Whole Brain®Thinking & Assessment
The concept and process of Whole Brain® thinking was discovered and pioneered over 35 years ago by Ned Herrmann,
a physicist, entrepreneur, artist and musician. Ned spent most of his career as a manager at GE Corporate Headquarters.
Based on Ned's research, and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, we now know that the brain is comprised of four
areas, or quadrants (A,B,C,& D) that control the way we learn, interpret, process information, and interact with others.
What is Whole Brain® Thinking?
Whole Brain® thinking means using all of the brain's 4 highly specialized functions and thought processes.
Every person's brain has the same four quadrants, but not everyone uses them in the same way as anyone else, or
with the same strength of preference. (You probably already know that from talking to people who just don't "get it!"). Using Whole Brain® thinking in your personal and professional life requires you to stretch across to other, less-preferred quadrants to get the job done, work better with your team, or talk to you partner or children with greater clarity (for them).
What are the Four Brain Quadrants?
Below are the quadrant descriptions that comprise any thinking style (based on the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument
and Whole Brain® Thinking Model):
What the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) Is Not!
- Analyze: This quadrant of your brain is looking for facts, logic, statistics and data. The information will
answer the question, "What?," and provides the rationale for listening, taking action, or making buying decisions.
- Organize: This part of your brain wants details, preferably arranged in a systematic way (e.g., linear and
sequential). It also is concerned with safety, reliability, and history. It looks for answers to the question, "How?"
- Personalize: Here, your brain is searching for an emotional connection from the personal who is speaking, or
to the person who is listening. The emotional component is a strong motivating factor, and it needs you to answer
the question, "Who?"
- Strategize: The fourth quadrant looks for the big picture, a vision of the future. It likes to set long-term
goals and explore possibilities. It searches for an answer to the question, "Why?"
People sometimes confuse the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) with other assessments, so let's set the
- The HBDI examines the physiology of your brain to determine thinking preferences and thinking style
- The MBTI — Myers-Briggs Type Indicator — is a psychological assessment that determines one of 16
- The DISC system is a behavior-based assessment that introduces 4 behavioral types associated with personality.
The HBDI is the only assessment based on physiology, rather than psychology, and is considered to be a more objective
indicator of how people think.
How Do I Determine My Thinking Style?
As a result of his brain research, Ned Herrmann developed and pioneered the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI),
an online thinking style survey that is the foundation of all brain-based work. The assessment is scientifically
validated, and is considered to be the premier assessment to determine thinking preferences and thinking styles.
Below are the following types of HBDI assessments available:
- Individual profiles
- Team/Work Group profiles
- Pair or Partner profiles
- Organizational and departmental profiles
In the workplace, understanding thinking preferences underscores the thinking strengths and gaps for you,
your teams and work groups, and forms the basis for more accurate and comprehensive competency modeling.
Whole Brain® Thinking: Workshops & Coaching
Leveraging Your Brain Power — Get Better Results Through Better Thinking
Maximize your thinking style in this interactive workshop that will provide tools and strategies to use your brain
to the greatest advantage as you accomplish work and interact with others.
TeamThink™: Who's On Your Team?
Learn about your own thinking style, and to assess the thinking strengths and gaps of your team or work unit. You'll be able to determine which individuals' brains are best suited for which type of work.
Whole Brain® Coaching
All HBDI assessments include a complimentary coaching session. Additional coaching is available,
following workshops or specific workplace applications.