ImageDo you have trouble finding the right words? Do you feel like you were passed over for a project you were better qualified to head? Do people think your angry and temperamental? Left brained people can come across as unemotional, unsympathetic, and lacking conviction; where as right brained people can come across as angry, irrational, and scattered. If you have a personality that is extremely right\left brain dominant, changing the way you relate and interact with others to reflect a more balanced approach will encourage habits that allow you to interact in a healthier way.  But it will also mean moving out of your comfort zone and being more tolerant of others in your workplace.

Right brained people need to be more expressive, talk everything out, think about everything your going to say, and clearly define each step in everything you do. Right brained people are often labeled “angry” or “irrational” to spite generally being as agreeable as anyone else because of isolated incidents of “project rage”. Part of this comes from the fact that they are poor at explaining their motivations, so when not able to get others to follow them they often resort to doing it themselves then complaining others are lazy or not involved. Good communication skills are a left, not right brained trait. So force others to meet deadlines, work as a team, and consider doing so “part of the big picture”. Share responsibility and share praise with the team. Recognize individual contributions.

Right brained people need to respect order and policy, even when it doesn’t comply with their ultimate goal. Right brainers are prone to violating policies in the interest of “getting things done”. Things like making personal calls while on the job, grabbing snacks put out using the honor system without paying, even eating someone else food from a community fridge. Such actions give others the sense you have no respect. Even if you think nobody sees it, they do and it changes how people perceive you. It will be harder to get support if the right brained person appears disrespectful. Treating rules regulating inter-office conduct as purely subjective, relating to the situation, and secondary to getting results is a mistake. It may even result in frequent disciplinary actions.

Left brained people need to acknowledge right brained people are necessary. Right brained people have a sense of the big picture, they often take more risks, and they are more tolerant of faults in others. They are passionate about things and that passion is often contagious, they are also more likely to salvage projects others have dismissed as doomed.  They deal better with sudden problems and hiccups that come along as they can ignore things which don’t move them towards the ultimate goal they hope to achieve, even if those are things are important at the time. They can also manage budgets better when money is tight, prioritizing what needs to be paid instead of obsessing how unpaid or late paid bills might effect them in the immediate. But, what they can’t always do is communicate that well to others, often they rely on faith and trust.

Left brained people need to lighten up. They have an almost lawful sense of how the world should be. Things that limit lefties in relating to others usually relate to imposing order unnecessarily on the world around them, escalating minor issues into major ones, and generally trying to control every aspect of a situation. They might drive slow in the passing lane to block another driver they feel is violating the law or reporting a coworker for working late who is very productive and essential to a project because they went 5 minutes over 40 hours that week or signed in 5 minutes late. They lack empathy for people who “put themselves in a bad position” due to their own poor choices. “They are sensitive to flaws of self and others almost to the point of not being able to accept a person because of their flaws. They tend to not see the whole person but the flaw(s). The world is linear to them. Left brained people focus on what they can resolve most efficiently and neglect moving forward until every minor issue in the immediate is fully resolved. Compensating for left brain extremes is largely about letting things go.

Left and Right brained people need to make lists. When little things aren’t prioritized any differently than the big ones it becomes a problem for the right brained person. While numbered and dated lists help left brained people focus on issues moving towards a final goal. When written, lists made with due dates appeal to the mathematical and analytical nature of the left brained person and also allow the right brained person to conceptualize how they will ultimately get to a goal.

Practice self-actualization and be overly empathetic. The important thing is not only to recognize traits that fit your own personality. But assume it’s a bigger problem for others than you think it is. Second look for this same brain dominance in others.  Recognize the limitations of others; but also that to an opposing personality, your own views may seem equally irrational and misguided. Properly focused, right brained people can use the predictability of left brained people to work out kinks in smaller projects they feel are important to resolve, but not in line with the big picture. Left brained people similarly can put aside their compulsions to enforce minor policy on others and still act as a moral and procedural compass for the group. With a better focus on the big picture relying on the right brained coworker to give 100% to accomplishing the teams ultimate goals will be an asset. It frees the left brained employee to break these processes down into better articulated steps as to why particular tasks or policies are important.