Mind Maps

Why Does My Team Think This Way?

I came across an article today that was titled: Don’t Like All Your Employees? 

This article was all about how different brain attributes that your employees have cause your team to think differently. This is great for you as a business owner because you’ll have all types of ideas coming in from all over the spectrum, but it can also be frustrating.

It’s important to learn how to pair up people with differing views to find a creative balance.

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a team leader, you have noticed that certain people have certain qualities about them and stick to these qualities because they are part of their core values. These are the ways that these people learn and will continue to learn.

This is the way that their brains are wired and it’s in your best interest to focus on this as one of their strengths and play to that.

The author in this article assigns a specific topic and divides groups up into pre-determined groups based on analytical, structural, social, and conceptual thinking individuals.

She places team members with others who share similar “thinking” attributes. She proceeds to hand out large pads of paper and colored markers and asks the groups to take notes, telling the teams they can go wherever they want to work, but they must return in 15 minutes.

Here is an excerpt taken from the article, Don’t Like All Your Employees?

“Generally, the structural team makes a numbered list in black ink, aligned on the page, in perfect teacher-printed handwriting. The analytical team creates a bulleted list of comments in blue ink, also printed. The social team makes a list using bright colors, possibly with illustrations and hearts. The conceptual team’s page will be covered with different colors of ink, ideas in balloons, pictures, and an attempt at some notes that will need to be explained.”

Does that sound familiar?

What Happened Here?

After doing this experiment, you will notice that the greatest difference is between the groups that think structurally and the group that thinks conceptually. This is also evident between the analytical and social teams.

Why is this?

There is a different in the way each of these people think. They learn differently and therefore think differently than others around them. As a team leader, you need to be able to recognize this and try to fill your team with a good combination of all the different types of thinkers.

Structural Brain Thinkers

Your team members who think structurally will not understand the conceptual list because it isn’t structured in a way that makes sense to them. These thinkers need to see some kind of set structure in order for their brain to kick in and comprehend what’s in front of them. If they see a mind map with pictures all over and no true structure, they will have a hard time understanding it.

Conceptual Brain Thinkers

Those individuals with conceptual brains will not like the structural list because it appears to be so dull, with no images. People who think conceptually think in pictures and need these to trigger the connections in their brains

Analytical Brain Thinkers

Those individuals who think analytically can often be viewed of as being cold and uncaring. These people are quiet by nature, yet understand exactly how and why the numbers work. You often need to get them to speak out by calling them out to answer because by their nature these individuals aren’t likely to burst into the conversation and share what they have.

Social Brain Thinkers

Social thinkers are very emotional and you might not have any idea why these people get upset until you ask them. These individuals deeply care about their customers and want the best for their customer. They want to find a way to over-deliver and provide exceptional value. The social thinkers often feel like the analytical thinkers are heartless because all their brain wants them to focus on is the numbers.

How do you make it work in the workplace?

As a team leader or co-worker, you need to understand how and why each of the people on your team work.

You need to understand the way that their brain is structured and how you can work with them to play to their strengths. Not everyone thinks alike and that is great for growing your company. If you had everyone thinking one way, you would not grow.

There is no way to think exactly like all of your employees, but you do need to recognize that the contributions they make are the reason your company is working. By learning about why people think the way they do, you have a better chance of understanding them and understanding how you can put them in a position to work at their peak.

This is just a start into understanding why people think the way that they do. If you want to learn more about this, you can check out the books The Brainsmart Leader and Grass Roots Leaders both by Tony Buzan.

You can also contact us directly for help in teaching your team leaders how to recognize and capitalize on your teams strengths in this way to increase profits.


Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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How To Use Mind Maps to Write books, articles and technical documents

Watch the video below to see how you can use mind maps to write books, articles and technical documents:

Taking the time to mind map your plans is a simple way to organize your thoughts. The majority of the time when we start the brainstorming process, all sorts of ideas come out of our head. These ideas aren’t always related and our brains often throw out thoughts that sometimes seem irrelevant. The benefits of mind mapping are that we can draw out the idea or jot down a note about the new thought. It’s possible that later on in the writing process when you are putting the plan together, you will trigger your mind with one of those seemingly irrelevant thoughts.

The benefit of using mind maps is that you can organize your thoughts in an easy way. In fact, you can put your ideas anywhere that you want on the piece of paper and then later take the time to connect them. This works great for me because I tend to jump from idea to idea a lot.

You can then create another mind map to organize these different ideas and chunk like ideas together. After this, all you need to do is put a structure to your thoughts and come up with a proper sequence of events to make your book, article or document come together!


Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

Experiences Working with Tony Buzan

My dad just found this picture of me (Chris) when I was a lot younger and when I first learned about Mind Mapping and started to understand the potential that the human brain has. Below is a picture of me with the inventor of the mind map, Tony Buzan.

