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Why take the HBDI® assessment: The HBDI vs other assessment tools

by | Oct 2, 2023

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Assessments play a crucial role in helping individuals and teams gain insight into their cognitive preferences, personality traits, and strengths. Navigating the array of assessments and tests available can be challenging, especially when determining the most suitable one for personal use or implementation within your team. Amidst these options, the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®) distinguishes itself. It goes beyond merely measuring thinking preferences and behaviours; it forges a common language that fosters better understanding and collaboration among team members. In this article, we’ll delve into what the HBDI® assessment is and why you should consider doing it. We’ll also explore how it can be used in the workplace, its unique aspects compared with other assessments, and its role in fostering cognitive diversity.

Here’s a table that provides a comparison of several assessments and tools, outlining their respective areas of measurement:

Assessments/ToolsWhat are we measuring?
HBDI® and Whole Brain® ThinkingHBDI measures an individual’s thinking preferences and provides a scientifically proven method to think through to build a common language.
Predictive Index, Korn-Ferry 4DTalent acquisition
Strong Holland, MAPPPotential occupation
CliftonStrengthsStrength of behaviour
Hogan, HighlanderMy perception vs. others regarding behaviour
DiSCBehaviour in a specific context
EQ, EI 2.0Emotional Intelligence
MBTI, Insights, Big 5Personality style
Predictive Index Behavioural style


What is The HBDI and The Whole Brain® Thinking Model

The HBDI assessment is developed on the Whole Brain® Thinking model. Together, they provide a complete framework for understanding and utilising varied cognitive preferences. This supports a holistic approach to maximising human thinking potential.

The Whole Brain® Thinking model is divided into four quadrants, namely:

  • The A Quadrant – Analytical Thinking: analysis of facts, numbers processing, logical thinking
  • The B Quadrant – Practical Thinking: organising facts, detailed review, planning approach
  • The C Quadrant – Relational Thinking: interpersonal, expressive, intuitive
  • The D Quadrant – Experimental Thinking: big-picture thinking, imaginative, conceptual thinking
The Whole Brain® Thinking Model

The HBDI: How does it work?

To transform and enhance your business using Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI®, you have two different options at your disposal: HBDI Workshops and Becoming HBDI Certified.

HBDI Workshops: For immediate impact, you can schedule a workshop tailored to your group or team, facilitated by an industry expert from our network of Certified Practitioners. These sessions, adaptable for online or in-person settings, are meticulously designed to address your organisation’s specific challenges and opportunities, ranging from 90-minute sessions to full-day engagements.

Professionals taking part in a HBDI workshop to enahnce their leadership skills

Becoming HBDI Certified: Take your commitment a step further by opting for HBDI Certification. Led by highly trained Master Practitioners, this globally recognised program equips you or your team members with the skills to seamlessly integrate Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI into your professional world. Explore our comprehensive online certification program to embark on this transformative journey and become part of our network of thinkers across the world.

Our Learning Modules, led by practitioners, offer focused and practical training experiences for individuals and teams. Whether you’re looking to boost personal development, enhance team dynamics, or elevate leadership capabilities, our modules cater to your specific needs.

  • Whole Brain® Thinking for Personal Development: Tailored for individual growth, these modules cover topics such as Understanding my HBDI and Debriefing 1-on-1, designed for both personal reflection and group learning.
  • Whole Brain® Thinking for Teams: Elevate team performance with modules like Maximising Team Performance and Understanding My Team.
  • Whole Brain® Thinking for Leadership Development: If you’re focused on developing strong leadership and powerful partnerships, these modules provide invaluable insights and strategies to drive leadership capacity and forge impactful collaborations.

Why Should You Consider Doing the HBDI Assessment?

Increased Self-Awareness: 

  • The HBDI® assessment provides deep insights into your thinking patterns, helping you understand your strengths and areas for improvement. For instance, if you discover a preference for analytical thinking, you can leverage this strength in data-driven tasks. Conversely, if relational thinking is your forte, you’ll know how to excel in building emotional connections with others.

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: 

  • Understanding thinking preferences enables smoother communication. If you know a colleague prefers analytical thinking, you can present data-driven arguments, while with a relational thinker, you’ll emphasise emotional aspects. This diverse communication fosters teamwork and collaboration, as everyone feels heard and valued.

Problem-Solving and Decision-Making: 

  • The HBDI® aids in addressing challenges by leveraging diverse thinking preferences. It’s like having a panel of experts with varied backgrounds tackling a complex issue. This diversity leads to more well-rounded and informed decisions.

Individual and Team Development: 

  • The HBDI® acts as a roadmap for personal growth and team development. Individuals can focus on improving their underdeveloped thinking preferences, while teams can optimise performance by diversifying thinking styles.

Improved Problem-Solving Diversity: 

  • The HBDI® ignites creativity by uniting a spectrum of thinkers, much like assembling a group that includes artists, engineers, scientists, and philosophers. This rich blend of thinking styles fosters greater innovation and enhances problem-solving effectiveness.

