MindSonar: Show Case Projects

“Famous” examples
How does MindSonar support organizations and individuals? How can it in help you solve problems and achieve goals? In each of the following MindSonar projects, a MindSonar professional helps an organization understand how key people think, and then helps them make good use of that information.

Developing leadership in the Dutch military with MindSonar

When an officer in the Dutch military is being prepared for a high ranking position, they start a leadership development training of approximately one year. In this year they work on their communication, strategic, and leadership competencies. At the beginning of the course a MindSonar profile is made and the candidate defines their own strengths and weaknesses as a potential high ranking officer. Their MindSonar profile is related to the competencies they want to develop (they choose five from a list of twelve competencies defined by the military). The Meta Programs and criteria in their MindSonar profile are seen as a “lever” to better enable them to develop these competencies. An officer might, for instance, want to develop a thinking style that has stronger “towards,” “general,” people,” and “structure” Meta Programs, combined with more “yellow” criteria (personal development and systems overview). During the year the officer has several conversations with a coach. At the end of the course, another measurement is done to determine if the target competencies have indeed been developed.
>> Contact the who did this project

Selling luxury cars with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesSelling automobiles in the top segment of the market usually involves several hours of personal contact between a sales person and the customer. In this segment personal relationships are an important factor influencing sales. All Dutch salespeople of one of the top automobile brands were profiled with MindSonar.Their meta-programs and criteria were related to the number of cars they sold per year. In this way, the desired profile for a salesperson—with this brand—was calculated. The desired profile—where different Meta Programs were given different weights—correlated highly with the number of cars sold. From then on, all candidates for sales positions were profiled with MindSonar. How similar their profile is to the desired profile partly determines whether or not they are hired. Also, in the current sales force, salespeople who diverted from the desired profile were offered a training course, tailored to develop their underdeveloped Meta Programs.
>> Contact the who did this project

Selecting jury members for freestyle horse riding with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesThe Dutch Association for Horse Riding Sports wanted to develop an objective basis for the selection of jury members for their freestyle competitions (concours hippique). The monetary value of a horse depends on its score in this competition. So, for horse owners, there are both emotional and financial interests at stake. The score, unlike that in other competitions like barrier jumping, depends entirely upon the subjective evaluation of the jury. The association hired two MindSonar professionals who profiled twelve outstanding jury members. They calculated an average profile and formulated a psychological explanation of why this profile described the thinking of a good jury member. The excellent jury members recognized both the profile and the explanation. This resulted in a desired profile with relative weights for different Meta Programs. Since then, every year hundreds of people wanting to become freestyle jury members are profiled with MindSonar. The MindSonar professionals present the selecting committee with a matching percentage for each candidate and they specify the meta-programs on which the candidate matches or mismatches the desired profile. The committee then coordinates their impressions from interviews with the MindSonar results to decide.
>> Contact the who did this project

Helping pedagogy interns adapt to their professional environment with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesBefore pedagogy students of a Dutch university start their internship, for instance in an educational institution, they are profiled with MindSonar. Their supervisor, knowing the culture of the institutions where the students do their internships, can express that culture in terms of Meta Programs and values. The supervisor, comparing the profile of the student with the culture of the institution, then predicts the kinds of obstacles that particular student is likely to encounter in that particular institution. Let’s say the institution’s culture is reactive, specific, and information-oriented and the student has a proactive, global, and activity-oriented profile. The supervisor can then predict that some people in the institution may experience the student as rash, uncontrollable, vague, and inaccurate. The supervisor discusses this with the student and also how the student can respond, should this problem occur. This has advantages both for students and for the institution. If the predicted problems occur, the student is ready to respond adequately and this tends to prevent escalation and drop-out.

Keeping people involved in a volunteer organization with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesA Dutch volunteer organization, promoting inter-ethnic understanding in schools, was having trouble retaining volunteers. MindSonar professionals profiled both the volunteers and the people recruiting them. They noticed that the recruiters and the older volunteers, as well as the new volunteers, all scored high on the meta-program “together.” Recruiters often enlist people with meta-programs similar to their own. In and of itself this seemed like a good strategy because similarity tends to enhance rapport. Within the dynamics of this organization, however, it had a contrary effect. Older volunteers, valuing togetherness and having had the experience that new people would leave the organization rather quickly, did not invest in the new people socially. Precisely because of their preference for togetherness, it was an emotional strain for them to see people leave. So they would focus on their in-group of older volunteers and more or less neglect the newcomers for the first few months. The newcomers, on the other hand, did not feel welcomed. This was a major setback, precisely because they too had a strong preference for togetherness. Their response was to leave the organization, which in turn consolidated the belief of the older volunteers that there was no use in investing in newcomers. To break this vicious cycle, all the MindSonar professionals had to do was to explain this to the older volunteers. As soon as they started giving more attention to the newcomers, the problem gradually disappeared

