collection of maps (often referred to as the Culture) and review how these are referencing the territory.

A map can never be true, only more or less useful.

Appreciating difference

By accepting these first 3 Empowering Beliefs it means that you can easily begin to understand and respect difference. Often this is referred to in organizational life as diversity.

Just imagine a world where people are more tolerant of differences, learn to accept and live with them and look for and appreciate similarities. How many less conflicts would we have? What would the news headlines be like?

For the next week, begin to appreciate the richness of the territory and look, listen and feel for ways to enhance your awareness and expand your map…

Quote of the Week

How to Change MindsetsWhich of the mindsets/conversations is your dominant one at work?

Read each of the following statements and decide whether you mostly agree with it or disagree with it.

1. Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

2. No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

3. You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

4. You can always substantially change how intelligent your are

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

5. You are a certain kind of person, and there is not much that can be done to really change that

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

6. No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

7. You can do things differently, but the important parts of who you are can’t really be changed

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

8. You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are

Mostly Agree / Mostly Disagree

We’re curious to receive your comments…

Respect other people's model of the worldRespect other people’s model of the world

Now that you know that everyone has their own unique model or map of the world you can easily embrace Empowering Belief #2. An important distinction here is that we are saying respect and not agree or accept.

Just as you want people to respect your point of view so you too can demonstrate to others that you can respect their point of view. A major advantage of being able to do this is that you develop the ability to better appreciate how other people think. When it comes to sales or negotiations this is a critical skill set. Without it you diminish your ability to have influence and as a leader without influence you call into question your right to be a leader in the first place.

To respect another person’s model of the world you must be prepared to accept that person’s beliefs and values for what they are and this requires a high level of rapport and acceptance of the other person. Interestingly, by showing this level of respect you deepen the rapport. If you have a hidden agenda or your intention is to manipulate the other person then you will not be able to create this level of rapport. As they say: “People will see you coming!”

To accept this belief is to accept and understand others as they are… It’s a powerful way to build relationships and bring out the best in others.

In times of change, strong relationships are key to getting things done…

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