How can I improve teamwork?

The most important factors of communication, mutual respect, and the division of tasks

What is the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® used for?

We are all unique in our own way: in the way we think, interpret, communicate, and act. That’s a good thing. So, when we meet people that match our own style of thinking, it’s easy to connect with each other. We somehow feel like we’re on the same wavelength, and everything is easy when we’re working together – but what happens if important aspects go unrecognised and therefore fall by the wayside?

It gets interesting when we’ve got to deal with someone who ticks differently. In the best case, we enjoy getting to know a different perspective. Perhaps we can then add this new perspective to our own thoughts, ideas, and presentations. Or we can refine plans by incorporating questions that we had not thought of before. But how can I know which of these unknown thoughts to bring to the forefront?

In the worst case, however, we don’t find the questions or remarks helpful at all, and we react by getting annoyed or impatient. We feel misunderstood, and perhaps unappreciated. Tensions arise between people in such cases, whether in teams or in companies, and this can be a great hinderance when it comes to teamwork, team performance, or innovation. Yet even in communicating with patients, clients, and partners, we easily miss the opportunity to make our style of thinking heard and to benefit from the preferences of others. So, how can we utilise diversity?

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument®, or HBDI®

The HBDI provides an answer to these questions. It’s a questionnaire that is structured to work out when we prefer certain ways of thinking to others. The answers result in four large groups that summarise our thinking preferences in an easy-to-understand way.

HBDI®’s four quadrants

As a result, you can see your own profile, and it becomes clear why you always ask the questions that you do. Or, why you always use certain sayings or phrases. You suddenly realise why a chaotic workplace isn’t a problem for you personally, but it’s really annoying for your colleague next to you. You learn to adjust to your colleagues better. This does not mean, however, that the goal is to change or “improve” yourself. It’s about putting a communication tool into your professional toolbox that can be used when you need it.

Once you’ve learned about your own preferences, you can create your own courses of action:

  • I would have packed an important message into a vivid metaphor, but I realise my colleague is asking for numbers/data/facts and I don’t have them ready yet.

    An example: A CEO would like to inspire his partner for one of their new ideas – in a joint conversation, he draws a great image of the customer space, the logo, and the world of colours. But his partner doesn’t agree with everything that’s been said: “Can you not be concrete for once and clearly say what we are going to do, how much it will cost, and what turnover you expect?” Both want the same thing, but their preferences are different. If they both understood each other’s thinking styles, they could adjust their communication so that they could work together effectively regarding this innovation.

  • Conversely, if I were very detail-oriented and enjoyed processes and making things happen, I would prepare for all eventualities and approach my audience with a very precise presentation.

    An example: A doctor would like to clarify something particularly well to their patient and has prepared all the details well. There are graphics and even a video that you could watch on the Internet before the explanation. But his counterpart is only interested in one question: “Who will take care of my wife during my examination because she is incredibly worried?” As a result, the details are not important at all.


Our uniqueness is no coincidence. Rather, it follows certain patterns. Knowing these patterns yourself facilitates the better understanding of others’ preferences, but also the opportunity to consciously adjust to them. This makes it easier to deal with superiors that are perceived as “difficult,” to work together with colleagues more effectively, to approach management professionally with the suitable tools, and to clearly communicate messages. Interested? Send me a message for more information! Your message für mehr Informationen!