Banking and entrepreneurial attitude with MindSonar

MindSonar Measuring Meta Programs and valuesA large Belgian insurance bank defined a new corporate strategy in which it was important for their insurance brokers to develop a more entrepreneurial attitude. A central factor in this development was the relationship between the insurance brokers and the local insurance agents in the community. The company defined a list of key competencies for their brokers related to dealing with these agents. All brokers were profiled by MindSonar professionals. Surprisingly, after a statistical analysis, it turned out that there was no significant relationship between thinking style, criteria, and key competencies on the one hand and sales volume on the other hand. Further analysis revealed that this had to do with the targets that were being set. Because targets were set at a relatively low level, their MindSonar profile did not make a lot of difference. It did not matter much how brokers thought, what they found important, and which competencies they had. The volume of sales was determined mostly by demand from the local insurance agents and the efforts of the brokers seemed to have little to do with it. This finding led the company to change the system of setting targets. After targets were adjusted, thinking style did make a difference. A training program was developed in which brokers were trained in those competencies that their MindSonar profile showed them to be lacking in. For this project the company won a prestigious training award.
>> Contact the who did this project

Training child care auditors with MindSonar

MindSonar: Meta Programs and spiral dynamicsIn the Netherlands, a specific set of quality criteria is used to evaluate child care organizations, like day care centres for instance. These criteria are being audited once a year by independent institutions. To improve quality, it is also important for the child care institutions themselves, to do audits internally with their own employees. So they wanted to know: what exactly does it take to be a good child care auditor? MindSonar professionals investigated two things: First of all, what are the Meta Programs of a good auditor? And secondly, how do these relate to those of a good child care worker? They asked several organizations to tell them who their best Internal auditors were. They profiled these auditors, constructing an ideal MindSonar profile for an internal auditor. Good auditors were found to score high on Meta Programs ‘Visual’ and ‘Information’. They want to see what information has been stored about processes. Good child care workers typically have high scores on Meta Programs ‘Kinesthetic’ and ‘People’. So they need to shift their focus (Meta Programs) to be good auditors. The MindSonar professionals then built a training program around these two Meta Programs and achieved good results when the child care workers started their auditing work.
>> Contact the who did this project

Did you do an interesting MindSonar project?
Mail us a short description and we may add you to the Famous Projects!

Metaprograms measured in MindSonar Please click this link to learn more.

The MindSonar system is developed by the Institute for Eclectic Psychology in Holland. Please click the link to visit our website (Dutch).


  1. This famous projects part of the site is very interesting and stimulating. It shows in what different areas of our lifes we can benefit from the Mindsonar approach. It stimulates me to further look into the possibilities with clients. Keep up posting your projects!

  2. It appears from these diverse examples that Mindsonar could be very useful to HR departments in many industries, so long as the criteria that makes a good employee or professional person can be identified and agreed upon!

    • Exactly! Usually the MindSonar professional will have a long conversation with the management about what the requirements are, and then translate those into metaprograms and criteria-categories. Sometimes these benchmark profiles are weighed (some elements are considered to be more important than others). Even better is to actually measure a number of people who are already doing well in that company and base the benchmark on that.

  3. It’s fascinating to see all the different ways MindSonar is being used around the world. It brings to mind one of my favorite psychology related quotes: The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best. ~Paul Valéry, Tel Quel, 1943 … keep up the good work!

  4. Hello Jaap! Greetings from Chicago. I’m an attorney and specialize in high stakes civil litigation. I was very interested to see that MindSonar was being used in connection with jury selection. I was wondering if MindSonar principles and analysis could be adapted to traditional voir dire questions that can be submitted to potential jury members in US trials? Are you working together with any jury consultant firms? Have any jury consultants expressed interest in being trained? Thanks for your time.

    • MindSonar world wide is a blue lagoon full of opportunities, like the one you mention. But no, nobody has done anything in that area, as far as I now. Closest thing is advising mediators with MindSonar.

  5. I like the insurance broker example above because it shows how MindSonar can also be very helpful in challenging existing belief systems. Once a certain mindset is adopted by an organization, it can be very difficult to change the corporate culture.

  6. Greetings. I am in auto sales at a BMW dealership. The luxury car sales research discussed above caught my eye and got me thinking. In my experience our customers are a pretty diverse group. Would it really be more effective to hire the same kind of sales person in one’s sales force? As you note in the article, it can take a lot of personal contact to close the sale in these situations. Some personality types might be more effective with some types of customers. It is also interesting to note that in the insurance project, the broker’s personal attributes were not correlated with sales. Why would personality be so important in car sales but not insurance and banking? I’m puzzled.

  7. Hello everyone. Thanks for creating this blog. The research in the examples above is most interesting and has obvious practical value. I was wondering if you could give a ballpark quote of how much it might cost to engage a MindSonar professional for business projects? I know that each project is different and the cost would vary depending on the scope, but I would like to have some general framework to consider whether or not it would be right for my own company. Thanks in advance.

  8. Voltaire is credited with saying, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” I think the beauty of MindSonar is that it helps us to better understand what the thinking process actually is. I believe that will help us solve problems more effectively and in less time. Carry forward with your important work Jaap!

  9. This appears to be a truly interesting finding. A unique way of developing very essential abilities in someone. I am thoroughly intrigued and impressed by the social and psychological aspects it can have. Keep up the good work. Hope to see more postings.

  10. Well I guess it’s one thing to make claims, but another to make claims and back them up with actual evidence. I’m really curious to see if MindSonar will start to become more apparent in HR practices in North America.

  11. The pedagogy example is great, I think that this would help very much as you say for institutions and students, educational institutions testing focus mostly on academic,social and learning skills but having this option to help predict problems in adaptation and being able to face them soon enough is really helpful.

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