Tag Archives: Behaviors

Where do you live, HEAD or HEART?

When I was in grad school one of my professors said to me, “You need to move from your head to your heart.”

My response, “I don’t even know what you mean.” He told me to just, “Sit with that for a while.”

And so, I’ve been sitting and wondering for a decade now: Continue reading


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Brains: A users manual

I just realized that I have been writing this blog for a few months and I have not yet written much about brains, learning, thinking, and behaving. WHOA! If you know me, or you have been in a class with me you know I talk about this stuff all of the time. I need to say something about the 3-pound (or so) cranial powerhouse we are all packing around up there. Oh sure, the things I have been writing about could be associated with brain power, mind, and how we make up our mind, set our intention and realize our ability. But today I thought a little about how brain based thinking, behaving and learning sounded like fun. Oh…that was one semi-geeky comment.

I associated with the work of Doctors Geil Browning and Wendell Williams about ten years ago; the profile and company is Emergenetics International. I love their tag line: Moving Thinking Forward. I liked it so much that I became a certified associate and have presented it to classes and groups and I’ve included the work in my presentations, research and writing. So, a little intro is appropriate here.

What’s this word – Emergenetics – you ask?

The word itself (Emergenetics) comprises the words emerge (i.e., life experience or nurture) and genetics (i.e., nature) to help explain how each person uses preferences based on thinking and behavioral preferences. An Emergenetics© profile provides a tool that will help you understand thinking and behavioral preferences based on the latest brain research.

So it really fits in with my theme of raw ability and the talents and strengths we each bring to an activity, a situation, a team, a group, a leadership responsibility, a….well…really everything. It is part of the total package we walk in with EVERYTIME we show up.

The metaphor we use in Emergenetics divides up the brain into four quadrants of the thinking attributes with an outline of our behavioral preferences. The behaviors are metaphorically encircling the thinking because one would notice our presenting styles through behaviors first, and then the thinking would follow as we engage in dialogue/interaction. The four thinking attributes (Analytical, Structural, Social, and Conceptual) and the three behavioral attributes (Expressiveness, Assertiveness, and Flexibility) combine patterns that can explain our diversity. Each of us has a beautiful brain regardless of the profile or picture of your brain. The beauty lies within the combination of how our strengths emerge from our genetics. More information can be found it the book Emergenetics: New Science of Success (2006). AND, just keep reading this blog….you can bet I will write more about this stuff.

Our approach to the world is the cumulative effect of our past, in the context of the present, as we prepare for the future. The leader’s identity process could become engaged before the person even realizes it is happening, “your brain changes with each movement, thought, experience or conversation you have” (Browning, 2006, p. 17). Our brain is engaged in the identity process and creating the leader within. Warren Bennis has written about this idea by stating that leaders are the products of their entire lives. He suggests that a leader is someone who takes in all his or her experiences and creates (and continually recreates) a new self.

ME + WE =

Wait, there’s more! Since we’ve established a team has multiple ME (you can’t really make me plural, hmmm imagine that). So there is a mixture of individuals, each with their own brain, which creates synergy and energy. This ME + WE = Energy, Synergy, and Esprit. I just found out that Esprit is defined as lively intelligence…I like it. In Emergenetics language we call this combination of people (i.e., brains) a WE Team. WE of course is the combo of members and it also means Whole Emergenetics Team. It is also possible to coordinate groups or teams (from a larger group) into a whole team that combines thinking and behavioral preferences so we have a balance of each of the seven preferences represented “at the table”.

It’s electric!

Our brain functions through the connections and synapses of a couple 100 billion neurons lighting up some scientific machinery. I read one place we have 100 billion neurons and then another source said that was a myth, we only have 86 billion. What’s a few billion neurons among friends? The point is…there is a whole lot of electricity moving around within us and between us. This alacrity (within each) building on the energy and esprit (lively intelligence) of ability is how we can create great things together.

How do you think about things? Are you more of a “let me think about it and get back to you” person or a “let me ask around and see what others think” type of person? Are you the grand entrance type of person or more of the slip in and sit down sort? What roles do you play in a team? Chances are…the role you play in one group is probably pretty much your persona. Yeah?

To find out more about this Emergenetics Profile for you or your organization: 

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