The Whole Brain® Model and Inclusive Leadership

Businesses today are 100% focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). After a dramatic year when many social issues dominated the news, including blatant discrimination and a pandemic-driven demand to work remotely, we are increasingly aware that our global teams touch many different cultures.  For some time, we have known that diverse teams are more effective…even smarter.  But, as leaders and individual contributors, how can we facilitate an environment where everyone feels included and valued for their contributions?  Learning how to improve Inclusive Leadership as a critical core competency will drive a culture of collaboration.  In turn that will nurture new ideas and help realize the potential of everyone on a team.  In a recent article, entitled The Key to Inclusive Leadership, the authors describe 6 signature traits essential to the successful leader of today. These include an authentic commitment to diversity, humility, an awareness of their own biases.  In addition, curiosity about others, cultural intelligence and facilitating effective collaboration among diverse thinkers, further advance the DEI efforts.

The Whole Brain® Thinking methodology and walkaround below will help to facilitate teamwork, collaboration and thinking from the four quadrants for any problem, decision or new project:

Key Takeaway: Effective collaboration and creating an environment where people feel safe to offer their perspective is up to all of us.  Using the model as a framework is recommended when facing any new initiative or problem.  Many also recommend beginning with the A (Blue) quadrant, then D (Yellow), moving next to C (Red) and finally B (Green).  But any approach is good, depending on the situation, as long as the team agrees, and all quadrants are covered being careful to not shortchange a team’s lesser preferred quadrants.  Having an idea of each person’s thinking preferences and skills also helps to ensure optimal outcomes.  When conflict occurs, using the whole brain language will help to make it an exercise of creative abrasion to support the best results and solutions.    

Tell us your story…We’d like to hear from you on what your companies are doing to support leaders in this shift to Inclusive Leadership. Email me or click here to share more in the comments section on our Top Tips page. Others may learn from your story and what you share.

To see your digital results and the new Thinker Portal, please login to your account using the same email and password you used to take the assessment. Choose I forgot my password to reset your credentials. For more information on Sharing & Comparing your results with others in your company, please contact me @

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