Our brains like to create order out of the chaos of the data coming into them, to make links between information so that our lives make more sense. We feel more comfortable surrounded by order, we feel better inside symmetry, where we can see how everything is connected. Thus we are constantly making links between maps to form new metamaps.
I just got a new phone. When I first got it all the gestures and shortcuts were unfamiliar to me. With repetition, however, my mind got hardwired to the task and that frees up my brain for higher-level tasks.
Our mind forms mental maps. You can tell when you are going through this process yourself because you stop speaking and start picturing concepts in your mind. You can tell when someone else is doing this because their eyes get glazed, they reflect and they often look off into the distance. When we are processing complex ideas we tap into our visual center: we see ideas as flashes in our mind’s eye.
We’ve all had the feeling of that sudden “aha” moment. It’s a moment when various ideas that were not linked together before come together to form a new idea. This is the moment of creation of a new map.
When we create a new map, we feel motivated to do something, and our face and voice change. Ask people if they have had that experience—where coming up with a great idea was exciting, energizing, motivating? Ask people when and where do they notice that they get these ideas?
If you want to move forward in some area in your life—at school, at work, at home, how do you create this new map in your brain?
To get any kind of committed action, people have to think through things themselves.
People need to figure out the connections in their mental map that is going to work for them.
Ask the question: Who has done a mind map before??
The Rational is Overrated
Remember David Rock said “Attention changes the brain.”
Focus Ecstasy Clarity Sense that it is doable Time disappears Feel a part of something larger Work for its own sake
What is your set point for challenge and skills? What do you need to do to get into flow? Do you need to develop your skill? Do you need to develop the challenges?
Dr. Lynn K. Jones
Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to
Transforming Work Performance by David
“Your brain craves patterns and searches for them
~Thomas B. Czierner
What do you notice about these patterns?
With your partner, think of a time when you had an
“Ah Ha Moment” that you found energizing and
motivated you to take action.
What was it? Describe it? What connections did
What pictures did you have in your mind?
What helped you make the connections? Did
anyone contribute to your thinking in some
Describe the energy level and actions you took
as a result of having this revelation.
Mind Map It!
How Can you Work Smarter?
How can you use your brain for Level
“What we pay attention to, and how we pay
attention, determines the content and quality of
Problem Focus vs. Solution
Why didn’t you hit your
Why did this happen?
Why do you think you’re not
good at this?
What’s wrong with your
Why did you do that?
Who is responsible for this?
Why isn’t this working?
What do you need to do next
time to hit your targets?
What do you want to achieve
What do you need to move
How can you develop
strength in this area?
What does your team need
to do to win?
What do you want to do
Who can achieve this?
What do we need to do to
make this work?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow
When are you in FLOW??
How can you put more of your life in the flow
Practice Listening for Potential
Talk with your partner about how their week
has been. While your partner speaks, listen
for their strengths, for what they are
passionate about, for whom they could
become, for what their potential is, not just
who are what they are.
“Our thinking depends on the quality of our
attention for each other.”
Attention is the act of listening with
palpable respect, with genuine interest,
and without interruption.
Attention of this caliber is the most
essential Component of a Thinking
Environment because the quality of your
attention determines the quality of other
due at the end of the quarter!
1. Get a bench mark of your listening skill and your
ability to create a thinking environment. Take the
online assessment at www.timetothink.com and
reflect in writing on the results.
2. For the next 4 weeks keep a journal about
“listening.” How has your ability to listen improved?
Have you stopped solving others problems, and
given them a chance to solve their own? What was
your experience of that? What seemed to be
different for them as a result?
3. Take the online assessment after 4 weeks. Have
any of your 9 priorities changed? Are there any
changes after being attentive to listening for 4
4. Write a 4 page paper that summarizes the results
from your thinking environment assessment at the