Influencing Skills: Plan Your Communications – Part 3 of 4

By Carolyn Crawford
Today we move on from the core communication skills for influencing and start to think about how we may need to tailor those tools for people with different thinking preferences to our own. 

Those of you who’ve done training with us know that we love the Neethling Brain Instrument as a way of identifying our left and right brain preferences as well as our cerebral or limbic preferences.  More information about the NBI can be found both at the Whole Brain Thinking website: and the F2F 4-part blog:  

So in this blog we’ll revisit the four quadrants – some of the characteristics of each type of thinker.  In the next we’ll explore how to adjust our ‘Asking, Appreciating and Adovocating’ for people with different thinking preferences.

L1 (left brain cerebral) – BLUE

Rational, logical, critical, clear-thinking

Realistic and unemotional

Sensible, probing, questioning, direct

Focuses on bottom-line

Makes decisions based on observation not intuition

Do it ‘their way’ and enforces decisions.

L2 (left brain limbic) – GREEN 

Organises, arranges, plans and prepares

Evaluates all angles

Checks the facts methodically

Seeks detail and practicality

Prefers tried and tested

More risk averse

Can be critical or fault-finding


R1 (right brain cerebral) – YELLOW

Big picture, conceptual, visualising, futuristic, strategic

Ideas, alternatives, opportunities, change, innovation and risk

Solves problems and makes decisions intuitively

Speculates, explores, questions, provokes, challenges the status quo

Can lose interest, not follow through Informal and unstructured.

R2 (right brain limbic) – RED 

Encouraging, appreciative, tolerant, passionate

Sympathetic, caring, understanding, kind

Focus on values People-intuitive, socially considerate

Enthusiastic, eager to share ideas, brings new insights

Suggestions often emotional

Negative emotions may limit acceptance of new ideas.  


Enjoy identifying some of the traits of your family, friends and colleagues and we'll be back to discuss what this all means for your communication in the final blog of this series.

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