Chris Hughes and Tony Buzan Discussing a Mind Map

If you don’t know who Tony Buzan is, he is the world’s foremost expert on thinking visually, and a leading lecturer on the brain and learning. Tony has lectured to diverse audiences, ranging from large corporations, to universities, to governments. Tony invented Mind Maps in the 1970s, and has been instructing millions in this technique ever since.

When I was in elementary school, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the USA Memoriad with my father. This event is a gathering of the greatest minds in America and was a competition to find out who in the US had the best memory. This competition challenged these contestants in contests ranging from memorizing names and faces, to memorizing decks of cards. It was also used to study different techniques that people had developed to learn and remember information better.

I was brought in and performed as a juggler for the contestants and the spectators. I actually ended up teaching the contestants and some of the spectators how to juggle, which was an extremely important event in my life. It was at these events that I was able to test different teaching styles with teaching people how to juggle. An added benefit of me being there was that I was able to spend 1-on-1 time with some of the contestants and learn about tricks they’ve picked up and how they learn.

But the truth was that the greatest thing about performing at this event was not meeting the contestants…

The greatest thing about attending this event was being able to show Tony Buzan what I had been working on. I was able to show him how I was using mind mapping to help me pass tests in school. I was using the information that he had taught me to study for tests and write papers. (You can see in the picture there that I was showing one of my many mind maps that was on soccer.)

Working With Tony Buzan

Having the opportunity to work with Tony Buzan at such a young age had a profound impact on the way I studied and would remember information. When I learned how to mind map, I would end up spending less time studying because I would remember the information better. The mapping of this information and using pictures to show meaning was a new way of studying for me and I ended up using it on and off throughout my schooling.

During high school I ended up moving away from using the mind map, and it wasn’t until my junior year in college that I started to pick it back up again. Coincidentally, that is also when my grades started to improve drastically. The first few years I really struggled with learning and recalling information but my last 2 years of college seemed to be a breeze for me. I know that implementing mind maps into my studying had a significant impact on the way I recalled information.

Now that I have started spending more time studying the brain and specific reasons why the brain works the way it does, I am understanding just why mind maps work.

It’s amazing to me to think that 15 years ago I was learning about the brain and the importance of finding ways to train your brain to better understand information. Over these past 15 years, there has been a major shift in the information that is now available about the brain. What’s fascinating to me is that a lot of this information has been discovered by people working with Tony Buzan.

In fact, his company, ThinkBuzan, has been developing a range of accredited courses where people can learn more about creativity, innovation and mind mapping.

My dad, who also is working with me here at Brain Smart Success has been written about in a few of Tony Buzan’s books.

Bob took concepts that Tony speaks about and implemented them through his Senior Management leadership positions at IBM. Books that include Bob in them can be found on our About Us Page.

We’ve been at the forefront of what we believe is going to be a huge change in the way we use our brains. That is the reason we started Brain Smart Success and the reason we are going to continue to put out practical information that is going to help you experience more success and have more fun in your business.

Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

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Mind Maps To Remember Lots of Information

Mind maps are a great tool to use when trying to organize your thoughts and to conceptualize your plans. There are many reasons why these mind maps help and you can learn about more in the Mind Mapping Benefits article. In this post, I’m going to show you exactly why mind mapping is useful for large chunks of information and why they help to make learning easier for you.

You already are aware that your brain is like a big web of information with various neuron connectors linking chunks of information together. Your brain already groups similar information in chunks together to make it easier for you to remember information and recall this info at a later date.

These connectors are the reason that you sometimes get an idea from something completely unrelated to the original idea. For example you could be stuck with trying to solve a business problem and decide to take a break and go for a walk, completely disconnecting yourself from this problem. While you are out on the walk you may see a flower or something and all of a sudden an idea comes to you on how you can solve your business problem.

The reason this happens is that is your brain is full of these ideas and concepts of information that you have once learned. These ideas are lying dormant in your brain until something triggers them to wake up and activate. Mind maps are a shortcut to activating this information.

Mind maps are a way that you can visually see the connections between different subjects. By using pictures in your mind maps, you are saving space on your paper which will save you time on reading the information again. They say pictures are worth 1,000 words and if you have 5 pictures drawn on your mind map, you’ll say more in less space while triggering another part of your brain that helps you remember better.

Often I find myself running out of space on pieces of paper when I’m taking notes the normal way of outlining. I will continue writing all over the page and often have a mess of information everywhere. This information is not in any way organized and makes remembering concepts more difficult for me personally.

With the normal style of notes, I’ll often have arrows pointing across the page trying to connect ideas. This makes for a mess.

With mind maps, you can have one central idea and have these different ideas branching off of it. It looks more visually appealing and helps me remember better. By organizing my thoughts this way, I am visualizing things the same way my brain does and it makes things easier for me to remember.

Do you use mind maps to remember large chunks of information?



Chris Hughes

Chris is an Internet Entrepreneur, Juggler, Traveler and loves learning. Chris is out to enjoy life while building profitable businesses that allow people to have more fun in their lives.

Connect with Chris on Google+.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook