Fields of use

Given the variety of subjects that can be of interest to us, there’s the possibility of creating a Whymap following thematic areas. The idea is to already have a list of situations commonly encountered, like FAQ.  It’s enough to  Basta votare una di esse perché entri nel calcolo. This idea has not yet been implemented, because it will be based on the situations most frequently mentioned by the users. For the moment there exists the possibility of executing personalised maps, in which we put only the data of our choice.

Personal

In this section we assess ideas and personal situations. In each box you write how positive or negative you think your situation or your plan is, and give it a score. Then appraise the other people who are (or will be) involved in the situation. Giving a score for the aspects of others, empathising, is less difficult than it seems (see the book: “Whymap: choose the most efficient reality”). Moreover, putting data down in black and white makes them more objective, because many hidden aspects come to light, thus rendering the Whymap more real than the hazy idea we have in our heads.

To get the result, after having inserted the data click on the button “Reply”. You will discover in what Quadrant you have ended up, and how efficient your behaviour is. Then the system will ask you if you want to make changes to the values you inserted, or if you wish to confirm your Whymap. In which case you can save it, and reassess it at a later date.

An explanation concerningt the green zone at the centre of the Whymap: if the reply falls into this zone, it means that the positive and negative aspects of the situation you are assessing cancel each other out, or that you are currently expending little energy. The thing isn’t necessarily negative. Often, before undertaking an action, it’s worth taking an inner look, free of thought and conditioning.

Corporate

The problems of a company are generally of two types: external problems (public relations, reaching objectives, sales problems, acquisition problems), or internal problems. In that case, such problems often stem from interpersonal relations that don’t work, from power struggles, from personality clashes, misunderstandings, retaliations, fear or anger towards some colleague. All these situations can lead to significant downturns in a company’s efficiency. These are complex themes, difficult to synthesise with a series of prefabricated questions. Therefore we leave the creation of a list of questions to personal initiative, reserving for the future the creation of a suitable section with the most frequent questions. Let us remember, however, that internal problems often have a node, a focal point, a “defective” link that weakens the whole chain. To find the interpersonal relation that doesn’t work, to create situations in which persons can at last communicate who up till now haven’t spoken to each other, to remove incompatible people, are strategies that can render your Whymap (and your company) successful.

Diplomatic

The field of negotiations and diplomacy is one of the most interesting for a Whymap. Each human being that moves upon the earth conducts negotiations countless time a day. He does it at the greengrocer’s, with his own partner, at lunch, at work. Discussing is a basic necessity, because it enables us to avoid collisions in a world that is daily getting smaller. In general, human beings negotiate with the aim of obtaining maximum advantage at minimum cost. This attitude rewards competition rather than collaboration, which often constrains us to compromise with our conscience, thereby causing tension and a sense of guilt. The Whymap demonstrates that this way of thinking is highly inefficient (for in-depth explanations see the books section). The strategies that work best in all the animal species are sharing, symbiosis, mutual assistance.

Collaboration is the best road for mankind as well. If our cells didn’t collaborate continuously we couldn’t exist.

Unexpectedly, at the social level, we hardly practise this strategy at all. We don’t realise that harming others for our immediate personal advantage will, in the long term, backfire on us.  We form part of a complex system in which what counts in order to survive is overall efficiency – efficiency which is obtained only when all the parties derive advantage from a situation. To obtain advantages for all is not as difficult as it seems: “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas”, said George Bernard Shaw, showing that it is possible to create situations advantageous for all.

However, this strategy is scarcely used at all in our society. We are so used to thinking solely of our own personal advantage that frequently, in a negotiation, it is difficult for us to see the other person’s point of view, especially in situations that envisage many aspects or many counterparties.

The Whymap seeks to make us have a more efficient attitude, and therefore proposes two ways of negotiating for the best. In the first, each party composes a Whymap to illustrate its own vision of the situation, both for itself and for the counterparty. Then these Whymaps are sent to the site, which sees that they are sent to the two parties simultaneously (so that the counterparty cannot assess our movements and our expectations in advance, and consequently modify its own strategy).

