Mind maps are visual illustrations of activities or plans that are easily understood. We use mind maps in our firm to help our clients understand complicated planning issues on a single page. Instead of using a report that is several pages long, we often will illustrate the plan using a mind map.
I personally like mind maps for some of the following reasons:
A mind map allows us to simplify the complicated - Many activities we recommend for our clients are complicated. Because our firm’s goal is to help make our clients lives better we believe it’s very important for us to make sure that our clients understand complicated plans before they are adopted. Using a mind map allows us to illustrate the complicated in a way where our clients understand how the plan integrates with their goals.
Mind maps are easy to change - When a client asks a question about how a particular strategy affects other parts of their life we can show them the relationships between different activities. More importantly, when we make changes in the plan (and we almost always make plan changes) it’s easy to illustrate what those changes look like.
Mind maps engage the entire brain - Written plans primarily use the left hemisphere or the logical side of the brain. Mind maps not only engage the left brain, but also use the right brain. This allows the client to look at a plan in a holistic manner where they can see and feel the effect of the entire plan.
As time goes on mind maps help easily track changes - Most plans we install require changes over the years. Using a mind map allows us to track changes that are made and show the effect that those changes make.
Mind maps are easy and fun to put together - Making a mind map is always a fun exercise. For those who are drawing impaired as I am a mind map allows me to show clients a visual representation that is fun and easily understood. I find that putting a mind map together is much quicker than writing a report. We often think in a non-linear manner. Mind mapping allows you to do this and not have to flip back and forth in your report.
Mind maps are great to use with niche clients - Niche clients often have the same issues. Once you’ve put together a mind map for one client in a niche, you will find that modifying the mind map for other clients will take minutes. Instead of spending hours putting together specialized reports you can now have a great communication tool that takes minutes to prepare.
One of our goals when working with our clients is to help them visualize what effect a plan might have on their life. Will the plan make their life better? Using a mind map that visually represents a plan can help a client not only read about the plan, but see it as well. The more senses we can engage when working with clients, the better chance our explanation is understood.
I’m interested in hearing about your experiences using plans that are visually presented.
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