Leadership;Mental Models Worksheet

Individual scores on the worksheets will vary based on the extent to which you follow these instructions and
develop thorough, thoughtful, well-written responses to each of the worksheet prompts.Connecting with the
course learning materials: I want to point out one other important consideration with respect to doing well (and
scoring well) on the worksheets. Be sure to CONNECT WITH (and informally reference) applicable content
from the module’s learning materials. Written communication skills: Finally, I expect your worksheet responses
to be well-written and thoughtfully composed, free of spelling and grammar errors.
This is perhaps the most writing-intensive worksheet in the course.
For this particular worksheet, all of the questions are open-ended questions, each deserving of a well thought
out response. Generally, that means two to three well-constructed paragraphs (about 150 words on average)
per prompt, following the guidelines set forth above.
1) Think of a time when someone presented his or her mental model as if it were a fact. What kinds of
responses did this elicit? Can you think of a time when you have done this? Clearly and succinctly describe
this, connecting to the idea of mental models.
2) The next time you are personally offended or frustrated by someone’s comments, what questions could you
ask to better understand the other person’s mental models? How could you help him or her do the same for
you? Explain your answers.
3) Consider the “different towers with different views” metaphor as it applies to your own life. What “towers” do
you inhabit? To get your mind flowing, it may help you to think in terms of your beliefs about, for example, how
organizations should be run, or beliefs about leadership and motivation, political ideology, theology, parenting
style, etc.
4) Think through at least a few beliefs you hold. How has your tower view affected your life? Have you changed
a view? Also, comment on how your beliefs have led to disagreements or impasses with others who inhabit
“different towers with different views.”
5) Now we are going to work through the “ladder of inference” to get a sense of how self-reinforcing dynamics
are at play in our own lives. Review the material on the Ladder of Inference (page 72 of the Neanderthal
story/debrief), and describe a conflict that took place in your life (personal or professional) in which someone
hastily climbed up the ladder and “jumped” to conclusions about something (or someone).
TRACE THE STEPS OF THE LADDER, working through all seven steps of the ladder briefly describing what
was happening at each step.
6) Finally, review the guidelines for making your thinking explicit (the bullet points on pages 75-77 of the
Neanderthal story/debrief). With the conflict you identified in the previous question, which of these guidelines
seem most relevant? How might the application of these guidelines have helped to shed light on the problem or
helped to facilitate its resolution? Be specific.

Sample Solution