Herrmann’s Whole Brain Model – Maximizing Your Thinking Power

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The whole-brain model generally focuses on how we can use our brain and thinking power with full potential. We prefer different kinds of mental processes of thinking in different tasks.

In the last three decades – due to the vast improvement in technology and neuroscience, we are also able to look up inside the processing and thinking way of the brain.

This theory was also come up with looking into the process of the brain and improving the way of thinking by taking an adequately designed assessment.


What is Whole Brain Model?


Then the developer of whole-brain thinking divides our brain mainly into four parts, which we use for our thinking process. Based on the developer’s data, 5 % of all human beings of earth use only one part of the brain for their thinking process; 58% prefer to use only two parts of the brain, and 34 % use three parts.

But only 3 % of our total population use the entire four parts or complete our brain for thinking. So the researcher has developed a whole-brain concept, through which an individual can learn how to use his whole brain thinking for doing a task like the 3 % of our total population.

William Ned Herrmann proposes the whole brain model while he was working at management education at General Electric’s Hortonville facility.

There, Herrmann was given a task by their management to make their managers more creative thinkers. Due to this, He started researching about the thinking process of the brain. After doing a lot of research, Herrmann developed a theory ‘Whole-brain thinking” over the brain’s thinking style.

Four modes of thinking style

four-models-thinking-style-of-herrmann's-whole brain-model

This Whole-brain thinking brain model suggests that all human beings have four different modes of thinking style that are used by them while learning.

The four dominant modes of thinking according to Herrmann are:-

  • Analytical thinking,
  • Sequential thinking,
  • Interpersonal thinking,  
  • Imaginative thinking.

Every thinking style has its own characteristics and eventually differs from each other.

Analytical thinking

The person who prefers this thinking has high levels of logical thinking. Thus the keywords that are related to these thinking are:-

  • Logical,
  • Technical,
  • Critical,
  • Factual And
  • Quantitative.

The activities that are generally preferred by these thinkers are:-

  • Collection and analysis of data,
  • Understanding how things work,
  • Doing logical reasoning,
  • Analyzing and judging facts.

Sequential thinking

People with this thinking have strong planning with detail. Thus the keywords related to these thinking are:-

  • Planned,
  • Structured,
  • Organized,
  • Detailed.

The activities generally done by these thinkers are:-

  • Solve Problem With Step By Step,
  • Organizational,
  • Implementation,
  • Follow Directions.

Interpersonal thinking

Interpersonal preferred thinkers are great in communication as well as interpersonal skills. Thus the keywords that are related to these thinking are:-

  • Spiritual,
  • Emotional,
  • Kinesthetic Etc.

The activities generally done by these thinkers are:-

  • Group interaction,
  • Listening ideas and expressing ideas,
  • Grow spirituality etc.

Imaginative thinking

Imaginative thinking generally focuses on the future area.

Those who prefer Imaginative thinking are high in holistic and in imagination also.

Thus the keywords related to these thinking are:-

  • Conceptual,
  • Holistic,
  • Innovative, 
  • Visual etc.

The activities that are generally preferred by these thinkers are:-

  • Long term thinking process,
  • Looking at the primary goal of life,
  • Creative problem solving,
  • Taking the initiative etc.

Parts of Brain By Herrmann


Herrmann also describes the model of whole-brain through our cerebral system and Limbic system.

He breaks our brain into four parts through the left and right brain and the Cerebral system and Limbic system.

The four parts are:-

  • Left cerebral and Right cerebral ( upper part of the brain )
  • Left limbic and Right limbic ( lower part of the brain ).

Theory suggests that generally, the upper brain or the Cerebral system controls our intellectual process, whereas the emotional response is controlled by our lower brain or the Limbic system.

So as a result, the Left cerebral is responsible for analytical thinking, and the Right cerebral is responsible for imaginative thinking. The left limbic system is responsible for sequential thinking, whereas the Right limbic system is responsible for interpersonal thinking.

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument ( HBDI )

Based on the whole-brain theory, Herrmann created an assignment – one of the brain’s highest models known as Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument ( HBDI ).

It is generally designed to test which thinking we prefer styles at the time of learning and up to what level we are using the preferred thinking style. Thus The assessment provides you with complete knowledge of your way of thinking.

The HBDI consists of approximately 120 questions that you have to answer to complete the test.

These 120 questions are from different areas of your life, like your hobbies, education, work, logical thinking, feeling, emotions, creativity, and many more.

After completing the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument ( HBDI ), you get to know that from out of four thinking, which thinking style you prefer at what level needs improvement. You can use your four parts of your brain to come up under 3 % of the population in terms of thinking.

What do you get from HBDI Consultation?

consulatation using Whole brain model

HBDI ( Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument ) assessment is a self-development instrument designed so that after completing these 120 questions, you can use your four thinking parts of your brain that is the Whole Brain.

Thus, Herrmann offers his consulting programs through workshops, books, etc. to improve creativity, communication, or other benefits to an individual and a team.

From this assessment, you got to know how you work based on your thinking preference and what can be improved without losing a lot of time.

If you once learn the technique of using all the parts of your brain for the thinking process, you can use it in all the aspects of life, which ultimately improves the efficiency of your learning and productivity.

Business personnel and their team love to use HDBI because they can get much more learning in less time, which creates a win-win situation for this type of professionals.


Herrmann’s whole-brain thinking shows that generally, four types of thinking processes are required to think better. These are Analytical thinking, Sequential thinking, Interpersonal thinking, Imaginative thinking.

Herrmann divides our brain into four parts based on thinking as the Right and Left Cerebral system & Right and Left Limbic system. The four parts are associated with the above four types of thinking processes. To be a better thinker, we should always be able to use all the four parts of the brain, which ultimately makes us more productive.

To make a person more productive, after a lot of research, Herrmann makes an assessment known as HBDI ( Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument ).

After taking the HBDI assessment, An individual finds which part of the brain he is using ideally and which needs to be improved And also suggests ways to use the four parts of the brain more efficiently.

Business people and other professionals always prefer Herrmann’s HBDI due to their insight and knowledge of thinking without losing a lot of time and energy, making them more productive thinkers than before.

Also Read: Metaphorical Thinking – Express Ideas and Solve Problems


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Herrmann's Whole Brain Model,thinking power
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