Friday, November 11, 2005

Brain Quadrants and Thinking Styles

Have you wondered why some of the people you work with just don't seem to get things that are blindingly obvious to you?

One possible explanation is that their preferred style of thinking is diametrically opposed to yours.

The Whole Brain Business Book by Ned Herrmann suggests that there are four core thinkng styles based on four distinct parts of the brain.

You've probably read about Roger Sperry's Nobel prize winning experiments which showed that the left and right sides of the brain have distinct and complementary functions.

Herrmann takes Sperry's idea further by also distinguishing between brain functions located in the cortex and and those based in the limbic system. The cortex is a relatively new part of the brain in evolutionary terms; the limbic system evolved much earlier.

Herrmann classifies brain functions within a four part (quadrant) model depending on whether they are located on the left or right, and in the cortext or limbic system.

According to Herrmann, we have personal preferences for one or more quadrants. These preferences have profound effects on how we think, learn and interact with others.

Our preferences can be modified by practice, and the book suggests activities that you can use to develop the functions of each quadrant.

The book includes a simple guide that helps you to establish your own preferences, and explores the consequences of different thinking styles.

I found something of value in each chapter but I was most excited by Whole Brain Products and Whole Brain Training and Development.

If you're interested in how you think, learn or work with others, this book offers a fascinating and thought-provoking model for you to explore.