• Solving personal problems using Mind Maps

• Interpersonal problem-solving using Mind Maps

• The stages of interpersonal problem-solving

• Benefits of interpersonal problem-solving Mind Maps


In this chapter you will find out how to use Mind Maps both to solve personal problems and to resolve difficulties in your relationships with others. Many of the skills you have already acquired - such as self-analysis and decision-making -play a part in problem-solving.

solving personal problems using mind maps

This process is almost identical to self-analysis except that the focus is on a specific personality trait or characteristic that may be causing you concern.

For example, let's imagine that your problem is excessive shyness. You begin with a central image (perhaps a picture of you hiding your face behind your hands?), then do a quick-fire Mind Map burst, releasing all the thoughts and emotions triggered by the idea of shyness.

In the first reconstruction and revision, your Basic Ordering Ideas might include: the situations in which you feel shy; the emotions which make up your shyness; the physical reactions you experience; the verbal and physical behaviour that results; the background to your shyness (when it first started and how it developed); and the possible root causes.

Having comprehensively defined, analysed and incubated the problem, you need to do a second reconstruction and revision. In this second Mind Map you should look at each element of the problem and work out a specific plan of action to solve it. Implementing these various actions should then enable you to resolve the problem in its entirety.

In some cases it turns out that you are mistaken about the real problem. If the same word or concept appears on several branches, the chances are that it is actually more fundamental to your problem than the one you have placed in the centre. In this situation you should simply start another Mind Map, with the new key concept as your central image, and continue as before.

interpersonal problem-solving using mind maps

Close personal relationships often come to grievous ends because neither person fully understands or appreciates the point of view of the other. If emotions are running high, and there is no real communication, individuals find themselves in an increasingly destructive negative associational spiral.

For instance, if person A feels that he or she has been hurt by person B, person A is more likely to think negatively about person B. These negative thoughts increase the degree of hurt experienced by person A, which in turn triggers further negative thoughts about person B. The destructive spiral gains momentum until, to use a familiar phrase, the problem has been 'blown up out of all proportion'.

Eventually even positive events from the past are drawn into the destructive whirlpool and are seen in a negative light. For instance, the birthday present one partner gave the other is no longer seen as a sign of love. Instead they are accused of using it as a 'bribe' or a way of distracting from some misdemeanour.

By opening up clear channels of communication between individuals, Mind Mapping can help people avoid the negative associational spiral. In addition, the radiant, all-embracing structure of the Mind Map enables the participants to put their problem in a wider and more positive context. All this is confirmed by the fact that a number of marriages and close friendships have been saved through Mind Mapping.

An example of such a personal problem-solving Mind Map is that by Tessa Tok-Hart on page 186. Her Mind Map externalises the problems she had both experienced herself and noticed in others while communicating. The central image of the two faces joined by a thick line show the fundamental human elements concerned, those items on the right being immediate hindrances and those on the left helpers to the process.

The outer right hand arcs show the circumstantial factors which are frequent causes of conflict. The outer left hand arcs indicate characteristic qualities that can overcome conflict. The ears of the face on the positive side are open and listening, the ears on the right closed to any incoming information. The shortened thick arrows in the centre of the right hand side of the Mind Map indicate a complete blockage of communication. The large arrows on the outer arcs of the Mind Map show war, destruction, alienation and disunity on one side, and creativity, friendship, happiness and unity on the other.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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