Thus each in his own map is compelled to consider the other’s point of view, seeking a solution efficient for all. When the maps are then exchanged, the counterparty sees clearly how we think of it, and can insert in its own Whymap our points of view. The negotiation can go on until we find a Whymap to which both parties agree (of course, there may be more than one counterparty).

The huge advantage is that in this way the data are assessed objectively, leaving small room for the emotions, elements that can make it impossible to resolve even the simplest question.

However, there are very complex negotiations in which it can be counter-productive to make our interlocutor see our point of view, or can be too much to his advantage. In such cases the Whymap proposes a second way. Each party, after having formed its own Whymap, sends it to a third person, commonly agreed upon by the two (or more) parties. This person has the task of assessing the Whymap he receives, of asking for clarifications and supplements, of toning down untenable positions – in short, of gradually harmonising the requests and the data sent to him, if necessary sending modified maps back to the “contenders” and asking for their approval, until a single Whymap is formed, consistent with the needs of the parties concerned. The possible costs of the “Mediator” are to be paid by the parties themselves, but Whymap.com makes freely available, anonymity fully guaranteed, the possibility of creating maps and exchanging them among associates.

We repeat that if the “Negotiation” mode is chosen, this exchange will take place only when all the parties that have registered for this particular application have inserted their own maps and indicated to whom they must be sent.

Ecological

The ecological aspect is occupying ever more space in man’s awareness. Bit by bit we are becoming aware that our planet is small, that our every action upsets a balance, altering the environment and people’s lives even at the antipodes.  We form part of the Earth, we cannot disregard it, and we cannot exploit it as though it were a bottomless well. Its resources are rapidly being exhausted and we, for now, have given in exchange only pollution. If we want to prosper we must take the best care of our environment. We must begin to reason according to the principle of the 3 P’s: Personal, Planet, People, three elements that intersect and influence one another indissolubly.

The Whymap enters this subject with a type of map that is slightly different from the preceding ones. In this case the horizontal line serves to assess not the aspects concerning “other human beings”, but rather those of the environment. How much CO² will our project produce? How much heat will it send into the atmosphere? How much slag, gas, smoke, how many toxins and pollutants, will it release into the environment? At this point these are questions we are forced to ask; our every plan must be assessed on this scale.

Most important is understanding the significance of the green zone at the centre. Two situations end up in this zone: those in which our plans envisage elements that cancel each other out, but also those that re-enter the tolerance of the system. An action of ours can also be negative for the environment (we can fish a certain quantity of fish, for instance), but the ecosystem composed by the fish that remain will be able to fill the gaps. Therefore we can assess our action as causing no irremediable damage. The important thing is not to exceed Earth’s compensatory capacity. Let us remember, however, that this is about behaviour that is scarcely efficient, that we can do better. Our brain is made to find solutions that are effective, successful and inspired – far more than we think.

Social

The social is surely one of the most complex aspects of the human species. Behind this word lies hidden an entire world of situations: the relations between institutions and citizens, great social works, building, culture, education. We reckon that there are two large areas in which the Whymap can make its contribution:

- The incommunicability between governors and governed.

- The long-term assessment of the effect social work can have on the area and on those occupying it.

The Whymap can be a good opportunity for an administrator (be he minister, mayor or councillor) to explain his point of view to the public clearly and effectively. It is also a way of assessing the efficiency of projects that often start out with the best of intentions, but then turn out to be white elephants. The site gives the possibility of creating a Whymap on a specific subject, and of creating a link to render it public.

Family

“Marriage is the art of resolving together problems that you did not have when single” says the comedian, Dario Cassini. And he is not completely wrong. The life of a couple brings very many advantages, but also creates problems. One of the most serious is the difficulty in understanding the other’s point of view. At times we think we have taken the point, whereas our partner is thinking something totally different. Or we don’t manage to be objective because our reason is clouded by emotions. In these, as in many other cases, the creation of a common Whymap can be of help in understanding what is happening. Composing a Whymap with your spouse helps to achieve distance, to see things more objectively. Moreover, it enables you to explore solutions which you would not have thought of on your own. Also in this case, given the vast number of themes, we afford ample possibility to whoever is composing the map to choose his own, reserving for a future date the creation of a list of FAQ.

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