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H.O.T. conference feature: Oddball Training – are you Gestalt or Logic?


At the H.O.T. conference yesterday afternoon there anyone looking into seminar room three at 3:30pm would have been bombarded by koosh balls (those brightly-coloured squashy bits of plastic) and bemused by the sight of a room of trainers holding out their arms and announcing that they liked beetroot! All in a day's work for Oddball Training, who were demonstrating some techniques aimed at getting people to better manage their own learning.

After an introductory activity based around the ball-throwing exercise, but with ever-increasing numbers of koosh balls, the session began with a number of activities aimed at identifying the relationship between the mind and body. For example, try thinking about big ambitions while taking really small steps, then try doing the same taking big steps - it becomes a lot easier. Using a simple test of strength in the deltoid muscle - that's at the top of your arm, near the shoulder - Oddball Training say they can identify whether learners are left-brain (Gestalt) or right-brain (Logic) dominant by identifying 'locks' in different parts of the body. Apparently the resistance in the arm changes according to whether you are lying or not - hence the test of whether a colleague really does like beetroot! Those with a Gestalt-dominant brain tend to be more concerned with 'the bigger picture', wheras those with Logic-dominant brains tend to look more at the detail. as adults, Oddball Training say that we tend to revert to our profile when tired, stressed or worried.

Oddball Training usually spend one or two days identifying techniques to introduce more balance into the brain to help develop individual learning styles. The 'Brain Gym' consists of a whole range of activities including mirror writing and cross-lateral exercise which co-ordinate different parts of the body.

Oddball Training have been promoting brain dominance profiling for 3-4 years now. In that time, they've run a series of programmes designed to help people get to grips with identifying and developing their own learning styles through a 'healthy learning' programme - Dolland and Aitchison are one company who've recently put their staff through the programme, as staff were due to embark on individual study themselves and needed help with motivation and overcoming learning blocks.

The session provided a useful introduction to Oddball Training's way of working, and delegates came away with some useful tips and further reading information. Carla Hannaford is one author which Oddball Training recommend. - two key publications of hers which give more in-depth background information and techniques, Smart Moves and The Dominance Factor are both available from the TrainingZONE Blackwells bookstore.

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