Weekly Training Booster #10: What is the HBDI Assessment?


Explore the HBDI Assessment Tool

Join Andy Palmer and Sarah Garratt in the tenth episode of the Weekly Training Booster. This episode is about ‘What is the H.B.D.I. Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument assessment’. Exploring a number of questions to understand this assessment tool.

You Can Read the HBDI Assessment Episode Transcript Below:

Andy Palmer:

Welcome to MBM’s Weekly Training Booster. We are Weekly Training Booster number 10. This week we’re going to talking about what is the HBDI, Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument. Today I’m joined by my colleague, Sarah, who’s going to ask me some questions to help bring this to life, and I’ll do my very best to answer them. Sarah, thanks for joining us this week. Great to have you here. Let’s start, what’s your questions for me on the HBDI assessment?

Sarah Garratt:

Okay. Thanks, Andy. First question, what is the HBDI assessment?

Andy Palmer:

Good stuff. All right. So the HBDI assessment, or the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument, is a psychometric test that allows people to understand their thinking preferences. And once they can understand their different individual thinking preferences, they can then start to understand and value, become more tolerant of others.

So what we’ve really got here is a metaphoric model of how our brain works, taking into account the left and right hemispheres and the upper and lower parts of our brain. And what the HBDI profile [inaudible 00:01:06] and says is that, each of these four quadrants is responsible for different thinking, decision making and communicating preferences. Now the thing with the HBDI profile is there’s no better or worse profile, there is no right or wrong. What it does, is allow us to start to understand why we have differences and similarities between different people and using this model can be truly powerful for many, many reasons.

Sarah Garratt:

Okay, thank you. And would you say that it was a personality test or not?

Screenshot of WTB video on the HBDI assessment
Andy and Sarah discuss the HBDI assessment tool

Andy Palmer:

No, not at all. So the HBDI profile unlike others, does not measure personality. It also doesn’t measure temperament, it doesn’t measure intelligence, it just purely looks at our preferences to these four different quadrants. And we can use our whole brain and that’s absolutely critical to remember, we just have preferences. Now we can have a preference to what is referred to as the, A quadrant or the blue quadrant and that’s about facts, it’s about understanding logical, analytical, factual, here and now information. If we then continue round and I’ll bring each of these quadrants to life.

So that’s our blue quadrant. If we move down into the green quadrant or the B quadrant, this is about organization, it’s about sequence, it’s about steps and stages. So people with a high degree of preference here, super organized and they can see the steps and the stages required in terms of understanding their individual thinking processes.

We continue around and we move round into the C quadrant, which is the red quadrant, this is about feelings, it’s about people’s interpersonal skills, their communication skills, understanding the needs and the wishes of others is super important to those with a high preference here. And then lastly, we’ve got that D quadrant, the upper right or yellow quadrant.

That’s about holistic, conceptual thinking. It’s not about the here and now, but it’s about synthesizing and integrating with other people in the future and understanding the why of what those thinking preferences are like. So not about personality, more about preferences to thinking and decision-making styles.

Sarah Garratt:

Okay. Thank you. And HBDI profile, in terms of the quadrants, are we able to utilize every quadrant or are we just limited to one specific?

Andy Palmer:

Yeah, it’s a very good question. It’s a very good question because more often than not, when we are introducing the whole brain thinking model, people start to do that pigeon holing thing of you’re red, I’m a yellow, I’m a green in you’re a blue. And the reality is we can use all of our brain. Of course, we can, it’s an incredibly powerful piece of kit.

So in those initial stages of understanding and the initial stages of understanding and getting our head around the profile, people do do that pigeon holing stuff, you’re a blue, you’re a red, you’re a yellow, you’re a green. The reality is we can use all parts of our brain. We just have preferences to maybe 1, 2, 3, sometimes even all four of them. And it’s about understanding the degrees of preference, not then using it as a limiting factor.

Oh sorry, I can’t do that thing, I don’t have a strength or a high degree of preference in a certain quadrant. So we use all of our brain and we should never be limited by the preferences that we’ve got. It’s about embracing them.

Sarah Garratt:

Okay. Thank you. And out of the four quadrants, which quadrants work best together.

Andy Palmer:

Yeah. That’s a good question. I think there’s no simple answer. The reality is we naturally gravitate to and get on with certain people. Now, one of the reasons that could be is because maybe they have a very similar preference to our own. So blues will naturally get on with blues, reds will naturally get on with reds, et cetera. And that’s okay because it’s on the same wavelength. Conversation’s free flowing, thinking processes are very similar.

To take that one step further, I also believe there’s a real strong connection between those that have different thinking preferences. So certainly from a personal relationship point of view, we often find that partners have very different thinking preferences to their counterparts because actually some of those analogies of chalk and cheese and opposites attract kick in, in which case they then compliment each other.

And as they start to build a level of tolerance and understanding for individual differences, they then connect, you compliment each other by maybe strengthening up an area that doesn’t naturally come as well to them.