Comparing the HBDI with Other Assessment tools


  • HBDI focuses on thinking preferences: The HBDI® assessment delves into the core of thinking preferences, identifying four primary quadrants representing analytical, practical, experimental, and relational thinking. It serves as a compass guiding individuals and teams through cognitive diversity.
  • DiSC examines behavioural traits: In contrast, the DiSC assessment is centred around behaviour. It classifies individuals into four profiles based on communication style and reactions to stressors—Dominance, Influence, steadiness, and Compliance. It offers insights into how individuals tend to behave in specific contexts.
  • Understanding versus action: While the HBDI® helps you understand how you and your team think, DiSC provides insights into how you act and interact with others. The former focuses on cognition, while the latter centres on observable behaviour patterns.
  • Discover more tips about how to use the HBDI and DiSC.

HBDI Assessment and CliftonStrengths

  • HBDI – Thinking Preferences: HBDI® is all about thinking preferences and identifies strengths within four thinking quadrants—Logical, Organised, Relational, and Innovative. It equips individuals and teams with a deeper understanding of how they process information and make decisions.
  • CliftonStrengths – Natural Talents: CliftonStrengths, on the other hand, explores natural strengths and talents across 34 themes. It helps individuals uncover their unique gifts and areas for development, fostering personal growth and leveraging strengths in various aspects of life.
  • Thinking versus Strengths: HBDI emphasises thinking preferences and how they contribute to problem-solving and decision-making, while CliftonStrengths emphasises innate talents that can be applied to various domains.
  • Discover more similarities and differences between CliftonStrengths and the HBDI.

HBDI and Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

  • HBDI – Thinking Preferences: HBDI® measures thinking preferences, categorising individuals into four thinking quadrants—Analytical, Practical, Experimental, and Relational. It focuses on how people process information and make decisions.
  • MBTI – Personality Types: MBTI categorises individuals into 16 personality types based on preferences in four areas—Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. It centres on understanding individual personalities and how they interact with others.
  • Cognition versus Personality: HBDI zooms in on cognitive preferences and thinking styles, while MBTI delves into broader personality traits, including how individuals perceive and interact with the world.
  • Learn more about how to use these assessments as complementary tools

HBDI and Insights Discovery

  • HBDI – Thinking Preferences: HBDI® emphasises thinking preferences, revealing individual and team strengths within the Logical, Organised, Relational, and Innovative thinking quadrants.
  • Insights Discovery – Personality Traits: The Insights Discovery test utilises a four-colour model to represent behavioural patterns and adapt communication styles. It uncovers personality traits and communication preferences.
  • Cognitive versus Behaviour: HBDI® focuses on cognitive diversity and thinking styles, while Insights Discovery centres on behavioural traits and communication styles.

HBDI and Predictive Index (PI)

  • HBDI – Thinking Preferences: HBDI® delves into thinking preferences by analysing four thinking quadrants, providing insights into cognitive and work-related tendencies.
  • PI – Behavioural Drives: The Predictive Index assesses workplace behaviours and driving forces, helping organisations match individuals with suitable positions based on their behavioural traits.
  • Cognition versus behaviour: HBDI® offers a comprehensive understanding of thinking preferences and provides tools for practical application, while PI provides insights into workplace behaviour and motivation for better role assignments.

How Can You Use the HBDI Framework at Work?

The HBDI assessment is just the beginning; its true value lies in the Whole Brain® Thinking framework it comes with. This framework creates a common language within your workplace, connecting individuals, teams, and processes. By embedding Whole Brain® Thinking into your organisation, you can enhance communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.

The Whole Brain® Thinking Language

The significance of a common language cannot be overstated, and the Whole Brain® Thinking framework provides precisely that. By creating a reusable baseline language, it amplifies efficiency and mutual understanding among teams and departments, fostering seamless collaboration. What sets the HBDI® apart from other assessments is its unparalleled comprehensiveness; it doesn’t merely scratch the surface but offers a deep and practical language and framework for application. The beauty of the Whole Brain® Thinking framework lies in its versatility, as it becomes a valuable companion not only in your professional endeavours but also in your personal growth journey, ensuring its enduring impact across various facets of life.

Over 2.5 million HBDI assessments have been conducted across the world

With over 2.5 million individuals having embraced the HBDI® assessment, it has become a shared linguistic key that you can carry with you throughout your professional journey and personal life. This invaluable tool empowers you not only to comprehend others better but also to facilitate their understanding of you, fostering more meaningful interactions wherever you go.

In a landscape filled with various assessments and tests, the HBDI® distinguishes itself as a truly exceptional tool. Its primary focus on thinking preferences, coupled with the transformative Whole Brain® Thinking framework, places it in a league of its own. Beyond being a mere assessment, it serves as a key that unlocks doors to enhanced understanding, seamless collaboration, and innovative thinking.

Read the full whitepaper to learn more about the key differentiators between the HBDI assessment and other assessments.

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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