Whole Brain Thinking

On Monday, July the 7th, the NTBT hosted a presentation by Julie Varney at NMIT on “Whole Brain Thinking” and thinking preferences. Julie is the director of the Business Development Company, a Nelson company that provides training on productive communication in the workplace.

Julie began her talk by asking the audience to choose from sets of cards which had character traits printed on them. They were to choose those that they felt best represented themselves. The audience then shared their choices with the rest of the group along with brief explanations of why they chose those traits. The purpose of the exercise was to allow individuals to gain insight into their preferred methods of thinking and to demonstrate that not everyone else tends to think in the same way.

Julie then presented the Herrmann Whole Brain Thinking model which divides people’s thinking preferences into 4 main branches: the Rational Self, the Experimental Self, the Safekeeping Self, and the Feeling Self. Most people tend do think along the lines of only one or two of these selves at any given time. This is important because humans are creatures of habit and tend to look for patterns as they encounter and interact with the world. Hence we tend to make assumptions based on limited data and those people who tend to think differently may make different assumptions based on the same information.

Julie then went on to explain the importance of having teams of diverse thinkers. You want to have strong Rational, Experimental, Safekeeping, and Feeling people working on problems together to achieve the best solutions. However, teams of diverse mindset also tend to be those with the most conflict. Realizing that people perceive the word differently can help to alleviate these issues and allow your team to be more productive. The presentation was concluded after a brief question and answer session.