#reviewandreflect: Mind Your Mental Map

by | Feb 24, 2019 | 1 comment

5 min read
Mental Mapping This is TheSchoolHouse302’s monthly #review&reflect, wrapping up our focus on 3 Ways to Get Ahead–Looking Beyond Your Shadow for Better Weather. Our review and reflect series offers readers the opportunity to take a deep dive into our leadership content by taking time to reflect and identify the skills you need, to explore how you can learn those skills, and to connect with industry leaders to follow to gain greater expertise. Skills I need…

Our minds, the thoughts we hold, create our world, which is the perception that we have of ourselves, other people, and circumstances and situations. We call this our Mental Map. Because the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day, with up to 95% of them repeating themselves, we need to be mindful of our self-talk, what we tell ourselves internally. And, considering that 95% of the thoughts we have at any given moment are occupying space that they have already occupied in the past 24 hours, we need our repeating record to play “music” that is empowering, encouraging, and enlivening. The question is: is your self-talk a good friend or deafening enemy?

Review: Eighty percent of our thoughts are negative, that’s a lot of unproductive time and energy. Negative thoughts are a liability for leaders, which we identify as “liability thinking.” To counter this downward thinking trend, and lead from a position of resourcefulness, we created a three-part behavior model to help you to be mindful of your mental map.

  Mental Map

The model reminds us that have the ability to manage our thoughts and subsequent actions. It takes into consideration how we view ourselves and the world around us to that you can have the right mindset to lead better and grow faster. We do have the distinct freedom in life to turn obstacles into opportunities.

Reflect: The beauty of the Mental Map Model is that it serves as simple yet effective advice for leaders. The first stop on our map is to Flip Your Thinking, the second stop is a reminder, Don’t Jump to Judge, and the third spot helps us to quit abandoning practices and programs wholesale by learning to Adapt, Don’t Adopt.

Take 3 Minutes to reflect on your ability to mind your mental map.

  • How often do you focus on what you don’t want instead of what you do want? For example, I don’t want to be overweight versus I want to lose 10 pounds in the next two months.
  • How well do you collect pertinent information to gain clarity on a situation? For example, are the communication lines open for you to receive feedback on situations?
  • How well do you adapt and grow, rather than prematurely abandoning programs? For example, do you connect the dots of various situations to strategically make the next move?
How do I learn those skills…

What should I read to strengthen my mind a create a powerful Mental Map?

Review: In our #readthisseries we featured the work of authors who clearly articulate the power of clear Mental Maps

Make it stick: The science of successful learning by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel

The leadership gap: What gets between you and your greatness by Lolly Daskal

Thanks for the feedback: The science and art of receiving feedback well by Stone and Heen

You can’t miss our #readthisseries on 3 books you need to read for a stronger mental map.

Self Assessment:

Effective and productive leaders recognize the power of positive thinking and minding their mental map and the maps of those they lead. Based on the 3-part assessment, and using a 5-point scale, 1 being ineffective and 5 being highly effective, rate yourself:


Based on the questions above, which aspect of the behavior Mental Map Model do you need to develop further?

Who should I follow…

What does an expert have to say about understanding leadership and most importantly yourself.

Review: For our #onethingseries, we interviewed Lolly Daskal.

Action: Lolly eloquently describes how there are two competing sides, a polarity of character, within each of us that can lead us to greatness or completely derail our effectiveness. She advises us to not think about what we are doing but rather who we are being. Her advice on self-discovery as a leader is profound. So the question is, are you who you want to be?

Let us know!

Listen to the entire podcast on iTunes, One Thing Series, and please rate and like (it helps).

That’s our #review&reflect for Minding Your Mental Map–3 Ways to Get Ahead. Take a look back to take a step forward. TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple and maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster. Please let us know how our leadership posts are working for you, what you are reading to improve yourself, and your thoughts on leadership and growth here on our blog and Twitter. Follow our #onethingseries podcast on iTunes and our #readthisseries on YouTube. Joe & T.J.

1 Comment

  1. Sly

    I like when a book is given “Mac Daddy” status because then the book is a clear avenue to pursue first. The status means most “Bang for the Buck” and each “Mac Daddy” rec I have looked into has been an excellent resource. Thanks.


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