Map is not the Territory!
Updated: Apr 21, 2021
Have you ever attended an event and thought to yourself “I would have done that so differently”! Or have you had a conversation with someone and thought “that was inappropriate” but, the other person seemed unphased! Have you ever wondered why this might be?
The way we see the world is not reality itself. It’s our version of reality. Every person responds to reality differently based on their perception (their map) and it is congruent to their values, beliefs, experiences, expectations and stories. Even when they think they are agreeing with another person, they are looking at it from their own unique map.
In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), we learn that at any given second we have around two million bits of information coming at us. Out of which, we only process 134 bits which is between 7 and 9 chunks of information. This means we only absorb what we consider relevant, and leave out the others based on our map of the world. And sometimes, what we leave out might turn out to be the most important bits of information.
Knowing that realities are perceptions and we only take in bits of information relevant to our maps, the question arises if this model can be adapted to enhance our day to day lives and if it can assist in performance enhancement and team motivation in a business setting.
Embracing the ‘map is not the territory’ model helps you become conscious to all your interactions. It allows you to be more understanding, adaptable and talk to others through their map of the world - taking in to consideration their existing mindset, expectations, values, beliefs and also the standards they have set for themselves. It helps you realise that even though you see things a certain way, it doesn’t mean everyone would see it same way.
In a business setting, the model opens up an opportunity for individuals to share their map with you and show you their version of reality, how things are now and how it may or may not help them move towards their desired goals. You then have the ability to tap in to the individual’s map and assist them to integrate their map with the business’ and into the long-term strategy they are a part of.
This allows for their learnings and everything else they have gathered during the process to become a part of the journey ahead. When this is adopted throughout the organisation, every single individual is working from the same values and beliefs fundamentals and have their expectations and standards laid out for them. This engenders transparency and accountability and there is no room for mixed messages. More importantly everyone’s map including your own has been expanded, aligned and focussed towards delivering excellence in their roles which in turn aids in achieving company’s goals.
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