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How Miami University Is Preparing Students To Become Better Communicators

Scott Kissell
Miami University
Miami students search for supplies during a marketing class project.

Miami University is expanding its use of a popular personality assessment tool that helps students improve their communication skills.

Students in the Farmer School of Business take the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). By next fall, all students will do the same.

Faculty member David Eyman says the HBDI reveals how people think.

"It can be used to measure which parts of the brain are dominant," Eyman explains. "The result of that is we find that people communicate in different ways. For example, we listen for different things and we speak in order of our brain dominances."

Students are placed in teams based on their HBDI scores. Eyman says that makes for diverse, more effective groups that produce better results.

"When you put people together on teams that are diverse in their thinking styles and increase diversity among the team members, we find that not only do they spend more time with people who they are of a different mind than themselves but that they perform better."

In short, they are more successful and do better work.

The idea is students will carry those lessons and a better understanding of their own communication strengths with them as they enter the working world.

Here is a video that explains how HBDI works