It’s a brilliant world we live in where people are so concerned with learning about how best to be around others that they take the time, consideration and effort to put together a model which is easy for others to understand. Everything around us has a model we can refer to in some meaningful way.
Want to go to war? Enlist in the armed forces, practise some exercises, learn a drill, learn how to take orders, rise through the ranks, lead entire teams, direct them, follow a pre-defined strategy. Want to start a new business? Go to your bank to take out a loan, learn about profit and loss, learn about marketing, learn about getting private investments, pick up the Dummies guide, it’s all been done before.
Yesterday I was training a group of managers on Management Essentials and covered topics like coaching, feedback, delegation, performance management, setting objectives, and setting expectations. Each and every one of those has a model that you can refer back to and give you an idea about what to do and how to do it well. I’ve learned though, that the models don’t actually mean much. They’re just an easy way for people to quickly understand how to relate to a certain topic.
The STAR model for example in giving feedback – Situation, Task, Action, Result, is equally used in coaching interviewees on how to respond to competency based interview questions. With a bit of free thinking you could also use it as an alternative to the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Will) model for coaching. There will forever be models available to enable us to be better at what we do. It’s the way we work, there’s no escaping it. In every part of your daily life, there will be a model you are using, being subject to, or inventing yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with that, we just have to pull our heads out of the sand for a while and have a look around us. That model on developing a competency framework, is it right for us? That model on using social media in the workplace, does it fit the way we work? Did you see the business model Bob Is Great used for going out to market? Can we adapt it for our own needs? We’ve got so used to the blind leading the blind, that we’ve stopped creating and innovating for ourselves.
To be fair, there is a maturation process in there somewhere too. You can only be confident about pushing boundaries and creating new ways of doing things if you’ve already been exposed to what’s there already. Very few of us have the capacity and or capability to take something new and develop a model never before seen. It takes time, effort, and dedication.
There’s no real nugget to today’s post, just my thoughts on models, and how we use them.