To Communicate Effectively, Use the Whole Brain
Whether you are a physician leader, an entrepreneur, or a physician business person, your success will be largely determined on how well you can communicate your ideas. I know this is a bold statement, but it’s true. The first step to improving your effectiveness is understanding your OWN communication preference? Notice I didn’t say style, I said preference. How do YOU prefer to take in information? What gets YOUR attention? Do you prefer a brief, get-to-the-point report? Do you like drawings and diagrams in order to “get the big picture?” Do you need some quantitative date in order to believe what you hear? Would you feel better if you could try out the idea or product yourself “hands on”?
Your response to each of these questions will give you a hint about your where you fall in what author Ned Hermann’s “Whole Brain Model”. He categorizes our preferences into these four:
For each of us, one of these four perspective most naturally reflects where we place OUR attention, and therefore affects our decisions and our satisfaction. Review each of the four quadrants below and decide what your preferential perspective is:
A: FACTS – You tend toward logical, analytical, fact-based, quantitative perspectives.
In a project team you gravitate to financial data, costs vs.. benefits, comparative analysis of different options, support requirements, how the underlying technology or method works
B: FUTURE – You tend toward holistic, intuitive, integrating synthesizing perspectives.
In a project team you gravitate to concepts, strategy, how it relates to organizational vision; you are attracted by the experimental or risk aspects, and how the project fits with long range trends
C: FORM – You tend toward sequential, organized, detailed and planned perspectives.
In a project team you gravitate to project tasks and timeline, appropriate resources, schedules for tasks, completion of milestones before proceeding to the next step
D: FEELINGS – You tend toward interpersonal, feeling-based, kinesthetic and emotional perspectives.
In a project team you gravitate to group dynamics, adequate and fair input from team members, consensus building, the affect of the project on organizational culture
Most of us will have a “primary” quadrant where we feel most at home, a secondary quadrant that we can easily “get into”, and our blind spot quadrant, that requires deliberate effort on our part to attend to. One way of identifying our blind spot is to substitute the phrase “tend to forget” for the words “gravitate to”. If you “tend to forget” group dynamics, organizational culture and feelings, then Quadrant D is probably NOT your preference.
I started out by talking about communication and success. How can you use the Whole Brain Method to improve your communication? One rule: Communicate to all four quadrant-types whenever you lead a meeting, address a group of clients, pitch a business plan, or update the executive team. For Quadrant A’s, be sure to include facts and figures, for Quadrant B’s, draw the big picture to represent your concept, for Quadrant C’s, be methodical and logical in how you arrive at your conclusion, and for Quadrant D’s, include a story or demo that illustrates the personal interaction or impact on culture.