So yes, certain quadrants get on with certain quadrants, i.e. kind of within the quadrant. But actually also I think people should think broader and wider and allow the different thinking and preferences of others to help compliment their own and to work better alongside each other, by having that level of tolerance and understanding and understanding that people bring different perspectives and opinions and that’s all okay.

Sarah Garratt:

And based around that, in terms of an organization, do you need all quadrants within an organization to make it successful?

Andy Palmer:

I don’t know about making it successful, but I think it would help make it more successful by utilizing a whole brain thinking. And because we have our different preferences, if you’ve then got a team that has balance across all of the quadrants, you might have two people in the green, two people in the yellow, two in the blue, whatever that may look like, then actually you’ve got a real balanced set of thinking going on.

We sometimes see that companies or teams can be limited because maybe they are heavily prioritized or heavily preferenced towards one particular quadrant. In which case they may not naturally think into the other quadrants as easily.

And often people say to me, oh, can we use HBDI as a recruitment tool? Yes you can. And actually, maybe you need to do the opposite of what you would naturally do. When you’re interviewing someone you go, oh, I’ve gotten on really well with them, we seem to think … they feel very natural, very normal, whatever we define normal as.

Actually maybe you should employ the person that you didn’t get on well with, maybe that didn’t communicate in the way you expected them to, maybe didn’t answer the questions in the way you would have liked them to because maybe, just maybe, they’re coming at it from a different quadrant to your own, in which case they add further balance to the team. So having a balance across all quadrants for a team can be just super powerful. Yeah.

Sarah Garratt:

Okay. Thank you. And in terms of when you’re under pressure, do you think it installs change?

Andy Palmer:

They can change. So its part of the questionnaire that you can complete to get your own individual HBDI profile. It also takes into account when you go under pressure, under stress and under duress.

Now some people, and we all witness this, some people have those changes in what we would pass as their behaviors, when they’re under pressure, they might want to go into themselves or they may do the opposite and want to vocalize more. They may become super organized or super unorganized or whatever that may look like.

So yeah, when we’re under pressure we can exhibit different behaviors and also some people stay pretty consistent. So when you see someone under pressure, they just seem to have the same sort of behaviors as they do when they’re not under pressure.

And again, this profile explores that because there is no right or wrong, there is no better or worse, we are who we are. And this profile just helps us to understand that. So yes and no, it is absolutely individually based.

Sarah Garratt:

Okay. Thank you. And as a final thought, can you name a few famous people who’ve completed the test and what quadrant they are?

Andy Palmer:

Yeah. I’m going to answer it a little bit differently. So I’m going to bring to life some of the people throughout history. Now these people haven’t filled out the Herrmann profile because it wasn’t sometimes possible to do that. But we’ve used something called or HBDI, the Herrmann company have used something called pro-former profiling and looked throughout history at some of the stand out people, to help bring potential profiles to life.

So if I was to start with the upper right, the yellow quadrant, that’s about future, we would find maybe the likes of Einstein in there, da Vinci, Picasso, those big visionary thinkers. Those big people that saw beyond and challenged the norm. And people like that tend to sit in there. We often see that these people are kind of inventors or entrepreneurs and that’s typical yellow behaviors.

If we were to come down into the lower right quadrant, the red quadrant. This is about feelings, about people. The likes of mother Teresa or [Gandy 00:09:47] would be in there. Those people who dedicated their lives to caring for others from a very humanitarian point of view. Into our green quadrant, a couple of people come to mind, J. Edgar Hoover. J. Edgar Hoover was instrumental in founding the FBI.

How we look at his profile, I understand his set of thinking preferences, much like Margaret Thatcher, who was coming from a very organizational, sequential step, form points of view. And then coming up to our last quadrant, the blue quadrant. Bertrand Russell, Isaac Newton, big logical, mathematical, philosophical thinkers.

Those people that are the absolute cutting edge of kind of science and understanding logic, rational thinking from a mathematical problem solving point of view. So Bertrand Russell, Issac Newton, would be in the seat in that blue quadrant for me.

I think for me, it’s truly fascinating to look at people throughout history and start to understand where they sat. All with a view to helping people to better understand where they sit in the world and to accept who they are. Because and as I mentioned before, maybe a couple of times, there is no better or worse, there is not a right or wrong.

The HBDI, Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument assessment really just starts to help you understand your own thinking, communicating and decision-making preferences. So thanks for those questions. I hope that I’ve answered them in a way that you wanted to hear the answers, but I think more over it then brings that to life. So thanks, Sarah.

Sarah Garratt:

Thanks, Andy.

Andy Palmer:

All right. And that’s going to conclude our weekly training booster. We are at week 10, we will continue to do that. We’re going to put in the links today. If you are interested and would like to know more about the HBDI profile, where you can find that and similar information, and if you wish to take your profile work, put that link in there so you can explore that as an option as well.

Likewise, any questions or thoughts, please put them in the comments. We’d love to have and continue the conversation around the HBDI profile. So thanks again, Sarah. We’ll maybe see you again in a future video and thanks for watching this week’s MBM Weekly Training Booster.

Sarah Garratt:

Thank you.

Take a look at the HBDI Assessment video on our YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog.

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