Tell Me a Story

If this is the first or second option you clicked, you have already hinted what your thinking preference may be. It is likely that you highly prize human interactions, putting a premium on the quality of the relationships around you. This indicates you are likely a right brain thinker (R2). The story below will explain the NBI ® in a way sensitive to your preference…

As the story goes...

The use of NBI® has left many success stories in its wake, such as that of a young girl who was falling deeper and deeper into depression at the tender age of 8. The story that follows is of Megan (whose name is not really Megan) and her family’s growth as a unit with the help of the Neethling Brain Instruments.

Wide-eyed and dreams alive, Megan was an eight-year old busy finding her little feet in the big walk-ways of Primary School. Grade one had been a big adjustment for her. The transition from the relative freedom of pre-primary school to the structured manner of Primary School had confused her. Already in grade three, Megan knew it was important to be there. She believed Mommy and Daddy when they said so.

But she missed the playful classes of the years before. Sitting for so long made her legs feel itchy much to the irritation of Mrs. Brown.

She was always overjoyed when the brake-time bell rang. She sometimes sat in class after brake-time daydreaming about the games played in brake time, wishing they could last forever.

Her favourite teacher in the world was Miss Adams. Megan enjoyed how Miss Adams would use pictures and games to explain things she did not understand. Miss Adams also treated her like they were best friends!

Megan did not understand why Miss Adams could not stay her teacher in Grade three. She wished to go back to grade two to be in Miss Adams’ class again.

Mrs. Brown was not a mean lady. But some of the other kids seemed to like her lists, graphs and tests more than Megan did.

A cry for help

At home Megan began to draw more and more into herself, seeming unhappy. Megan had always spena lot of time alone at home, being an only child, playing by herself in her room. But her mother saw in Megan a sadness that warranted intervention.

Seeking Professional Help

So Megan was whisked away one afternoon by her mother to a therapist. While Megan was happily colouring-in, her Mother explained the situation to the therapist. She listened earnestly, pondering Megan’s plight. Being a Practitioner of the Neethling Brain Instruments®, the therapist suggested the NBI® Young Child Indicator for Megan.

NBI® Young Child Indicator

This profile yields basic results of left or right brain hemisphere preference through use of pictures and scenes designed to be done without reading ability.

The therapist also suggested a profile for Megan’s primary guardians: her mother, father and grandmother (who was staying with them). The profiling tool used for the adults was the NBI® General Adult.

The tests were done later at their home, so Megan and her parents returned to the therapist’s later. While reading their profile reports back in the therapists office, they saw images of the distinctions between their preferences for thinking across an 8-dimensional model.

This was all new to them. Megan’s parents both worked in the financial industry where they were required to be very analytical. They were not easily persuaded.

How is this supposed to help my daughter?

Noticing the resistance in Megan’s parents, and in awareness of their thinking preferences, the therapist-practitioner tailored her approach. She explained: “In order to understand why this is important, it is necessary to point out some differences between the types of thinking found in the two hemispheres.

In the left brain are the faculties which focus on finding facts, planning, organizing, driving for success, enforcing decisions, etc.

For example, you could easily use these characteristics to describe the schooling system in general:

  • • period and brake times are the same every day;
  • • the work is structured, and facts are listed and given precedence;
  • • there are regular tests;
  • • children are listed alphabetically;
  • • if you do not meet the standards you fail

This type of thinking can be very challenging for children, or teachers, who do not relate to them.

The right brain, can be speculative, unstructured, engaging in fantasies, focused on people, to name but a few. This is like the brake-time in-between class periods.

In conclusion, there is a contrast in how a predominantly right-brained person would naturally want to go about their day when compared to a school day.

In this moment the therapist adjusted her language to be less direct. She needed the buy-in of Megan’s parents, so she had to carefully share this sensitive information.

“Where does one begin to tell the guardians of a child, who love that child immensely, that they may be unwittingly harming her?” the therapist-practitioner thought.

So, she decided to give them as much of a chance as possible to come to the conclusion themselves. She used an explanation that Megan’s parents could relate to.

The practitioner-therapist explained, “Of the 8-dimensions in the brain, no one is better than the other. They are like cogs in a machine where all eight are required to fit into very specific slots for the machine to run smoothly. Our thinking preferences work much the same way. The cogs are our thinking preferences and the slots the situations we find ourselves in.

