HBDI, Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, HBDI Training

 Make a Clear Case for Supporting Learners – comes from the Free Guide – ‘Are You Annoyed by How Little Line Managers Support the Skills Training of Their Teams?’

At MBM, we have used the Hermann Brain Dominance Index tool for over a decade. The tool is basically a psychometric test, like Myers-Briggs, Jigsaw, or Thomas International. The reason we favour HBDI ® is because it is easy for Learners to grasp at the beginning, and has a series of deeper levels that Learners can discover as they progress.

In essence, HBDI ® measures someone’s thinking preference. We can think in all 4 quadrants, however we usually prefer to think in 1 quadrant. A simple version of the HBDI ® model is shown to the right:

The guys at HBDI ® refer to it as ‘Selling to the whole brain’. We suggest that you do this when you engage your Line Managers about their support for Learners. Whether it’s a presentation, discussion, or any other format, the basis of the ‘sell’ is as follows:

HBDI Quadrants Image - MBM Training Provider
Blue Quadrant – Facts

‘Line Manager support has been proven to deliver a 5.45-times return on investment’ (The actual study was about external coaches, but this could be legitimately transferred to a Line Manager scenario).

Yellow Quadrant – Future

‘By not supporting your Learners through their learning, ultimately you could be holding back your team because ‘if you are not moving forwards, you are going backwards’’.

Green Quadrant – Form

‘Discussing development with your Learners can take place in your 121’s, so please add it to your 121 agenda.’

Red Quadrant – Feeling

‘By not supporting your team, they’ll feel as though the time they put into their training is not valued and is a waste of time.’


Sell to the whole brain by ensuring that your presentation, email, or conversation includes communication that appeals to all 4 quadrants.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.

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