Whole Brain Thinking (HBDI) Team Building Workshop Design - help!

Written by Anne Marie Crowley on 27 October 2016

Dear esteemed colleagues in the TJ Forum, 

I am conducting a one-day workshop on HBDI (Whole Brain Thinking) with the focus of the day being interpersonal relationship building within a Technical Services Management Team.  

I am hoping some of you have experience in designing training workshops for the HBDI and if so, what advice you have for me and/or ideally, fingers crossed, you might have some materials or point me in the direction of materials.  I have completed the profile and related online training, so I think I fully understand the HBDI itself. I am also currently reading the book behind the concept: The Whole Brain Business Book. I am experienced in conducting this type of training workshop on other self-awareness assessments such as Insights, DiSC and MBTI so have quite a lot of materials from there.  I am just hoping that one of you guys has direct experience, is maybe a Practitioner on HBDI, and would not mind sharing your advice and/or materials.  

Thanking you in advance, Anne Marie

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Hilary Cooke

Submitted on 1 November, 2016 - 09:36

Hi Anne Marie

You are always so generous with everyone else that I can't let you go unanswered! I don't know this particular model in any depth, but I had a bit of a mooch around the internet - (so in case you are "blue" then that's the extent of my experience and I must have quite a lot of red then - to be driven to respond and keep the connections alive?)

​As they are a technical services team, I am making an assumption, though hopefully not a stereotyping one, that it will be appreciated if it is a practical application and workshop?

My interest is not so much in what the team has - but what they might be missing. Or the areas where they find it quite easy to dial up and those where they don't, but it might be helpful if they did. So I wondered if you could set up a scenario-based activity where they discuss a particular topic in the round. Before they do it, task them to create a few key questions that each type might ask for example in the blue / fact quadrant we might ask:

    What are the facts?
    What data is available?
    What is really needed to make this work?
    What are the financial implications?
    What is the precedent?

Then you could have some fun switching from one colour to another within the group while they discuss a situation or topic. So either assign the questions to a person, or strut around directing "go green" or "now go yellow". Or do coloured hats Debono- style. (Another way could be in pairs with a deck of cards that they play at random - Resli-style.) 

My hunch is that they might find that to be a helpful habit to take back to the workplace and decide that they want to keep those questions handy - because they will be asking a variety that suits all types and not just their dominant ones.

Just a thought and hope it helps - happy to add more if it sparks a thought - but knowing you you will be running already.


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Submitted on 2 November, 2016 - 10:08

Thank you  Hilary and also for all your advice and support off-line.  I will definitely be going with your idea of scenarios and playing to the different brain thinking perspectives, I love your questions and happy to playgerise!

One question I do have is how useful are these tools such as HBDI, Insights, Myers Briggs, DiSC etc... I am beginning to find them just a little bit dull and even a little annoying and I used to love them.  I find they are valuable as an exercise to open one's eyes to diversity of personality and perspective in the world during any type of training workshop however, I am now beginning to question the validity of it all beyond that.  So  any kind of self-awareness and team based awareness activities that explore diversity, decision-making and perspective, are useful here and can be merged with the tool being used whether it's HBDI or Insights.  

Thank you again and for your kind support.

Anne Marie