Economics/Business

What is mind map/how it works/benefits/usages in HR/types/tools

The mind map, also known as the mind map, is a visual tool used to organize ideas, favoring everything from learning to decision-making, and helping to optimize HR processes and improve people management.

A mind map is a visual tool that helps you organize ideas and facilitate the development of ideas as well as their memorization.

Can you think of how this kind of resource can be useful to HR? If the question created a doubt in your mind, it’s time we had a conversation about it.

We will start this post by explaining, in a more complete way, what a mind map is, and then we will discuss its use in favor of productivity in HR and in other sectors of a company.

what is mind map

A mind map is a diagram created for the organization, development, understanding and memorization of ideas about a particular topic.

Through this tool, it is possible to connect ideas and explain concepts in a simple way. Something that contributes to learning and also to decision making.

Namely, mind map can also be identified as concept map or mind board. In any case, part of the proposal to brainstorm and put it on paper to organize ideas.

It was created in 1970 by then student of cognitive psychology Tony Buzan. His goal was to have images that function as graphical representations of how a concept is structured in our minds .

For this to work well, Buzan indicates the use of colors, good special organization and even images. These are elements that attract attention and make the map very “alive”.

Today, there are students who have learned how to make a mind map to facilitate the understanding of school content.

Throughout the post, you will understand more clearly how the tool is also useful in the corporate scenario.

How does a mind map work

Every mind map needs a starting point. Through the tool, you can list ideas and understand how concepts relate to each other from a central question .

Later, we’ll show you how to build a mind map by sharing some examples that will help you visualize the structure of a map and understand how it works.

For now, what you need to know is that, from the central question, other secondary questions arise that are related. 

Each of these can also give rise to a number of other issues that do or do not connect.

A mind map can be made using pen and paper, or colored markers to better organize each group of ideas, or using digital tools. We’ll talk more about that later on.

Taking ideas to paper

In general, the value of a mind map is more easily realized when you have trouble figuring out ideas about a topic. A challenge that tends to be proportional to the complexity of the subject.

Imagine that your company’s HR needs to more clearly define their roles and responsibilities to optimize their routine and improve their results.

In a few seconds, your mind can suggest dozens of assignments that compete with the sector, indicate how one task relates to another, which area depends on the other, and so on.

A simple exercise like this shows that our thinking is not linear and that our brain can quickly bombard us with information and ideas. Dealing with all of this can be confusing.

So, to be clear about the HR functions, a valid solution that you can look for is precisely the creation of a mind map.

The map design is not a straight line, but starting from the central theme ― HR itself, following our example ― a series of sub-themes and branches can be created.

All this means that the mind map works as a form of visual organization that allows us to understand something complex in a simpler way .

The benefits of mind mapping and its use

Before learning how to create a mind map, you may want to better understand the advantages of using this tool.

When we presented the concept, we explained that maps are useful for learning and decision-making, and we also committed to talking about productivity in HR. We will get there.

We list below benefits that you need to know to better understand the tool and start reflecting on its benefits in your routine. Look!

1. Stimulates reasoning and the ability to perceive

Creating a mind map is an exercise in creativity, although you don’t have to consider yourself the most creative person “in the world” to draw one.

Buzan, the creator of the tool, explains that creating a mind map is intuitive. What you need is to open your mind and start defining keywords capable of originating the ramifications of your design .

As a new concept or idea is added to the map, thinking will flow and you will find ways to structure your thinking and connect concepts.

This, however, does not happen completely naturally. It is necessary to work on reasoning and improve the ability to perceive relevant factors and the connection between things.

2. Can be done collaboratively

A mind map does not need to be done by a single person, specialist in a certain subject in the company.

Differently from that, its collaborative construction can lead to an even more interesting result.

It is true that, in this process, changes will be proposed and the final design will be different from the sketch because each professional will have the opportunity to present their opinions and suggestions.

This joint construction not only makes the design more complete but also favors learning by all involved .

This can be valid for HR processes itself, as well as for other sectors impacted by people management.

3. Contributes to faster memorization

When a process is improved or created, an adaptation period may need to be considered. Everyone involved needs to learn about the new flows and steps and so on.

