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It’s the gift time of the year again. Every year, giving and getting are two dominant features of late December. As we search for gifts for those on our list, there always a few that present a challenge. How do you match the gift to the receiver? Herrmann International offers this exercise as our gift to you to improve your chances of finding that "perfect gift. " © 2003 Herrmann International
Thinking Styles in Gifting …A Story It's the gift time of the year again. Every year, giving an getting are two dominant features of late December. And every year (ideally a bit before late December) I ponder what to get for Aunt Harriet. A telephone call from Aunt Harriet in late November brings her inevitable, "What do you want for Christmas, dear? " I reply with an equally inevitable, "I don’t know. Surprise me. " But Aunt Harriet never accepts that answer. She presses: "Did you like the purple punch bowl I gave you last year? " So that's what it was! I suspect that she gave it to me out of spite because I managed so successfully to avoid giving her concrete suggestions, but perhaps she actually sees some socially redeeming value in it. "It is an unusual bowl, Aunt Harriet. I can't imagine where you found it!" I can hear the smile that indicates that my evasive verbiage has worked. "I may be able to find a ladle to match. “ So much for evasive verbiage. But Aunt Harriet is excited now. She has something tangible to work on, and something that she likes. Satisfied on one score, she continues in a new direction: "I saw some place mats at the department store that would go wonderfully in my dining room. " So, do I go out and buy her the place mats? Of course not! How much pleasure could she possibly derive from getting exactly what she expects? I want to find something unusual and unexpected, like the frog-shaped toothpick holder I gave her last year. We all prefer to give gifts that we like ourselves. We can get enthusiastic about them. But it’s far more difficult to give a gift that the receiver will like, unless we know that person well or have been told what he or she really wants. So what was the problem with Aunt Harriet and me? She gave me the opportunity to tell her what I wanted, and she told me just what she wanted. The problem is a simple matter of thinking styles. Aunt Harriet is double-dominant in the lower Quadrants, B and C, while I am a double-dominant in the two right Quadrants, C and D. Our common strong C quadrants is reflected in the care we each give to our gift giving. We are each concerned that the recipient be pleased with our gifts. But, frequently, differences are more apparent than similarities, and Aunt Harriet and I differ considerably on the B-D axis; we couldn't be much more different there! Aunt Harriet's hefty B Quadrant is indicated by her organized and cautious nature. She wants to know exactly what's going to happen so she can be prepared for it. She abhors surprises. On the other hand, my beefy D quadrant is indicated by my own preference for novelty and risk. If I know what’s going to happen, I’m likely to change it, just for the fun of it. I adore surprises. No wonder we both struggle with finding each other satisfactory gifts. Considering her thinking style preferences, Aunt Harriet is the last person I should be asking to surprise me. It just makes her uncomfortable. And surprising Aunt Harriet is even worse! If I want to make her happy, then I should get her what she wants and expects--probably something eminently practical. And, hey, surprise isn't everything. There are other significant features of a gift for me, and if nothing else, at least I can get something useful from Aunt Harriet… if I ask for it. Now, who do I know with an extended D quadrant, who I can give this nearsighted goldfish lampshade to? by Bob Geyer
Think of some activities that your receiver enjoys. Here a few examples: Snowboarding Building Models Pool/Billiards Photography Computers Investment Skiing Brain Teasers Working Strategy Games Sky-diving Flying Bird Watching Crossword Puzzles Video Games Nature /Environment Home Improvement Cycling Arts & Crafts Basketball Golf Creative Writing Boating Football Travel Singing Baseball/Softball Camping Volunteer Work Wood working Farming Skateboarding Working Out Gardening Music Listening Coaching Sewing Amateur Radio Drawing Reading Bowling Wine Tasting Collecting Family Activities Board Games Spectator Sports Fishing © 2003 Herrmann International
If you don't already know the thinking style preferences of your receiver as revealed by the HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument), use this model to get a feel for this person's preferences: q. Gathering facts q. Analyzing issues q. Forming theories q. Measuring precisely q. Logical problem solving q. Financial analysis and decision making q. Understanding technical elements q. Working with numbers, statistics, data q. Seeing the big picture q. Intuitive problem solving q. Recognizing new possibilities q. Integrating ideas and concepts q. Synthesizing unlike elements into a new whole q. Inventing innovative solutions to problems q. Reading the signs of upcoming change q. Simultaneous processing of different input q. Sharing q. Approaching problems practically q. Persuading and conciliating q. Organizing and keeping track of data q. Considering values q. Articulating plans in an orderly way q. Providing stable leadership & supervision q. Engendering enthusiasm q. Picking up non-verbal cues of interpersonal q. Keeping financial records straight stress q. Developing detailed plans & procedures q. Reading fine print in documents/contracts q. Intuitively understanding how others feel q. Quality Performance, archiving, filingq. Understanding emotional elements q. Creating synergy between people © 2003 Herrmann International
Match the thinking style preferences to the activities this person enjoys and look for gifts that “fit”. Examples: For the Analytical Sports Fan: For the Unconventional Jewelry Maker: Sports Almanac with all the latest stats Or computer program that maintains the scores and stats Moon rocks Or Eclectic assortment of glass and wire For the Detailed, Disciplined Jogger: For the Interpersonal Cook: Log book Or Pedometer Hands free phone, to chat while cooking or a special serving dish to share their delicacies with others © 2003 Herrmann International Note: Remember most people have thinking style preferences in more than one quadrant.
Look over the following “gift characteristics” to generate your gift list for this person: Technology Gadgets Computer related items Investment related Mechanical items Things that are scientific Catalogs: Edmond Scientific, Brookstone, Herrington Time management items Self management Practical items Organizational tools Home safety and security Traditional items Catalog: Sears, Spiegel ABC Distributing New, fun, & unique Aesthetic, Art related Adventurous & Risk taking Never done before Unexpected—surprises Creative Catalogs: Chiasso, Sharper Image, Flax Thoughtful items Things that are people friendly Things to make you feel good Things to make your environment more comfortable Personal items Catalog: Domestications, Lillian Vernon, Harry & David © 2003 Herrmann International