“When you are at your places of work, you are required to be analytical (L1). You process financial information in a very organised way (L2). You must be efficient and accurate.

And you are good at it because you appreciate a structured environment where facts are most important.

Megan’s parents smiled at each other, nodding with slight giggles about a shared passion.

Pleased to see them resonating with the feedback, onwards the therapist went. 

“What is it like for you when you attend a meeting where there is no structure? And in the end nothing could be agreed upon?”

They both exclaimed in mutual repulsion for the plague that is the lack of a memo! They all laughed at this, and the therapist used this glee as a springboard for flipping the coin.

“However, there are people in that meeting who greatly appreciate the chance to connect with each other (R2), and to share new ideas and brainstorm without restraint (R1).

“While uncomfortable for you, these colleagues of yours will thrive in such meetings. Are these meetings bothersome for you? Do they leave you feeling drained, sometimes even confused about what actually had occurred in the meeting?

Megan’s parents nodded in sober agreement, starting to see where the therapist was going with this.

Coming to an understanding

Megan’s parents had already seen her profile, and now their minds were starting to draw comparisons between hers and theirs.

Gently, the therapist pressed on, “when looking at Megan’s profile, we can see that she is a strong right brain thinker. In many ways, her preferences are opposite to yours. The modes of thinking which come so naturally to you may be difficult for her to relate to, and vice versa

For example, the dissimilarity between left and right brain thinkers is evident in  physical affection. Do you ever get the sense that she is looking for more affection than you may be willing to give?”

Hoping she had not over-stepped a boundary, the therapist let the question hang in the air to see how Megan’s parents would respond.

Much to her relief, Megan’s parents, although frowning from wrestling with these thoughts, looked at each other and agreed on there being times when Megan’s reaching out was seen as inconvenient.

Now after acknowledging the elephant in the room, it’s time to take steps to relieve little Megan’s down-cast heart.

A Road Back to Happiness

The therapist thus embarked on a journey of whole-brain thinking with Megan and her family. She explained that the next step was to find places in their styles of parenting where their intentions for Megan do not match the outcomes.

“For example, it is a priority for Megan to do well at school. We know now that Megan might struggle with too much uniformity and rigidity. Here you can really make leaps and bounds in helping her to be both a successful and happy student.

We must try to find happy balances where all the thinking preferences involved get attention. At its most basic, we refer to this as whole brain thinking. You are going to become whole brain parents. Not only will your relationship with Megan improve because of it, but she will most likely do better at school too.”

Whole Brain Thinking

When you maintain an awareness of your own thinking preferences, adapt them to your environments and the people around you.

Over time Megan’s parents worked hand-in-hand with the therapist to create a healthy home environment. A place where Megan felt safe enough to express herself openly. With the therapist as a mentor, she made sure the parents understood that there was nothing wrong with them as people or parents.

Megan’s parents realised that this situation was similar to how they got to know each other. They had to make certain compromises out of love to accommodate each other’s needs.

Megan’s parents also realised that their own thinking preference and skills would benefit Megan’s studies.

So they came up with ways they could teach her to organise her life and school work. Her parents knew she would need these skills when, later on, she would start with exams.

Gaining Additional Insight

Although her parents were making leaps and bounds in understanding their daughter’s needs, Megan’s glumness did not completely dissipate.

Armed with the insight learned from the NBI®, Megan’s mother went to het daughter’s school. After she talked with the Principal, her suspicions proved correct. Megan’s teacher, Mrs Brown, was also a left-brained thinker like herself. Being a discerning leader, the principal found another teacher with a teaching style similar to Miss Adams. And so Megan became this teacher’s student.

In time, Megan started to find her feet again and she began to come out of her shell. Her playing at home was no longer always a cloistered affair, an escape from being misunderstood. Her personality became more cheerful again.

Being adaptive is inevitable, but Megan was now being taken care of left, right and centre. With understanding parents at her back, a teacher with a teaching style aligned to her learning style, and her own personal insight gained from having been profiled with the NBI®, Megan was given every chance to succeed.

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Feeling inspired by this story to help others like Megan?

We have practitioners training available. You can become a qualified NBI® practitioner, licensed to distribute the NBI® profiles to the Megan’s you come across.

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