Everyone is different but we are all built in pretty much the same way. Nevertheless, people can be split into two groups, those who use either the right side or the left side of the brain. Creativity or logic. Imagine the boost if both sides were used.
Despite that all people are different, people can be split into two cognitive groups – those that predominantly process information with either the right side of their brains or the left. But imagine how effective you might be if you were to channel both sides and become an ambidextrous thinker.
Creative vs logical
Managers that rely more on their brains’ right side tend to be curious about ideas, and display bold and spontaneous behaviours. They might be more willing to jump into situations without thinking and can be highly creative in the work they produce or the ideas they develop.
Left-siders are usually more logical. Details tend to be thought through with an intended outcome in place from the beginning. They often have a plan B and even C in place. And they are more likely than right-siders to break down complex scenarios in their mind.
Look at two of the world’s most successful project managers – Apple pioneer Steve Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Jobs vs Gates
Jobs’ creative insight, risk-taking attitude and often contrarian vision for the future are all classic traits of a right-sided thinker. When rivals were busy adding buttons and functions to devices, he was devising ways of keeping them clean, attractive and easy to use. Jobs’ ability to see beyond physical limitations has changed the way we live, work and play.
Bill Gates is another legendary project manager – but with a far more left-sided approach. For every moment of genius from Jobs, Gates had a methodical, well-thought-out approach to rival it. He is renowned for detail – making possible the creative visions of those around him.
Tools are there to help
Right-siders or left-siders have traditionally needed foils to work alongside. But the tools are now out there for managers who want to use a more ambidextrous approach. We’re not talking about completely changing the way you approach everyday tasks at work. We’re suggesting more along the useful online tools that fill in the gaps. Perhaps you digest data better visually, need your team to collaborate more effectively, want a central communication hub for your team rather than fallible email chains, or you prefer to use a Kanban board to represent workflows. Go ahead and try. Or find out which side of the brain that you use.
Everyone is thought to have a more dominant side of the brain. And it influences the way they manage projects. Which project manager are you?