Assess Your Team

Thinking Preferences and the Perfect Match, At Work and At Home

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What makes a good match? Whether you’re putting together a workplace mentoring program or just thinking about your prospects for Valentine’s Day, thinking preferences provide some clues.

On the work front, many organizations have begun setting up mentoring programs recently. With another estimated 4 million Baby Boomers expected to retire this year, these companies want to make sure their valuable knowledge, experience and critical thinking skills don’t leave along with them.

But just like any pair, not every mentor match is made to last.

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A Powerful Learning Tool: Seating Based on Thinking Preference

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The keynote I delivered at World Financial Group last week had more than 200 leaders in attendance, all seated by their HBDI® thinking preferences. It’s always so striking to see how that validates people’s learning about themselves and others, both as they discover their HBDI® Profiles and begin applying what they’re learning.

In The Whole Brain Business Book, Ned Herrmann shares a story of the “aha” moment that came from just such a seating exercise. Presenting to a leadership group of a large company, he had assigned people to tables based on preferences (unbeknownst to the participants), and it turned out that the company’s chairman/CEO and president/COO had opposing profiles.

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Employee Engagement and Retention: What You Don’t Know Could Cost You

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The “shocking” to “disturbing” headlines about employee engagement are almost routine these days. Study after study turns up numbers in the range of 70 to 80 percent of the workforce that’s either not fully engaged or actively disengaged at work, costing companies billions in annual turnover.

It’s not that executives aren’t throwing money at the problem. In fact, by some estimates, companies are collectively investing upwards of $1.5 billion a year into trying to turn it around, without much to show for it in return.

But there have been a few positive signs beginning to emerge. Modern Survey’s Fall 2014 Employee Engagement Index showed engagement levels are beginning to inch up, while disengagement is at its lowest point since the study began.

Sounds good, right? Well, keep reading.

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How to Get Value from a Team’s Thinking Diversity

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Trying to navigate a thorny issue? Need an innovative solution? Looking for a way to help your team dig deeper and really flex their thinking muscles?

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Expect Difference: 4 Tips for Valuing Thinking Diversity

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Whole Brain Business Book is that no matter who you’re interacting with, whether it’s at work or at home, when it comes to thinking preferences, expect difference.

Sure, it’s often easier to work with someone who has similar thinking preferences to your own. It’s as if you operate in your own shorthand, and you instantly seem to “get” each other. But it’s not always possible, or even likely, that you’ll be surrounded by people who prefer think like you do. In fact, our data shows that difference is more often the norm.

This is a good thing! In fact, a study of teams with the US Forest Service found that when you have difference in a team—and that can be a difference in thinking styles, gender, age or other factors—the team is 66% more effective. And we certainly know from our research that you can get a lot more creative output from a group of diverse thinkers.

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How Do Assessment Instruments Compare?

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When we talk to people about the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®), a few questions invariably come up:

  • Does the HBDI® measure the same thing as [XYZ] assessment?
  • How is the HBDI® profile different from [XYZ] profile?
  • Can the HBDI® be used along with [XYZ]?
  • If we use an additional assessment, will it confuse people?

Understanding the premises of different assessments can help a

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Commencement Advice for Everyone: How to Really Use Your Brain to Get Ahead

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Whether you’re just entering the workforce, looking to get ahead or simply feel stuck in a rut, here’s some advice for using your brain—all of it—to make the most of what you do, day in and day out.

1. Where do you fit? Find the clues in your thinking.

Think about the subject you did best in—the one you really excelled in, that was easy and fun, and always held your attention. Now think about the subject you did the worst in, the one you dreaded.

Now contemplate trying to get a PhD in both.

It isn't that you couldn't, but you would obviously get your doctorate in one of them sooner, more easily, and at a higher level of academic achievement.

Because thinking preferences impact what you’re most interested in—the kinds of activities you enjoy the most—people tend to gravitate towards and excel in occupations that allow them to exercise those preferences.

And although we’re talking about preferences, not competencies, there is usually a correlation between the two. After all, if you find these activities highly stimulating, you’ll likely look for every opportunity to spend your time and focus on them, and as a result, you’ll build up strong competencies in these areas.

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Managing Up? Meet Them Where They Think!

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A big project deadline is looming. You’ve put specific checks and balances into a plan—reminders and tasks for hitting each milestone in a clear, linear process that leads to the end point—and your manager seems to ignore it all.

Every call and discussion seems to go over. Every meeting runs late. The calendar is a mess.

So while you’ve parceled out plenty of time for the work to be completed well in advance of the deadline, nothing gets done until the last minute. You’re left scrambling, putting out fires, feeling like all that prep work has been wasted.

Not only that, this same scenario plays out over and over and over again. No matter how

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It’s Brain Awareness Week!

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March 10th through the 16th is Brain Awareness Week (BAW), the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. You can find plenty of activities and resources on brain-related topics on the official BAW website.

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Meet Your Customers Where They Think

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One of the traps of our technology-enabled, overloaded world is that we often default to a one-size-fits-all approach when dealing with others. When you’re expected to “do more with less” and shift your priorities and attentions on a dime, template-izing repeated tasks or common responses seems like a good way to shortcut the process.

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