When you’re most enjoying what you’re doing, where are you on this picture?
The above picture captures the essence of the different modes of thinking or “Thinking Preferences”.
If you spend a minute or two looking through the image you will likely find that some parts of it better describe you than others. And if you start to consider, for instance, someone you work with, where would you place them?
If you can place yourself or others on this image then you have already started to brain profile people in terms of their natural ‘Thinking Preferences”.
So how would you use this information?
Imagine if you could decide how to spend your time in your job or in your personal interests in a way that matches where you see yourself as fitting on this image. Or, put another way, imagine spending less time on activities that match with your least preferred areas. How might your days feel?
For instance, if you have a low preference for routine tasks and structure, perhaps your dissatisfaction with your current job (that requires you to engage in repetitive activities with little or no freedom to change things around you) is revealed right here on this picture.
- You may be doing a job role that does not match your natural thinking preferences.
- And when we spend time in our least preferred areas we tend to be less satisfied with how we spend our time.
Or perhaps consider a work colleague that reports to you:
- Are they spending time on activities that energise them or that suck their energy?
- Perhaps the reasons reveal themselves in the above image?
As their boss or project lead, getting an understanding of your team members’ brain profiles can be a powerful way to identify issues with the make up of your teams.
- Do you have a team that loves to spend time doing detailed planning but who fail to consider all the relevant aspects?
- Or do you have a team that starts well but struggles to deliver on time because they can always see other possibilities to work on?
- Or do you have a team that lacks any people oriented empathy in it?
- Or does your team battle to develop plans in the first place? As though they don’t really see it as important? They know where they’re headed so just launch off on delivery, leaving team members around them unsure of what needs to happen when.
In essence, this is how you use the brain profiling approach of assessing a person’s thinking preferences:
- You understand what your preferred thinking modes are and then work to better match what you do to them.
- Or if you’re looking for a new job you can assess any new role in light of your profile.
- Or you can help match the thinking preferences of others to what they do.
- Or analyse your teams to ensure they have a balanced mix of thinking modes happening.
- Or use it to help team members develop a better understanding of one another … and for that we need a separate section!
Are People Difficult or Different?
This is a huge benefit that comes out of the brain profiles and, for me, has been one of the greatest pay backs:
- In essence, developing an appreciation for who others are and to not see them in a negative light just because you both differ in how you prefer to operate.
Consider for instance who you report to at work:
- Do you have a boss who is a stickler for the rules and with whom you find it difficult to work with because of it? You may consider them obstructive and therefore not easy to deal with.
- But if you look at the above image, you will perhaps see that they are well described by the words on the left side of the image, particularly the upper left corner. Whereas perhaps you are better described by the words in the upper right corner.
- And, if you consider other aspects of their behaviour, over time, you will likely start to see a pattern emerging in many areas of their life that also match these words.
- And the insight that results is that you come to understand that this is just how they see the world:
- Facts (and not assumptions) are important to them.
- They just are, they don’t see the world any other way.
- Going into the detail of a situation is how they understand things and make decisions.
- They likely cannot operate the way you do by assessing a few facts and making a gut instinct decision.
- Facts (and not assumptions) are important to them.
- So, armed with this knowledge, try treating them in the way that they themselves see the world and suddenly you will both find one another a lot more straight forward to work with.
- And you can discuss with them your preferred modes of thinking and that your quicker style of decision making does carry risks but perhaps it has other benefits, e.g. in terms of creating momentum on the project and allowing your team to make quicker progress towards the client’s goals.
- Over time, you will learn to understand the pattern of behaviours that you each engage in and, eventually, you will stop seeing each other as ‘difficult’, rather just ‘different’. And you will start to understand how to better work together.
- To arm yourself with this information though you need to determine the brain profiles of yourself and anyone else you interact with. Read on for how to do this.
A similar scenario has probably come up in your life if you are a parent:
- Do you feel you just don’t understand the way your child chooses to do things?
- Do they feel that you just don’t understand them? Yeh, of course …
- As examples:
- Perhaps you always studied in absolute silence whereas they want music on in the background?
- Or you grew up with just one or two special friends and you don’t understand your child’s need to be part of massive social group?
- Or you want them to hang their blazer up after school yet they don’t seem overly concerned and are happy to drape it over a chair (if you’re lucky …)
- You always made detailed study notes on countless pages yet they seem happy with some mind maps?
- Well, there are many things happening to our children as they grow up but many of life’s every day disagreements can come from not understanding that perhaps your child just thinks differently to you.
- And perhaps that’s OK and is not going to wreck their school career.
- And perhaps they understand that this is just your natural way of thinking and that you’re not quite the inflexible ogre that they first thought.
- So, one great use of the brain profiles is to help parents and children develop a mutual understanding of one another as a means to creating a more productive and harmonious environment in the home.
- Put another way … through understanding, comes insight. And from insight comes new perspectives that can dramatically change the landscape of your relationship. Brain profiles can provide that initial understanding.
A brief summary of why to assess your own thinking preferences or that of others is summarised below:
- As a child:
- Do my subject choices align with my thinking preferences?
- I am thinking of working in a particular job, is it something that likely aligns with my thinking preferences?
- I’d like to better understand why I prefer to learn in the ways that I do.
- I’d like for parents / guardians / teachers to have some insights into how I naturally think and like to learn.
- As an adult:
- I’d like to get insights in how well my current job matches my thinking preferences.
- I’m thinking of a new job and would like a framework to help me understand how well the new job might match my thinking preferences.
- I would like to better understand a work colleague so we can work better together.
- I would like to understand the different profiles of my team members so I can better select and balance my teams.
- I would like to improve understanding and tolerance between my team members.
- I’d like to understand why a current team is perhaps not delivering as well as they might.
- I need to split a set of work tasks between two people and would like to do so in a way that better matches their thinking preferences.
- I’m considering a new recruit into my company / team, how should I best work with them.
And there are many more reasons that you will come up with over time!
How Do I Get My Profile Or That of Others?
Brain Profiles are determined by asking you to select multiple choice answers to a series of questions in an online, paid for, assessment. The questionnaires and Brain Profile document that you receive have been developed by Dr. Kobus Neethling and are offered through his company Solutions Finding and access to the questionnaire is obtained by purchasing a ‘Profile Code’.
Profile Codes can be purchased from the Chameleon Brain website by clicking the icon to the right and I offer them off this site as an accredited Brain Profiling Practitioner.
Note, brain profiles can be determined using the questionnaire for children from 10 years of age and older through to adults. As each age group has different life experiences and language comprehension abilities, there are differently worded question sets available that suit the different age groups. So make sure you purchase a code for the correct age group!
And the questionnaire and Brain Profile documents are available in multiple languages: Afrikaans, Belgium-Flemish, Belgium-French, Brazil-Portugese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, IsiZulu, Portugese, Serbian, Setswana, Spanish and Xhosa.
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And Finally, Got A Question? Contact Me!
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The NBI Brain Profiling assessment and associated literature / logos are copyright of Dr. Kobus Neethling and his company Solutions Finding and are used on the Chameleon Brain website with permission and much gratitude 🙂