The Meta Model

Meta Model Generalizations

The The Meta Model generalizations make explicit the way we summarize and categorize our experiences. Generalizations are basically the rules we use to manage life.

There are usually exceptions or counter examples to rules. These rules and categories create self-imposed or company wide limitations. Examining these limitations is a powerful problem solving strategy.

By generalizing one or a few experiences, we can figure out what to do in a different experience. We learn to drive a particular car, and then use that experience to drive a new one. If we weren’t able to generalize, we would have to learn how to drive all over again.

Problem Solving

Examining categories and generalizations is an excellent creative problem solving strategy. What are the experiences that come to mind when you think of money for instance? We typically use an emotionally charged experience to stand in for all our experiences in a category.

We generalize and categorize all kinds of things without knowing it. For instance, we learn that skiing is fun or dangerous. We decide that reading is powerful or boring. We figure out that other people are interesting or annoying.

Because we often make these generalizations with only a few experiences and/or when we are very young, it is useful to examine them critically.

Universal quantifiers – a Meta Model Generalization

When using universal quantifiers, you are saying, “there are no exceptions and therefore there are no choices.” Sometimes this can be useful. If you believe you will always find a way if you persevere for instance.

Modal operators – a Meta Model Generalization

Modal operators sound weird. The term refers to your mode of operating. They are words like must, should, can’t, have to, mustn’t, can, will and indicate possibility or necessity. There is a big difference between doing something because you feel you have to and because you want to.

Complex equivalences – a Meta model generalization

A complex equivalence involves constructing beliefs out of generalizations. It is making two experiences equal. For instance, I may believe that someone not making eye contact means they have something to hide. They are sometimes very tenuous links.

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