IN TOUCH : Understanding your way of thinking

Whatever your views on personality profiling, left-side right-side brain theories or introvert/extrovert, thinker/doer etc, there is no avoiding the fact that people think and communicate in different ways.
And whether we are conscious of it or not, communication (which is vital in building and managing successful teams) comes down to how we think.
Learning about how we think as individuals, and recognising that colleagues thought process can be vastly different, can help us to build complete picture of any situation and ensure all aspects are considered.
“Business has traditionally honoured thinking from the left side of the brain [conceptualising and interpersonal] but now there’s strong shift to appreciating right brain thinking [feeling, interpreting] more. The pendulum is shifting,” says Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (pictured), head of Hermann International – United States company founded on the principles of whole brain thinking.
She recently visited New Zealand to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary and to touch base with the New Zealand office.
The company was founded by her father, Ned Hermann, who began his study of the brain in the field of business when employed as General Electric’s manager of management education. physicist by education, Hermann’s resulting tool (whole brain thinking) has been used worldwide to profile individuals’ learning and thinking styles and preference in accordance with brain research.
Herrmann-Nehdi says thinking management is more relevant today than it has ever been.
“The constant influx and barrage of information we get deluged with day-to-day makes it essential that we become more conscious of how we each think and leverage the brain power we have available to us. For most organisations, the real ROI is not just return on investment – it is return on intelligence.”
She believes ‘whole brain’ analysis can help organisations recognise the thinking preferences of their staff, ensure all angles are covered by teams and help colleagues communicate and work more effectively together.
“It’s useful snapshot of how people like to think—the ‘Swiss army knife’ of assessments,” she says.
The good news, Herrmann-Nehdi says, is that there are no right or wrong answers in whole brain thinking, and there are no types of people who shouldn’t work together.
“Difference in thinking preference provides the basis for more creative and efficient thinking. But, for that to occur, there must be an understanding and value for the differences on both sides.”
She says discovering your own preferred thinking patterns and recognising the gaps is vital.
“Use that knowledge to more effectively plan your work, communication, problem solving and personal interaction. Ask questions of others you work with to elicit clues of their preferences so you can best respond to their needs versus treating them as you would like to be treated.
Wayne Goodley, the director of Herrmann in New Zealand, says local companies have embraced the science with Telecom, Air New Zealand, Westpac, Parliamentary Services, Departments of Conservation and Education, Zespri, Nestlé, Frucor, and Microsoft among those to have used the product.

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