JS Tip 70: From the Leadership Workshop: Leading Left- and Right-Brain Thinkers (Tip 3 of 3)

Most people have a dominant or preferred side of their brain. You know who they are. They are the planners and the dreamers in every office. Just as you aren’t complete without both hemispheres, your office isn’t complete without both types of thinkers. 

Each side complements the other.

Your job as a leader is to get the left-brain thinkers and right-brain thinkers to work together.

Three suggestions:

One: Don't try to change them. A left-brained thinker is perfectly content creating spreadsheets and profit-and-loss statements. She's good at it. She’s the reason the company doesn't go belly up with a failed product launch. Just don’t ask her to host the talent show.

Similarly, a right-brained thinker could be invaluable in a strategic planning meeting. He’s wired for future planning. But he’s absolutely miserable behind a desk all day.

Two: Cater to their strengths. When you're planning the company party, let the right-brain thinkers work on the creative side: the theme, the activities, and the entertainment.

Let the left-brain thinkers work on the details side: the catering, the equipment, and details.

Three: Lead accordingly. Whatever thinker you are, your tendency is to lead the way you'd want to be led. Don't do it. You’ll alienate half your employees. 

Right-brain thinkers respond to demonstrations. Give them tasks that require creative thinking, future planning, and speculation. 

Left-brain thinkers respond to logic and order. Don't mess with their schedule. Rationalize with them. Give them detail-oriented tasks.

Without left-brain thinkers, nobody would plan the parties. Without right brain-thinkers, there wouldn't be any parties.

Either way, nothing would get done. One type complements the other.

This concludes our discussion on left and right brain thinking. This was fun. We enjoy these conversations. Thank you for coming along. As always, let us know if there's something you'd like to know more about. 

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