10 Tips to help teams embrace Mind Mapping

10 Tips to help teams embrace Mind Mapping

Many years ago, one of my managers gave me a set of team nominations from which a team had to be selected for the best project award. Each of the nomination was pretty comprehensive with details about the respective teams achievement. I went ahead and made individual Mind Maps capturing the details for each team and arriving at my finding for the best team. When my boss called me the next day to discuss the same I started presenting from my Mind Map. After I completed presenting the first team he got interested in Mind Mapping and asked me a lot of questions on it. Due to some reason our discussion got interrupted that day and we had to re-start again the next day. The following day, the moment I entered my boss’s cabin & even before i could sit down; my boss waving a bunch of papers excitedly announced “Maneesh, today I also am ready with my Mind Maps for the award evaluations !”.

Sometimes getting people to adopt Mind Maps is as easy as simply showcasing an example, but when you want this to be adopted by teams or complete organisations then, like any other process/change deployment, you will encounter challenges.

So if you are also wanting to encourage your team members to Mind Map then you may find the following 10 tips useful:

  1. Team leader/manager needs to be enthusiastic about Mind Mapping : Mind Mapping is a simple and versatile technique with a wide application. Hence, as a team manager you will have ample opportunities to demonstrate your enthusiasm and committment to this fascinating technique which in turn will motivate your team also to experiment with the concept.So, be on the lookout for such opportunities.
  2. Meetings, the perfect platform to use Mind Maps: About a decade ago when I started experimening with Mind Maps, one of my first application was to use it for my team meetings. Whether it is outlining the meeting agenda, tracking the action points, brainstorming on a new idea or problem solving, you can always rely on Mind Maps. Every meeting is an opportunity to demonstrate live Mind Mapping and the effectiveness of the technique. So go ahead & make it a regular part of your meetings. (interested in learning more on how to use them in Meetings? You can refer to my book “How to have Mind Blowing, Engaging & Energizing Meetings)
  3. Showcase success stories from team members : Anytime any team member shares a Mind Mapping application and/or its success story do not forget to share it with the other team members. This again reinforces & makes visible your committment to the technique.
  4. Bust Mind Mapping Myths: The simplicity of Mind Maps sometimes undermines its power and also has probably led to some myths which may be preventing your team from embracing the technique. You can check out more about this in my short video here: These 6 myths stopping you from adopting Mind Maps?
  5. Accept Hand drawn and Software driven Mind Mapping: My experience with teaching Mind Mapping to a variety of participants has taught me that individuals may naturally like either hand drawn or S/w driven Mind Mapping. Accept both these modes of Mind Mapping in your team allowing for individual preferences. The important thing is that either mode should help bring better clarity to the thinking process for achieving the end goal. Eventually, in my experience, many Mind Mappers more often than not gravitate to Software driven Mind Mapping.
  6. Accept the natural pace of adoption: Given that Mind Maps operate in a radial hierarchy as against the often used linear hierachy in our day to day work, it is but natural that some individuals may take a bit longer to understand & adopt them. Accept this natural pace of adoption and simply try to remove any identifiable bottlenecks stopping individuals from using them. (e.g. need for a software for Mind Mapping, click here to check out some widely used Mind Mapping S/w in the industry)
  7. Be flexible with the Mind Mapping “Rules”: There are some rules prescribed in various forums for Mind Mapping (e.g. using single words on branches etc.) which do support effective Mind Mapping however it is preferable to view them as guidelines or a general framework to be followed during Mind Mapping. The moot point is that the “rules” should not become a hindrance for individuals to take the first step to Mind Map.
  8. Connect Mind Mapping to team members personal interests: The strength of Mind Mapping is the ease with each it can be applied to both personal as well as work life. Hence, encourage your team members to experiment applying them not only for, say managing work projects better but also for helping kids study better or writing a book/paper or even finding life directions !
  9. Organise a training session on Mind Mapping: It may help to get your team members to attend a formal training session on Mind Mapping. If, as the team manager, you have sufficient experience with Mind Mapping, you could well facilitate the session yourself or get a trainer to do it. The formal session also provides an opportunity to address challenges, if any, forseen by the team in adopting the technique.
  10. Share additional resources to support the teams Mind Mapping journey: A number of resources are available on Mind Mapping which can help reinforce the power and effectiveness of Mind Mapping. You could think of gifting books on Mind Mapping and online training programs to your team members on any event/occassion. Another very valuable resource is Biggerplate.com which is one of the largest repository of Mind Maps (fully accessible for free) shared by people around the globe. You can also access 100+ webinars on Mind Mapping there with a Biggerplate Pro Membership. (Avail a 25% discount on PRO membership ($29.99/year) using the discount code MDJU4X).

If you have also deployed (or tried deploying) Mind Maps in your teams/organisation, do leave a comment below and I would love to hear about your experience and possible challenges faced..

Keep walking & Keep Mind Mapping !

For more information do visit www.maneeshdutt.com