Whole Brain Management, Part 2

By EricComments Off on Whole Brain Management, Part 2

In contrast, the right brain is non-verbal, so it operates in matters difficult to put into words or understand in logical steps — things you must have a “feel for.” Spatially oriented, the right hemisphere deals with pictures, wholes and the relationship between the parts. Recognizing faces or assembling jigsaw puzzles is possible though the right side. Responsible for synthesis and holistic perception, the right brain sees the whole picture.

We integrate complex motor coordination and are sensitive to sensory information by way of the right brain. The right side helps us recall learned movement patterns where the body automatically flows from one movement to the next as in a performance. At this time, we use the right brain to narrow the focus, eliminate outside distractions and concentrate on the performance at hand.

Intuition, insight, imagination, spirituality and dreams are born of the right brain, as well. The right brain produces those “ah-ha” moments when everything seems to fall into place without figuring it out in logical order. The right brain also stimulates creativity, inventiveness and artistic abilities.

Right brain individuals typically have messy desks or living quarters, can sense potential trouble, can visualize stories and ideas, excel at learning new tasks and befriend people who drop by without calling first.

Physiologically, the left and right hemispheres are almost identical; their differences normally are due to childhood “training” in a society and an education system that emphasize the left brain. By age 10, the verbal left hemisphere is dominant and seems normal and familiar to most people. Today’s world is left-brain dominant where words, measurement and logic are valued and the intuitive, artistic nature is repressed. The computer revolution is an extension of left-brain supremacy.

Management also requires analytical, time-bound sequencing and linear methods. Consequently, many managers are left-brain dominant and operate on the basis of logic, efficiency and maintaining the status quo, instead of asking the right brain “what if?” or “why not?” to stimulate new methods or programs. People tend to stay in the comfort zone of their strongest hemisphere (usually the left) and process every situation according to its preference.

To be more effective managers, both hemispheres must be tapped into whole-brain thinking. Whole-brain thinking combines the creative, emotional support of the right hemisphere with the analytical knowledge of techniques and skills of the left hemisphere. At top managerial levels, intuition and creativity are essential, for the many gaps and unknowns preclude purely logical decision-making all the time. Strict left-brain management lacks feeling and is too mechanical, formal, rigid and protective. Using the whole brain can stimulate optimal performance by relying on learned skills, as well as creativity and imagination. Whole-brain management can better equip you to solve complex problems, motivate yourself and your staff and, ultimately, meet needs.

For maximal success, one should manage from the left brain and lead from the right, according to leadership author Stephen Covey. Managers who lead from right seek hidden opportunities and excitement and tend to take risks.

These managers also relish change and excel in situations calling for flexibility.

Ideally, one should cultivate the ability to discern a situation, cross over between the left and right brains and use the appropriate side to deal with it.

Repressing the dominance of the left brain and allowing the right brain free reign can be challenging. But the ultimate payoffs of greater satisfaction, enhanced motivation, increased achievements and optimal growth are worth it.

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