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Why the HBDI® is not a test

by | Nov 1, 2023

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What is a test?

To get your licence you complete a test.

To see whether you need glasses you complete an eye exam.

To pass a subject at school or university you complete an assessment.

When assessing your leadership abilities, others conduct a 360-degree evaluation of your competencies.

The fundamental difference between these types of ‘tests’ and the HBDI is that in the case of the former, there is an appropriate, right or ideal answer to the question. 

When you complete the HBDI® there is no ideal, right or wrong response – just different responses. 

The HBDI does not evaluate the ways you should think, but identifies the ways you prefer to think. Which, of course, has no ‘right’ answer! 

To learn more about how the HBDI differs from other forms of tests and assessments, click here.

What is the HBDI®?

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) is a scientifically validated Thinking Styles assessment tool. A diagnostic survey consisting of 116 questions, it is designed to identify your preferred approach to emotional, analytical, structural and strategic thinking. It also provides individuals with a significantly increased level of personal understanding.

The HBDI® Profile is available in various formats, including a comprehensive paper package with detailed interpretation, an online version via the Thinker Portal featuring additional learning resources, and a convenient HBDI® App for iOS and Android. These formats allow you to access and apply your HBDI results for personal and business development, exploring topics like stress response and their applications in teamwork, communication, and innovation.

Explore your options here.

Where most assessments end with a single report, the HBDI offers a valuable range of

applications. Identifying your thinking preferences is only the first step.

How does it work?

The HBDI identifies an individual’s degree of preference for each of the four distinct thinking preferences, based on Ned Herrmann’s Whole Brain® Model.

The model evolved from a physiological understanding of our brain, the Whole Brain® Model is actually a metaphor for the way we think and is the basis upon which the HBDI was developed.

The HBDI, through its series of questions, is capable of measuring the degree of preference between each of the four individual Thinking Styles (quadrants) and each of the four paired structures (modes). This results in a four quadrant profile, which displays the degree of preference for each of the four quadrants—your HBDI Profile.

The results you receive are free from value, judgement and cultural bias. Because it is a self-analysis, most people immediately recognise their results as accurate. Experiencing an “A-ha moment”, if you will.

What are the four quadrants of the Whole Brain® Model?

The HBDI is based on the Whole Brain® Model, a conceptual framework illustrating how individuals utilise their cognitive processes. In this model, thinking is categorised into four equally important quadrants, accessible to everyone:

Upper Left Blue A Quadrant: This quadrant specialises in logical, analytical, quantitative, and fact-based thinking.

Lower Left Green B Quadrant: It focuses on details and excels in planning, organising, and sequencing information.

Lower Right Red C Quadrant: This quadrant prioritises feelings and the interpersonal aspects of situations, emphasising emotions and kinesthetic elements.

Upper Right Yellow D Quadrant: Known for synthesising and integrating information, this quadrant adopts a more intuitive and holistic approach to thinking.

Why the HBDI® is an Assessment and Not a Test:

  1. No Right or Wrong Answers: The HBDI is not a test because it does not have right or wrong answers. It is designed to reveal your thinking preferences rather than evaluate your knowledge or skills.
  1. No Ideal Profile: Unlike a test, the HBDI doesn’t prescribe an ideal score or profile. It recognises that there is no universally superior thinking style, emphasising the value of diversity.
  1. Diverse Preferences: The HBDI acknowledges that most individuals have multi-dominant thinking preferences, allowing for flexibility and adaptability in thinking.
  2. Encourages Personal Growth: It serves as a tool for personal development, encouraging you to understand your thinking preferences, identify strengths and weaknesses, and find strategies for improvement.
  3. The HBDI is not a typical test – It’s a Preference-Based Insight Tool: It’s important to clarify that the HBDI is not a conventional test, but rather a preference-based instrument. Instead of assessing your cognitive capabilities, it delves into why you do things, your motivation, key drivers, and thinking preferences.

    This unique approach reveals how you naturally prefer to think, offering a profound understanding of your cognitive style. Therefore, taking the HBDI is not about testing your abilities, but about discovering and embracing your thinking preferences, helping you make more informed decisions aligned with your innate thought processes.

Why You Should Consider Doing the HBDI® Assessment:

  1. No Pass or Fail: You should take the HBDI ‘test’ because, in reality, it is not a test at all. There are no right or wrong answers, so you can’t fail. It’s an indicator of your thinking preferences, not an evaluative assessment.
  2. Insight into Motivation and Preferences: The HBDI assessment provides valuable insight into why you do things, your motivations, key drivers, and thinking preferences. It highlights how you prefer to think, not what you are capable of thinking, helping you better understand yourself.
  3. Leveraging a Large Database: Over 3 million individuals have taken the HBDI, contributing to a substantial database. This allows you to compare your thinking with others, fostering better interactions with colleagues, friends, and family members due to the diversity and differences in thinking.
  1. Unlock the Power of Your Thinking: Taking the HBDI ‘test’ enables you to identify not only your preferences but also areas that may require more effort and energy. It empowers you to use the Whole Brain Thinking Model to develop strategies for overcoming challenges and improving your performance in various aspects of life, such as tackling complex tasks like completing your tax return.

The HBDI is both simple and practical. Completing it is quick and easy, helping you understand your thinking preferences. The Whole Brain® Model embraces diversity in thinking, highlighting that there’s no one “best” way to think. This positive approach helps you uncover what energises or challenges your thinking. 

Whole Brain® Thinking acts as your thinking roadmap, offering self-insight and personal growth. It boosts your self-awareness and helps you understand how your thinking compares to others in your organisation. Ultimately, this understanding enhances your effectiveness at work and makes collaboration smoother.

If you want to learn more about how Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI can help you and your organisation, have a look at how it works here or get in touch and we’ll help you find the right solution.

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