PRISM Brain Mapping

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I was lucky enough to attend a half day PRISM Brain Mapping Workshop in Yangon recently, run by Ian Davies of Team Thinking.  In a nutshell, PRISM is about understanding behaviour through neuroscience and it appealed to me because I am always fascinated by people’s behaviour – and my own!

The workshop promises to help you find out your preferences, or strengths and weaknesses if you like, and thus allow you to make more informed decisions and improve interpersonal relationships both at home and at work.  A whole workshop all about me and my brain, what’s not to like?

Of course I wasn’t alone. I was joined by another 6 delegates from all walks of life and nationalities and on a rainy Saturday morning we sat and cradled our coffees in Ian’s lovely home office, wondering for all the world what we were about to discover about ourselves and each other.

The work starts before the course.  Once you have paid your deposit, PRISM sends out an online questionnaire that must be completed prior to the workshop, so that your results can be analysed and mapped for Ian to decipher and interpret.  It took about 30 – 40 minutes to complete and had three sections.  You were asked to answer multiple choice questions about your preferred behaviour in the workplace and at home; which statements were most or least like you in particular environments. Ian was careful to emphasise that I should think about how I really am, rather than how I would like to be (or how I would like to be perceived) and this was surprisingly harder than I had thought.  I’d love to be able to say I’m not at all impatient, brusque or confrontational at home but sadly, that is just not true!

Still, the idea was to find out the true me so that I can communicate more effectively with my fellow man and not waste my time in jobs that are too far out of my interests and motivation.  I couldn’t wait to find out!

With a series of exercises and tasks, Ian led us through the complexities of the brain map.  Actually, it’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it and seasoned PRISM’ers have since asked me if I’m a gold, red, blue or green.  Yep, the brain is divided into four main quadrants which are then divided in half again.  Interesting, our group contained very little Red behaviours and we all concluded that these people are the least likely to attend such a workshop, being competitive and tough decision makers as they are, with little patience for discussions and collaboration!

It was certainly fun to do this in a group as, although we barely knew each other, we had quickly formed opinions as to how much blue or gold behaviour we expected and when the final results were revealed, much debate ensued.  The map also contains three separate lines and the real point of interest is where these lines form big gaps or converge.  These lines refer to your natural behaviour, your adapted behaviour (such as you show the world around you) and then an average of the two, which is how you tend to behave most of the time and probably how people tend to perceive you.  If there are large gaps, these might indicate areas of stress or frustration – where you are not being allowed to use your natural behaviours to the full, for example.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and had some suspicions about myself confirmed; I’m good at starting projects but not finishing them and I’m comfortable initiating contact with strangers, for example, as well as a few surprises; I’m very patient with ‘difficult’ people and I can fail to take matters seriously when under pressure.  Whilst you go through the brain map during the workshop, Ian then sends you your full 30-page report afterwards, which has tonnes of information based on your map.  The most useful bit for me was the areas I could work on to enhance my overall performance, especially at work.  One of them is talking less and listening more which sounds suspiciously like an old school report and with which my husband would heartily concur!

All in all it was a very enjoyable morning and a terrifically useful tool to use in the future.  The personal map and report is very thorough and I know I will be referring to it again and again. Ian is a great trainer, clearly knowledgeable, very friendly and approachable, ensuring a steady pace through the sections and providing a very relaxed atmosphere – and plenty of coffee and biscuits!  Now, how do I persuade my husband to go on the next one….

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