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Telecom receives brain award

30 Nov 2011

The debatable division of brain function into left and right hemispheres has become standard fare in popular psychology.

Now, Telecom has joined Microsoft and IBM in being awarded a prize for its adoption of ‘whole brain’ thinking, which posits the idea that the brain is divided into four ‘quadrants’.

The company utilised the concept in its retail business and contact centres, to help identify customers’ thinking preferences. 

Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, of Whole Brain advocates Herrmann International, says the system is used by 90% of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies. Other New Zealand adopters include Air New Zealand and Fonterra.

"By applying the Whole Brain framework across learning initiatives, processes and customer interactions, Telecom has shown how you can use better thinking to turn customer service into loyalty and revenue generators,” Herrmann-Nehdi says.

The four quadrants are colour-coded into ‘blue’ for logic and analysis, ‘green’ for planning, organising and sequencing, ‘red’ for feelings and emotions, and ‘yellow’ for intuition and holistic thinking.

Herrmann International offers a tool called the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) which helps understand which thinking style a person prefers. Responses can then be tailored to that preference.

By listening carefully to a person’s voice, language and tonality, clues to the person's thinking style can supposedly be picked up within the first 20 or 30 seconds of a conversation.

Go here for more on the 'whole brain' philosophy, and here for a video of Telecom contact centre employees talking about using 'whole brain' thinking.