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Using Models to Stay Calm in Charged Situations

https://fs.blog/2020/03/models-charged-situations/

fs.blog

Using Models to Stay Calm in Charged Situations
When polarizing topics are discussed in meetings, passions can run high and cloud our judgment. Learn how mental models can help you see clearly from this real-life scenario. *** Mental models can sometimes come off as an abstract concept. They are, however, actual tools you can use to navigate through challenging or confusing situations.

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A Meeting With Conflict

When polarizing topics are discussed in meetings, it can turn into a fight. In these conflicts, where passions run high, people tend to confuse correlation with causation while determining the reason for the problem, or can have hindsight bias. They can also create evidence out of nothing or assume a maliciousness intent from the decision-makers.

Mental models are tools that can help us navigate through such challenging or confusing situations.

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Hanlon's Razor

This mental model states that most actions made by people need not be categorized as malicious or intentionally bad, but simply a sign of incompetence and acting out of fear.

Many poor decisions and actions are not intentional but due to ineptitude. By following this mental model, we untie ourselves from unnecessary negativity and work towards a solution.

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Relativity

The mental model of relativity states that everyone's outlook, viewpoint and perspective are different from ours.

The same situation is looked in different ways by people, and understanding these variations can help us toward a meaningful dialogue with them. We can diffuse any inherent conflict by hearing out and identifying what we understand, making the other person feel listened to.

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In a conflictual meeting

A few other mental models to keep in mind while in a meeting with conflict:

  • Probabilistic Thinking: Understanding the base information before evaluating the severity of the anomaly.
  • The law of Large Numbers: Statistical figures are more reliable in large sample sizes.
  • Correlation is not causation: If something is associated with a problem, it doesn't mean it is the cause of the problem.
  • Feedback Loop: Looking for cues in the real-time responses and behavioural changes on the other side, figuring out the next possible steps and solutions.

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Tools for Thinking Better

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If you can master the fundamentals of each discipline, then you can develop a remarkably accurate and u...

Mental Models: Out of Box Thinking

Mental models are the various thinking frameworks that are used to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems.

Just raw intelligence is not enough to solve problems. A different or a broader set of mental models can provide a different view of the problem, leading to an unconventional, new solution not thought of before.

Mental Models: Examples

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. They are beliefs, worldviews or frameworks of thinking. You carry a certain kind of thinking in you to arrive at a solution to a problem.

Some examples:

  • Demand and Supply: to understand the economy
  • Game Theory: to understand trust and relationships
  • Entropy: to understand disorder and decay

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Early History

The connection between genius and possible insanity was first documented in 1891 in the Italian physicians’ book The Man Of Genius.

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Genetic Studies Of Genius

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