It may sound nerdy but I love models and applying them wherever I can. They give me a structure to make sense of a situation and pursue a solution. I do not have to reinvent the wheel. Someone has already thought through similar situations and may have prescribed what to do. It is if I am standing clueless in a totally alien land and suddenly been handed a guide-book with a map. I still have to find the way but it is much easier. A model will make me think more, skip less and act effectively. The key is to apply the correct model and be open to tweaking it. If I am starting a new team, devising strategy for a chess game, making a decision to switch jobs, evaluating how to budget the next quarter or to manage my investments, I look for a model that I can apply. This is what the organizations do. This is definitely what the researchers do. We build on what we already know and formulated rather than starting from scratch (and repeating the mistakes).
Hence, whenever I am reading a book, attending a training or talking to someone who knows more than me, I am always on the lookout for a new model or a tool. I try to extract from all the details, anecdotes and discussions the underlying models and tools and add them to my armory.
“I’m OK-You’re OK” by Thomas Harris is a great self-help book that makes people understand themselves and how they function. It helps them living a better life by immensely improving their personal and business communications. It’s a bit dense but classic read. My best takeaway from the book was the “P-A-C model” which is the basis for the overall framework that Thomas offers. P-A-C stands for Parent-Adult-Child (always start from Caps).