It’s natural to depend on some time to put something like this into practice. The advantage of the mind map is faster memorization that favors adaptation and avoids mistakes.

This happens because our brain tends to have an easier time retaining information that is well organized and a properly structured visual resource helps .

Mind map types

There are two main types of mind maps: traditional and mnemonic. In essence, their purpose is the same, yet simple differences can have significant effects.

You can use either one or the other, depending on the purpose of each mind map created.

traditional mind map

The traditional map follows the basic ideas presented by Buzan. Thus, it has a central theme with ramifications following proper spatial organization, colors, etc.

This implies betting on attention and patience because it is necessary to define adequate images and think about the desired visual effect for the mind map.

Among the advantages of this type of map are:

  • the fact that the creation of the design follows Buzan’s original idea;
  • the possibility of having an overview of a given subject;
  • the strong visual appeal that favors learning and memorization.

On the side of disadvantages, we can only mention the time taken to make the mind map. An issue that can be optimized using online tools, as we will see later.

mnemonic mind map

Mnemonic is that which is related to memory. This means that, in addition to following the basic rules of Buzan, this type of map has a greater appeal to memorization techniques for ideas or concepts.

Its advantages are the same as the traditional mind map. However, its elaboration focuses even more on a visual logic of connection of the facts, which tends to facilitate the retention of information.

On the other hand, a disadvantage that deserves to be highlighted is the difficulty in sharing the map with people who did not participate in its creation.

This is because, in comparison, the traditional map brings more information in text, which makes it easier to understand.

Focused on memorization strategies, the mnemonic map may end up making sense only to those who helped define the logic behind the drawing.

How to use a mind map in HR

As it becomes easier to understand what a mind map is, the more interesting the tool becomes. But for everything to make sense, it’s important to know how to use this map, right?

Generally speaking, mind maps can be used to:

  • organize ideas that may arise during a meeting, lecture or other company event;
  • facilitate the organization of brainstorming sessions and contribute to ensuring that good ideas are duly considered;
  • better plan tasks such as meetings, lectures and projects;
  • optimize communication between colleagues, with managers or with customers;
  • structuring projects and facilitating the decision-making process, and more.

With all this in mind, we have separated some more specific applications for HR that will help you to better see the use of mind mapping in the sector. Follow up!

Sector organization

A basic use of mind maps in HR is industry organization .

We have previously presented this idea as an example and it is worth repeating: a mind map can be used to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of an HR.

As you may well know, there are several HR routines to be fulfilled. Depending on the size of the company, responsibilities are divided from the creation of the Personnel Department and everything needs to be clear.

This type of visual organization created through the map tends to help everyone in the sector know their tasks, how their work impacts that of their colleague and vice versa.

Furthermore, broadening the understanding of HR routines and structure can optimize processes and improve team dynamics.

Process optimization

Speaking of processes, here’s another use of mind maps: optimizing processes that are the responsibility of HR .

As an example , we cite onboarding or onboarding new employees as a mission that can be broken down into a mental map.

During this process, a new employee needs to know their team, the resources that are at their disposal, know what projects are in progress, understand the work dynamics, understand their role and goals, and more.

It only seems simple for someone who has never needed to guide the integration of a newcomer professional.

A mind map can be useful for HR to establish all the steps to be carried out and identify any connections between them that are capable of facilitating the absorption of information by the contractor.

It is worth mentioning that, if you want to restructure a process, the mind map can also serve as a brainstorming space for HR.

Other examples : with regard to processes, the mind map can also be used to clarify the roles of each employee and to structure the process of interviewing and selecting candidates.

People management

Building a mind map is not only useful from the HR door inwards, so to speak. The tool can be used to plan people management actions and projects .

To talk about this better, we took as an example the creation of a training and development program for people , starting from the central theme of training.

The design will be built based on the definition of keywords related to the subject of the program, creating branches and connections of ideas.

Thus, important concepts and guidelines for the proper accomplishment of something become known through a clear and easy-to-understand visual representation.

How to build a mind map

Especially after this last example of using a mind map in HR, you must be wanting to understand at once how to build your map, right? So let’s go.

