Mental Models: The Ultimate Guide

Mental Models: The Ultimate Guide


Have you ever wondered why two heads are better than one – and four heads are better than two? This is because we are all limited by our own experiences, prejudices and areas of expertise.

These domains of expertise give rise to "mental models", assets that we use all the time but that we do not realize. 19659002]

Your sales colleague has a past that is different from you, which means that she can offer different ideas. You can devote most of to your daily content creation, giving you a unique understanding of the voice and position of your brand in the industry. In the meantime, your colleague could spend most of his time to speaking to his clients, giving him visibility into what your industry really wants.

You and your business associate combined information can solve a difficult problem.

But it is simply impossible to organize a round table every time you have to make an important decision. As individuals, we must be able to think differently about the problems of our business whenever we encounter one.

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a way to hack the decision-making process and to pull oneself the effect "two heads": mental models.

A mental model is a way of looking at a problem. As James Clear explains, "Every mental model offers a different framework that you can use to look at life … If you develop a larger mental models toolbox, you'll improve your problem-solving ability because you'll have more options. to get the right answer. This is one of the main ways that truly brilliant people separate themselves from the masses of intelligent individuals. "

Charlie Munger's Lattice of Mental Models

To fully understand the mental models a page from Charlie Munger, Vice President of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. – a conglomerate holding company that owns companies such as Geico, Dairy Queen and Helzberg Diamonds

A friend and close colleague of Warren Buffet, Munger is known for his interest in psychology.In decision-making – mostly in business – he suggests that many mental models can Helping to dismantle and solve difficult problems, Munger says:

"You really can not know if you remember isolated facts and try to scratch them. If the facts are not related on a theory network, you will not use them. "Form."

This is this network of mental models that allows us to adjust our vision of a challenge if necessary. After all, all dilemmas are not presented to us in the same way or can be chosen from the same point of view. The more you experience mental models, the more adaptable you are to the challenges before you.

So where do you even start building your own "lattice" of mental models? Take a look at some of the most common mental models below – some of them you practice without realizing it.

14 Examples of mental models to practice (and avoid)

1. Bayes' Theorem

This describes the probability that something will happen based on potentially relevant factors. These factors include evidence of past results and that could affect a new result.

To give you an idea of ​​what this theorem might have in the marketing industry, imagine that you have started an email marketing campaign. A few months ago, the opening rate was 20%. The following month, you launched a similar email marketing campaign with the goal of a 20% open rate, but you received an opening rate of 25 %. In the third month, your email campaign recorded a 26% open rate. Then, last month, you purged your mailing list of contacts who did not open email from your business in the last 60 days and started another email campaign.

four months, and the fact that you have removed your most inactive emails from your contact list, a realistic opening rate goal under Bayes' theorem could be 30%.

2. Circle of Competence

We can thank Warren Buffett for this mental model. In 1996, Buffett told his shareholders, "You do not have to be an expert for every company, or even several. Just evaluate the companies around you. The size of this circle is not very important. It is essential, however, to know your limits. "

Concentrate on your area of ​​expertise and do not be afraid to say " I do not know " when you're dealing with someone's d & # 39; Another example: a HubSpot content creator can write an article that teaches real estate agents how to use the incoming methodology to attract buyers, but it should not try to write about it. Real estate industry itself Real estate agents know much more about their customers and the way the industry operates than do HubSpot content creators

.3 Confirmation Bias

This is about 39, a human tendency to search for and interpret information in a way that reinforces or confirms what you already believe.

For example, in November, you could focus on the promising level of traffic by the time first week of December, and not enough on the way The fact that later holidays in December often result in a decrease in B2B website traffic.

the idea that your perception is not always (or even frequently) equal to reality. Take the challenge to find different interpretations of what is happening.

In the example above, you might think, "Is there anything that suggests that our December organic traffic will drop before the end of the month. Our Objective?

Being more skeptical will lead you to probe deeper objections – which will help you defuse the anxiety of the buyer 's price before it' s too late.

4. Inversion Mental Model [19659012] The prospect of inversion is one of the most powerful mental models: rather than thinking about the desired outcome, consider the result you want to avoid.

For example, suppose you were promoted to Marketing Manager, to ask yourself, "What are the top five things I could do to get promoted?" ask yourself, "Which are the top 10 things that would prevent my promotion? "] Next you would do well to do nothing. [19659002] As Shane Parrish says, "Avoiding stupidity is easier than looking for genius." Although you will not always find the answer by reversing the problem, you will certainly improve.

5. Fundamental attribution error

We are more likely to believe that someone is acting in some way because of his character than the situation.

In other words, if your social media strategist does not show up at a marketing team meeting, you will probably think, "They're flaky", not "They had to get stuck in traffic."

