Whole Brain® Thinking in Action: Software Development Walk-Around

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Here at Herrmann International one of our key fundamentals is that we try to "eat our own cooking" and use Whole Brain® Thinking in our own work. This post is part of a series where some of our team members talk about some ways they use Whole Brain® Thinking for their day-do-day work.

This post is by our Lead Software Engineer, Andrew Swerlick.

At first glance, software development might not seem like a job that involves a lot of day-to-day Whole Brain® Thinking. After all, a lot of what our team does seems like it's firmly situated in the technical, analytical A quadrant. Sure, we do have to collaborate with other internal teams on product design, requirements gathering, etc., but when it get to the point where our developers put their fingers to the keyboard and start writing code, all the other quadrants go away, right?

When I first started at Herrmann a couple of years ago, I probably would have said yes. But recently, our development team has adopted some practices that are showing me the value of writing Whole Brain® code.

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No More Snoozers: How to Lead an Effective Meeting

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In Verizon Conferencing’s “Meetings in America” study, 91% of meeting attendees admitted to daydreaming during meetings. Nearly 40% of the respondents said they’ve taken a nap during a meeting. Are people sleeping through your meetings?

With attention at a premium in today’s world, keeping people engaged, even when they’re sitting right in front of you, is one of the biggest challenges you face when leading a meeting. If they’re not literally asleep, your participants might be texting, checking their emails or just generally tuned out. Telling people to put away their phones isn’t the answer. Making your meetings more effective is.

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The Verdict Is In: Performance Reviews Are Out

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Is it time to hop off the performance review train?

More and more companies are moving away from the traditional approach to performance management to one of continuous feedback. It’s partly a response to a growing desire among employees, particularly Millennials, for regular feedback and check-ins about performance. But it’s also due to the general consensus of managers and employees alike that the tried-and-true performance review process hasn’t really done the job it was intended to do.

Along with this shift, a whole host of new tools and systems for managing the feedback process has been introduced. In fact, we’ve been working with North Highland on integrating the HBDI® into a feedback app called Culr, which brings feedback and thinking styles together for an all-in-one approach to real-time development and performance management. 

As helpful as these new tools are, though, technology can’t do all the work for you. Effective feedback and performance review discussions still require the human-to-human connection of manager and employee. Regardless of what else changes, you can’t take the people out of the process.

So what has changed? In many ways, this is a move from performance management as an event and a “verdict” to continuous coaching, which is less about the past and more focused on the future and the necessary adjustments that need to be made along the way.

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The Future of Employee Assessments: Integrating Diagnostics, Insights and Application

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The world of learning and development is changing at an unbelievably rapid pace. From artificial intelligence to augmented reality, some of the concepts and mechanisms that, on the surface, might seem “out there” are actually already gaining traction in today’s learning environments. And like that rearview mirror warning, innovations of the future are closer than they appear.

It’s an exciting time to be working on innovations around learning, to say the least. One area that we’ve been focused on in particular is the future of thinking-based employee assessments and how they fit into the process of building insights that can be applied to everyday business issues. Our London-based innovation lab is looking at everything from the way people communicate to how they use social media to the way they play games and use technology.

We connected up recently with Ann Herrmann-Nehdi (CEO of Herrmann International / Herrmann Global), Karim Nehdi (Global Head of Innovation), and Danny Stanhope (Applied Data Scientist and Psychometrician) for a wide-ranging discussion about the evolution and future of assessments in light of new directions in learning, new technological advances and new learner expectations. Here are some highlights from that conversation.

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How Great Sales Coaches Build Smart Game Plans

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Sales leaders often tell us that coaching is one of the most important developmental tools they have for helping sales reps improve performance. Good sales coaching can have a direct impact on motivation, commitment and goal attainment. But many organizations aren’t realizing those benefits.

One reason? Too many sales managers are being put into coaching roles without a workable game plan.

In the sales world, coaching and development strategies often focus on behaviors, specifically, changing behavior. And behaviors are important. But the problem is, this approach tends to ignore the thinking that drives behavior. How someone behaves is situational and can be affected by many external factors—just consider all the variables and external pressures a salesperson can have to deal with on a daily basis.

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35 Thinking Tips and Applications to Celebrate Brain Awareness Week

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Since March 13-19 is Brain Awareness Week (BAW), we thought it was the perfect time to compile a few of our favorite thinking-related tips and “brain hacks”—some “collected intelligence,” so to speak. And since we’re celebrating our 35th anniversary this year, we had a nice number to shoot for as we put together our list.

Start celebrating Brain Awareness Week with the 7 tips below, and then be sure to download the full list (at the end of this post) of 35 tips and ideas shared by our global network of HBDI® Practitioners and colleagues.

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9 Tips for Becoming a Master Negotiator (Guest Post)

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This guest post is by Andy Palmer of Making Business Matter (MBM). MBM is a training provider to companies that supply the big 4 UK supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. Andy is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner.

The UK grocery industry is tough. Companies are made and broken each day by the deals that are won and lost with the buyers. But our clients have discovered a key strategy for achieving a win-win: knowing their thinking preferences and understanding the thinking preferences of those they’re negotiating with.

A Whole Brain® approach to negotiation can be extremely useful in helping you get the deal that you want. Follow these 9 Whole Brain® Negotiation Tips to build your confidence, become a more effective negotiator and win more frequently.

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Tune In: 9 Podcasts to Stretch Your Thinking

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The right podcast can turn an annoying commute or another trip around the treadmill into something you eagerly look forward to.

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than tuning out to a little mindless entertainment. But you can also find plenty of of practical, inspiring and thought-provoking content to stimulate your mind and broaden your horizons. And that got us thinking...why not choose a few podcasts that can help us stretch our thinking and develop new learning habits?

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Watch Now: Think Like Your Future Depends On It, Because it Does

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For most of our lives, we’ve been told that to be a success you need to become an expert. Find your sweet spot—what you’ll major in, your career path, what you’ll be when you “grow up”—and then get great at that one special thing you do.

But industries are evolving faster than ever. Specializations are becoming outdated. Single-mindedness is closing us off from opportunity. The question is, how can you become future ready when “what you know” won’t necessary apply and, in fact, might be blocking your view and ability to learn?

Sometimes it takes a big, “aha” moment to answer that question. In her new TEDx Talk, Think Like Your Future Depends On It, Because it Does (below), Ann Herrmann-Nehdi opens up about an intense moment in her life that changed everything—and how that changed everything else.

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Buying is About Thinking: How to Get Inside Your Customer’s Head

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All through your life, you’re making all kinds of decisions. And whether consciously or not, you make those decisions by following a personal decision-making process—one that has developed over the years and become a consistent pattern that is grounded in your thinking preferences.

The buying decision, like any decision someone makes, is also directly related to the way a person thinks. It only stands to reason, then, that if you can get inside your customer’s head and have a better understanding of how they think—what they focus on, what catches their attention and how they got through the process of thinking through a decision—then you’ll be way ahead of the game when you’re in a selling situation.

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