Sunday, June 29, 2008

What colour is your Brain?

I attended a Management Training recently where I was told what colour is my brain. It was a very interesting exercise and gave some real good insights. Basically you have to fill in a 30-45 min questionnaire to get the results. You can look it up on the net and take the test, but its not free. However, this is what i was able to extract from different sources available on the internet. If you know the concept, you can broadly understand how your brain works and benefit from that understanding.

Hermann's Whole Brain Model

People learn in many different ways. The brain is the source of who we are and how we learn. According to the Whole Brain Model from Ned Herrmann, each person basically has four brains when it comes to the process of thinking and learning. Depending on which quadrants we engage, our learning processes can be very different.

Brain dominance leads to thinking style preferences, which impact what we pay attention to and how and what we learn best. Each of these four "brains" or quadrants is listed below with words that typically characterize a person who uses that thinking style.

The Whole Brain Model is a mental model that describes thinking preferences. These are the ways of thinking that satisfy us the most and seem natural for us at this point in our lives. These ways of thinking can change, often as a result of significant emotional experiences, life transitions and other important insights. Thinking preferences describe the patterns of what we prefer to pay attention to and what we don't prefer to pay attention to.

Thinking preferences can be different than our skills or the content of our work or our behavior, depending upon the situation. When we think or function differently than our preferences, even if we have excellent skills, it's more likely that we'll find it somewhat uncomfortable and consuming more of our energy.

The four thinking styles in the Whole Brain Model are:

  1. BLUE - Logician/ Theorist (The Rational Self) - Analytical, mathematical, technical and problem solving. These are people who like lecture, facts, and details, critical thinking, textbooks and readings, etc. The brain dominance for theorists is the upper left (cerebral).
  2. GREEN - Organizer (The Safekeeping Self) - Controlled, conservative, planned, organized and administrative in nature. These are people who prefer to learn by outlining, checklists, exercises and problem solving with steps, policies and procedures. People with these preferences have lower left (limbic) brain dominance.
  3. RED - Communicator / Humanitarian (The Feeling Self) - Interpersonal, emotional, musical, spiritual and the "talker" modes.: Prefer cooperative learning and group discussion, role-playing, and dramatization. Their brain preference is lower right (limbic)
  4. YELLOW -Visionary / Innovators (The Experimental Self) - : Imaginative, synthesizing, artistic, holistic and conceptual modes. Innovators prefer brainstorming, metaphors, illustrations and pictures, mind mapping and synthesis, and holistic approaches. The brain dominance for innovators is upper right (cerebral).

A Rational Self

knows how things work,
knows about money,
likes numbers,
is realistic,
is critical,
is logical,

D Experimental Self

is curious/plays,
likes surprises,
breaks rules,
is impetuous takes risks

B Safekeeping Self

is neat,
is reliable,
gets things done,
establishes procedures,
takes preventative action

C Feeling Self

talks a lot,
is emotional,
is expressive,
is supportive,
touches a lot,
likes to teach,
is sensitive to others

You may see yourself in more than one quadrant. The research indicates that people may use more than one style primarily. In fact, a majority of people has at least two primary quadrants. Each person can have primary preferences (areas of the brain he/she goes too easily and enjoys), secondary preferences (areas of the brain that can be and are accessed when necessary) and tertiary preferences (areas a person may have difficulty accessing or may even avoid). You also don't need to identify with everything in the quadrant to have some strength there. People have varying degrees of dominance in the quadrants.

So readers, what do you think is the dominant colour of your brain?

At the core of the most recent book of Ned Herrmann, lies his belief that the functioning of the human brain is driven by a four-quadrant interconnected set of mental processing modes. These four thinking styles, says Herrmann, originate in the brain's left and right cerebral hemispheres, and in the left and right half limbic systems, each resulting in significantly different and distinct behavioral characteristics in human beings. How this complex brain interaction determines thinking mode dominance and thinking style preferences, and how individuals and organizations can benefit from such understanding, are the main themes of Herrmann's book. Hermann's work is widely used by training and development specialists. The Whole Brain Model supersedes "left brain/right brain" thinking in earlier models. Also it has advanced new concepts of thinking research and their applications in business settings. Dominant thinking in one of the four thinking styles, causes the development of thinking preferences. Then these thinking preferences establish our interests, foster the development of competencies, and influence our career choices and ultimately our work. Argues Herrmann.

Disclaimer – This Information has been collected from all (internet) sources in the public domain.


Sue said...

ok, this is way I can take this test for free?

Paradox Phillic said...

Well..i dont think so. However you can use this information to decipher which thinking style are you, Broadly!!

Assess which type of questions you ask the most.
- Blues ask WHAT
- Yellows ask WHY
- Greens ask HOW
- Reds ask with WHOM

Hope this helps :)

Stupidosaur said...

I heard brain has grey matter and white matter. So I presumed it must be 'black and white'.

But aaah! Technology advances!