07/01/2013 10:10 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2013

Top Ten Tips for Women in Business Series - Tip Six

Tip Six - Understand How You Think

To understand and appreciate what your default, automatic way of thinking and hearing is, puts you one step ahead of most people. Authentic communication is being fully present in a conversation and nowhere else. Once we understand and appreciate what makes us 'tick,' it is must easier to make elegant communication shifts to 'meet' other people. By doing this we create rapport effortlessly and build relationships gracefully. Being around us makes other people feel special as we really 'get' them.

The majority of people, who haven't been through any kind of personality profiling or thinking tools, will communicate with everyone in the way they like to be communicated with. This is perfectly natural and understandable as we are our only benchmark. So it is an obvious assumption that we believe everyone likes to hear information in the same we do and everyone filters messages in the same way we do. Of course, this isn't the case and can prove to be irritating at one scale and catastrophic at another level.

To understand how your brain functions with its communication and hearing style, is to honour and celebrate all of you, and therefore, other people. It is not about putting you in a box and saying, this is only how you operate. What it does is help you recognise where your 'easy wins' are and where you may experience challenges.

What is easy for one person will be a real challenge for another, once you can get a grasp on this it makes life a lot easier. This is particularly important within the working arena.

Anyone who line manages other people will find their management role easier once they understand the team they are managing. If you can understand your boss, the relationship will flourish even more than it currently does. When we understand other people, communication with clients and customers becomes even more effortless, overcoming obstacles becomes quicker and more effective and harmony prevails as a majority state.

What is important to remember is that diversity of character and thought are crucial for sustainability and robustness. It is easy to want to surround ourselves with people who 'talk our language.' After all, the conversations will be easy and joyful. However, you run the risk of stagnating as no-one is around who will challenge you and play the devil's advocate. Whilst this may be uncomfortable at times, it is an important part of a working environment. It is only by examining all angles and seeing a situation from every point of view can the right decision be made.

I have worked with companies where everyone is virtually identical in their thinking style. They all got on fabulously well of course, but the companies had ground to a halt in their progression and growth.

To begin to understand where you might sit on the brain thinking scale, answer the questions below:

What do you value most?
• A Do you value spontaneity, fun, excitement, skill and courage?
• B Do you value other people, human potential, caring and good communication?
• C Do you value ingenuity, intelligence, explanations, the big picture and perfection?
• D Do you value practical answers, details, being on time, family and tradition?

If you answered:
A You are likely to be Top Right in your brain dominance
B You are likely to be Bottom Right in your brain dominance
C You are likely to be Top Left in your brain dominance
D You are likely be Bottom Left in your brain dominance

This is also apparent in how you develop people in your team. As follows:

Top Right people will develop others because it is fun and requires skill
Bottom Right people develop others because they care about realising that individual's potential
Top Left people will develop others because it will generate new ideas in the team, or because for them to achieve their bigger picture goal it's essential
Bottom Left people will develop others from a place of it being the right thing to do

To be a truly successful, ethical and powerful leader, knowing how you think and how your team thinks is crucial -- crucial for harmony, sustainability, robustness, the empowerment of others and the strength of yourself.