First of all, never underestimate the fact that a visual map is a tool… visual!

You need to think about your design, using colors, shapes and images strategically.

1. Where to start

The starting point for creating a mind map is to define your central theme and think about what questions you need answered .

You can start from a single question or from a few related questions. These are the questions that will give rise to ramifications in your design, in an organized way.

The creation steps are as follows:

  • definition of the central theme using one or a few words;
  • inclusion of the first ideas or subjects around the central theme, always using few words;
  • creating new levels and branches as needed, considering the inclusion of ideas to complement the mind map;
  • use of different colors to create a hierarchy of information and improve visual organization;
  • use of images, if it makes sense, to enrich the mind map.

Remember that the map can be done collaboratively, with the help of the entire team.

2. Consider your audience

A professional can even create a mind map just for himself, for example, to organize the ideas he heard in a lecture given by the company.

However, as we are talking about the use of the tool by HR, we assume the existence of an audience. With that in mind, consider questions like:

  • What information does my audience need to understand this mind map?
  • How comprehensive does the mind map need to be to fulfill its purpose?
  • How can I make this map more immersive?

Mind maps can result in very beautiful drawings, but without strategic construction, they are of little use.

Keep in mind though that you can start with an outline, as we mentioned earlier.

So, along the way, you can make adjustments so that the map has the right information, structure, and design.

3. Think about the design

The mind map is a creative exercise and this is one of the reasons for the existence of different models, or drawings, of maps.

Your design choices should follow a visual hierarchy, considering what needs to be seen first, what deserves more prominence . So size, shape, color, density and even position count.

4. Examples of mind maps

There are several mind map templates that we could use as an example. Just so you can see everything that has been said so far and better understand how this tool works, we have separated two variations. Check out!

  • Mind map with circles

Perhaps the best-known model of mind mapping is the one based on circles whose color and size vary based on the hierarchy of information.

In the center, and in a larger and more prominent circle, you place the central subject. Around it pulls branches and creates slightly smaller or softer colored circles to introduce secondary subjects.

From these secondaries, tertiary subject circles can also emerge, always keeping in mind the visual hierarchy.

Remember creativity? Well, you can put it into action to use shapes other than circles.

There are those who seek to innovate in the entire design. What you can’t do is create something that doesn’t allow the public to understand what information is connected and how it happens.

  • mind map with images

The use of images in the mind map is a possibility, although it is optional. Including images can make the drawing more didactic and facilitate memorization.

The essence remains the same. It is necessary to define a central theme and, based on it, to present secondary and tertiary concepts and ideas.

The difference is that images that represent concepts or ideas are included to make the mind map richer or even to replace words and phrases.

Again, the shapes, colors and other visual elements of the map can be used creatively in whatever way you find most interesting.

The most important thing remains to follow the logic behind the tool and get the message across properly.

Online mind map tools

Back in 1970, when Buzan introduced the concept of the mind map, his drawing was done with paper and pen; or colored pen.

Nowadays, it is still possible to assemble a mind map in this way. Perhaps you find it easier that way, especially if it’s a collaborative process.

However, you can use technology to your advantage to make the process simpler, as well as making it easier to make changes, define design details, include images, and more.

Knowing this, we have separated some of the main online tools that can be used to create a mind map to be applied in and by HR. Check it out!

canvas

Canva is an online tool that has become increasingly popular for creating the most varied designs.

Its focus is not on creating mind maps, but it is possible to use Canva for this purpose and achieve very interesting results.

A point that draws attention and attracts a lot of people is that Canva is free to use. Some functions and designs may only be available for a fee, but there are many features that can be used freely.

mindmeister

Mindmeister is a tool that was specially developed for creating mind maps.

According to the developers, more than 14 million people have already used and approved their “award-winning mind map editor for brainstorming , note taking, project planning and a variety of other creative tasks”.

coggle

Another online tool option for creating mind maps is Coggle , a solution that promises to offer “a simple way to share complex information”.

The platform is intuitive and has a free version recommended for those who intend to use it only sporadically. In addition to this, it has two paid versions recommended for professional use and for teams.

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