Whole Brain Thinking for Businesspeople: Frequently Asked Questions

Whole Brain Thinking for Businesspeople Frequently Asked Questions

Your whole brain is at work. Although it sounds like an insult one colleague might give to another during stressful times, it is actually a reference to integrated thinking that very few employees practice. This refers to William Herrmann’s whole-brain thinking concept. The concept of Hermann may raise questions about its benefits for employees and businesses. Below are the answers.

What is the basis of this concept?

This concept is based upon the belief that people have different thinking styles, which can affect how they interact with one another, solve problems, plan, and so forth. These different thinking styles can be used in a business setting to contrast or work together under integrated thought, which is a common practice for management development.

What are the different styles of thinking that this concept can identify?

Based on the results from the Herrmann Brain dominance Instrument (HBDI), which measures individuals’ thought preferences, the concept identifies four types of thought.

* Analytical Thought: This refers to logical reasoning and the use of facts.
* Sequential Thought – Prefers organization and detail-oriented work.
* Interpersonal Thought – Favors sensory input, personal meaning.
* Imaginative Thought: Prefers to think metaphorically and plan ahead.

Left-brained people are known for their ability to think in a sequential and analytical way. Right-brained people are known for their ability to think creatively and interpersonally.

Which techniques can be used to combine the styles?

There are many ways to integrate the different thinking styles into whole-brain thinking. These techniques can be used to develop management skills:

* Opposite Functions: Thinking in foreign ways.
* Sensory Immersion: Engage your senses in the process of ideation
* Note Taking: Using colored pencils or blank paper to take notes
* Different Positions – Working in different positions for a short time

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These strategies help employees and managers to maintain and initiate integrated thinking.

What are the benefits of integrated thinking for businesses?
In many ways, integrated thinking is a benefit to businesses. One advantage of integrated thinking is that employees with integrated thinking are less likely to have disagreements. This makes the process of strategic planning easier and helps improve morale at work. Because they are able to adapt their thinking style to suit the job, integrated thinkers can be easier to match for jobs.

What training is available for integrated thinking in businesses?

Employers can learn integrated thinking skills by having a facilitator who has been trained in this area. Although the training does not take place in one session, the facilitator’s recommendations are taken home and used in smaller training sessions.


William Herrmann, who was General Electric’s manager of management education, developed whole-brain thinking. The concept is now used in a variety of training applications to improve communication, strategic planning, morale, and overall productivity in businesses. Contact a provider of management and employee development resources for more information on integrated thought styles.



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