Chances are you’ve probably heard this—our brains come in 2 varieties, right and left.
The common idea is that our personas typically fall to one side or the other. The left side is responsible for logic, order, calculations, and language, so one might expect a number-attentive accountant to be left brained. The right side is responsible for creativity, emotion, sensory urges, and imagination, so a more visually creative architect might be right brained. Following this line of thinking, my analyst colleagues would be left brained; I’m a designer, and therefore right brained.
Two different peas in the cranial pod, both keeping our thoughts, behaviors, and actions in check…. it’s a great mental image, isn’t it?
It’s not really that simple, though – in actuality, both sides work in conjunction with one another, along with a vast array of other factors that help determine if we are more artsy or number crunchy. Leave it to popular culture to oversimplify these findings!
Although there isn’t one concrete dividing line in our heads to determine who we are, there IS some truth behind the oversimplification. There is a spectrum between right and left ways of thinking, and each of us fall somewhere along that spectrum. The original concept, even if scientifically inaccurate, holds some validity in that some of us do exhibit more right or left brain characteristics. At a more basic level, it’s also a great reminder that others may not approach things the same way you do.
Like the idea of our brain halves working together, we regularly must find ways to interact with different personality types. A better understanding how other people think and knowing where we ourselves lie along this spectrum can make us more thoughtful and insightful – traits that are important for both sides of the brain!
For fun, find out where you fall along the spectrum by checking out this cool test, then share your results with friends and coworkers. I rank a 54.