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We interviewed Indi recently to find out what she learned from writing Mental Models. Here’s what she had to say:

RM: What’s one thing you wish you knew about mental models before you started writing about it?

Indi Young: I wish I knew not to refer to the bits I get from the interviews as “tasks”. “Tasks” is a word with way too much history. People trying the method, having read only that word and not all my explanation, go off down the path of capturing the process, rather than the inner thoughts and reactions. I am so sorry I used “tasks”. I often have to back teams out of this path. They have captured how, not why. Yes, it’s true that the models contain things that people do, but those are not laid out as discrete steps in a process so much as lumped together with the reasons why they are doing them, the inner frustration they might be feeling, the underlying motivations for saying something a certain way, the pride they have over an accomplishment or team, the fears that guide how they decide what to do, the workarounds they have concocted to make the best of the situation, etc.

RM: Thanks, Indi!

There’s still time to get your 50% off digital copy of Indi’s book, Mental Models. Enter discount code “WACKY” at checkout before midnight ET tonight!