Saturday, August 04, 2007

Right Brained, Left Brained or Scatter Brained?

You’ve heard it before: right brained people are artistic and creative and deal well with shapes, patterns, while left brained people are logical and tend to deal well with numbers and words. But what if you’re not sure which you are? Oh I get the general idea from various personality assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators and the like, that I am among other things:

* logical,
* detail oriented,
* analytical,
* more of an introvert, than an extrovert
* a collaborator, rather than a leader (Are you yawning yet? I am.)

However, I’m starting to wonder whether there’s a suppressed (repressed?) artist somewhere inside of me. I’ve been perusing a book called Doing Work You Love by Cheryl Gilman (I found it on the $2 table at Barnes & Noble three weeks ago). It’s actually pretty good, but sometimes a little new agey. (The section of consulting a psychic? Uh no, thanks. The section on interview techniques? Better.) So, has it helped me find the work I love? Not exactly, but it has helped me identify the work I hate, so that’s a start.

One of the exercises I liked involved prioritizing. Here’s how it works. First, start by numbering the paper 1 through 10. Next, write thing that’s important to you next to each number. Don’t worry about listing them in any kind of order. Write them as they come to you. Ranking them will come later.

Once you have the 10 things jotted down, compare #1 to #2. Put a check by whichever is more important. Next, compare #1 to #3, then #1 to #4, and so forth. After comparing #1 to #10, move on to #2, comparing it to #3 (remember, it’s not necessary to compare #2 to the one above it, because you already did then when you compared #1 to #2). Don’t forget the check marks. Compare #2 to #4, then #2 to #5, and continue on with the list. When you're finished, count up the check marks for each item.

It was interesting to see which things ended up with the most checkmarks. My final list – now ranked in order of importance – is:

1. Time for my family & friends (no surprise there)
2. Helping/Collaborating with others
3. Creativity
4. Flexibility (this tied with #3)
5. Slightly larger house (higher on the list than I would have thought)
6. Autonomy/not being stuck in one place all day long
7. Exercise more (ok, I just put it on the list because I thought it should be there, not because I necessarily wanted it to be there. Nevertheless, it ranked higher than I expected.)
8. Make decent $
9. Time for volunteering (this was tied with #8. I thought it would’ve ranked higher, actually)
10. Write

These items represent my motivators. It was a neat exercise. Try it if you bored sometime. The results might just surprise you.

By the way, if you're curious as to which side of your brain is dominant, here's a brief online quiz:


John said...

WOW- Great Post- I think? Or was it Yellow?

Hmmm....must touch it--no I don't remember. Oh well!

I loved it Elle- I'm right brained and the follow up responses on how to develop the other side of the brain was awesome. Thanks for the input.

I Loved the Meilig-Myers- Took it yaers ago and was an ENFJ- said I would be great as a Teacher, Pastor etc, and it fit as those really are my Passions!. Took it more recently and I was ENF-? can't remember last letter but it bacsically showed I had just matured- (LAFF)- along the same lines! Cool stuff.


Nadine said...

You did a great job with this post. I've learned over the years to help each side of the brain develop a little to balance out. I enjoyed reading it.

Sue said...

I took the test and the results really completely surprised me. I was sure I was right brain dominant. Not so much, according to the test!

Very interesting. Thanks for the links!

Elle*Bee said...

john, I've taken the Myers-Briggs a couple of times over the past dozen or so years, and my score has changed. Most recently (about 4 yrs ago), I was an ISTJ.

As for the link I posted, I'm still reading how to develop the other side of my brain.

nadine, boy, do I need balancing! I'm more Left-brained than right (16 questions versus 2!) Yikes! But I want to be artistic and creative!

sue, there are other tests out there that measure the same type of thing. If you're close, you might want to check them out. I just linked this one b/c it was quick and easy. As I mentioned above, I scored 16 left brained, 2 right brained so that probably wouldn't be significantly different on any other site.