Take up the challenge of giving people the benefit of the doubt. The behavior is usually situational, so your predictions about how people will act will be more accurate if you do not consider things "how they go"

6. Hanlon & # 39; s Razor

If a qualified marketing prospect (MQL) gets dark at a critical time in the acquisition process, you will probably assume that he was "kicking" or decided that the information that he possessed was not good enough to continue the conversation. Hanlon & # 39; s Razor, however, asks us to "never attribute to malice what could be explained by negligence". In other words, it is more realistic to assume that the person is rather busy.

7. Tendency to jealousy

There are two types of envy. The productive type is "inferiority" or the desire to rise to the level of another person. Do you want to become as successful as the marketing director of your team? You are motivated by this kind of envy.

The unproductive type is the malicious urge, or the desire to withdraw something valuable from someone else – not for his own sake, but for that they do not. Have not. [19659002] These motivational factors deserve to be remembered when, for example, you write a copy of the website for your online visitors. Your visitors can be personally invested in a particular goal because they want to do as well – or better – than another person in their company or beat someone else's record. Identifying the desires of your visitors will help you create a landing page copy that seeks to solve their personal goals.

You must also be aware of the tendency to jealousy in your own decision-making process. Even if a competitive dynamics (want of inferiority) can be beneficial to you in a quick start, the fact that other people fail (malicious envy) will only distract you. Overcome the urge by reminding yourself of your similarities with this person, which will trigger your empathy and avoid the temptation to sabotage them. Turn these impulses into growth opportunities: what skills or habits can you improve to get their results?

8. Declining Returns Act

At some point, the additional benefits you get from an investment decrease more and more. For example, the first month, you risk losing six pounds. The second month, you could lose three. The third month, you could lose two.

This concept applies to marketing in several ways. First, make sure to focus on the most valuable activities. Say you spent a week researching your character buyer before launching a blog dedicated to them. As important as a detailed character of the buyer is to your business, know when to complete it. You probably will not double your results by dedicating an extra week to determining your ideal buyer, and the more trivial the details, the less useful this information will be. Instead, use this time to search for a different buyer and establish multiple audience segments.

To make sure you spend your time on the things that deliver the best returns, recognize what you need to know to succeed. Developing a brand voice and a series of calls to action for your blog can be more productive than mastering the entire AP stylebook cover.

The memorization of obscure details diminishes. earlier, you can jump on projects that have more value for the growth of your business.

9. Margin of Security

A bridge could theoretically handle up to 15,000 pounds, but it would be wise to cap the weight limit at 14,000 pounds. It would be a major disaster if the bridge was not really strong – and the risk is not worth it.

The margin of safety is the idea that we should leave room for mistakes or failures. For example, when creating conversion goals for your website, you can not count a downloaded ebook until you have responded to a follow-up email or get more information. information, in case they change their minds.

of this model as a safety net. It is better to be pleasantly surprised than to have proven

10. The Occam razor

This principle states that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. If you try to understand what happened, develop the simplest possible assumption.

11. Opportunity Costs

Each choice is to the detriment of another. If you decide to send e-mails after lunch, you can not use this time to write a blog post. If you pursue a large unpredictable lead generation campaign, you will not have the bandwidth or risk tolerance to pursue another at the same time.

Keep this in mind whenever you decide what to choose. make. What is the alternative? Are you willing to give it up?

12. Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Rule, means that most results are not distributed equally. In other words:

  • 20% of the work generates 80% of the returns
  • 20% of your traffic brings back 80% of your prospects
  • 20% of the functionalities are responsible for 80% of your consumption [19659061] 20% of your time produces 80% of your results

If you can focus on your main customers, sell your business, and so on, you'll have a lot more success.

In my former company, for example, we analyzed our clients and found that those who spent the most (that is, the 20% who created 80% of our income) worked in HR. Once we know this, our sales and marketing teams could target HR professionals. As a result, the company's turnover rose by 230%.

13. Preferred Attachment

Imagine two runners participating in a race. The first runner to cross the mile mark gets water and a protein bar. The slowest gets nothing.

This describes the preferential attachment, where the leader is allocated more resources than his competitors. These resources give them an even greater advantage.

As a buyer, you see this effect in the prospect development process. It can be tempting to spend all your time serving content to your most qualified prospects. But along the way, you risk neglecting people who are starting to learn from your business or taking a little more time to open their emails and download some resources.

No matter how much you "prefer" Bringing the farthest runways into the hands of a salesperson, it is important not to develop a preferential attachment to these people to the detriment of other visitors to the website.

14. Redundancy

In the same vein, redundancy describes what good engineers do to set up back-up systems to protect against failures. This greatly reduces your chances of total failure.

As a buyer, you can use this strategy to create a campaign that will satisfy and educate your readers, subscribers, prospects and existing customers, while making a bet on a whole new offer. . Maybe you are promoting a huge product right now and you have an ambitious goal in lead generation that will be reached next month. Continue at the same time with four or five smaller, low-risk content campaigns to ensure your Lead-Gen pipeline remains stable while deploying your new product.

With these mental models at your disposal, your analytical and decision-making skills improve exponentially.

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