Thinking Styles measures your preference for Left Brain
Logical and Right Brain Creative Thinking. Our
chapter for this month explores how your thinking preferences
can affect how you approach problem solving and techniques
for improving your motivation.
Left and Right Brain
Some people are aware of another sort
of thinking which ...leads to those simple ideas that are
obvious only after they have been thought of ...the term "lateral
thinking" has been coined to describe this other sort
of thinking, "vertical thinking" is used to denote
the conventional logical process"
Edward de Bono
These thinking styles relate to which of the brain's hemisphere
you naturally access when thinking. Are you creative and spontaneous
in your thinking or do you think things through systematically
Left Brain Thinking
People with a Left Brain dominance have a preference
for order and logical sequence. They are easy to identify
because they will always start at the beginning, work systematically
through a task and wherever possible they will always finish
what they have started. If you interrupt them half way through
they will start again, - from the beginning! This can be very
frustrating for their opposites those with a Right
Brain dominance, but is of course completely logical to
Not easily distracted, Left Brain thinkers are usually
highly organized, focused and thorough individuals who find
it easy to concentrate on the task in hand. They like writing
lists and are very good at time management, always arriving
on time for meetings and appointments. In fact they usually
hate tardiness, untidiness or sloppiness in any form and this
is most evident when you examine their working space, which
is invariably neat and tidy. They set themselves their own
deadlines, starting at the beginning and allowing themselves
time to finish often well before the due date. These traits
are in stark contrast to someone with a Right Brain
preference, whose working space can best be described as 'creative'
but will appear 'chaotic and untidy' to the untrained eye.
Left Brained thinkers do not multi-task, they like
to do one thing at a time and do it properly. If you give
them too many tasks, or try to hurry them, they will become
flustered and possibly stressed. They excel in any job role
which requires a logical and tenacious approach, especially
where they also have the opportunity to 'tie up lose ends'
and ensure that the job is properly finished and completed
to their satisfaction.
Management and motivation
As managers, Left Brained thinkers are focused and
logical, like things to be done thoroughly and will expect
reports or proposals to be sequential and ordered.
To manage these people give them clear instructions as they
dislike ambiguity, and ideally, give them job roles where
they can complete tasks, especially as they actually enjoy
administrative and maintenance activities.
|To practice developing your Left Brained,
logical thinking skills:
||fill in a form starting at the beginning and systematically
working through to the end
||write a list of things you need to do
||use the phone listening with your right ear as this
connects directly with your left brin hemisphere
Right Brain Thinking
Right Brain thinkers have a natural ability to multi-task,
and are often found doing half a dozen things at the same
time. These people think and work very quickly, however, they
can be easily distracted and may have a tendency to cut corners.
They are frequently highly creative and artistic, excelling
in job roles which include an element of design or where they
can give their imagination a free rein. They sometimes dislike
rules and boundaries feeling that this limits their creativity.
They do not function well in environments they perceive as
'over-controlling', in which case they cease to function.
"One of the advantages of being
disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries"
Time management is not easy for a Right Brain thinkers
and they prefer to be given deadlines. Even then they have
a tendency to leave everything until the last minute and stay
up late or get up early in order to finish on time. They are
invariably late as they will try to fit too many things into
too short a timeframe. To be on time they have to over-compensate
and so will arrive actually arrive early.
"I've been on a calendar, but
never on time"
You may have noticed for yourself that "creative thinkers
think backwards". By this I mean that if you ask them
a question, they will very quickly "go to the end"
and know the answer. If you ask them to explain how they worked
that answer out, they will have to "think backwards"
to the starting point of their thinking and then run their
calculation more logically forwards. This more logical "left
brained" approach of "thinking forwards from beginning
to end" takes them much longer to do, in contrast with
their natural right brain thinking which is very quick indeed.
Creative thinkers are not great list people, preferring to
carry information around in their heads rather than write
it down. This is a mistake as their brain cannot distinguish
between what they have done (and can mentally tick off) and
what they have only thought about doing. Consequently they
often forget tasks and may need to be reminded by colleagues.
Management and motivation
To manage right brain thinkers, motivate them by giving them
variety in their jobs and allowing them to be creative in
their own way. Assign them target dates and deadlines to work
to, allowing them some flexibility regarding when they do
a task, remembering to check progress from time to time.
As managers they tend to be high-energy individuals who can
successfully manage a large number of people and projects
at the same time. However, they can lose focus as they switch
between projects and may need to be reminded of the organisation's