Over the past years, regardless of what industry you are in, you might have noticed that there has been a shift in the way we look at work. In the past, we have all been told at one point or another to keep our emotions out of the workplace, especially when it comes to decision-making.
In recent years, we have all been more encouraged activate our right brain to tap into our emotions and intuition. To sum it up (and this is oversimplifying!), our world is shifting from heavily focusing on developing our left brain, that’s responsible for logic, to the right side of our brain that’s responsible for emotions.
We are now more exposed to how we can leverage our right brain to achieve career success. This way of thinking has impacted other areas of professional work (e.g. data analytics and storytelling) and not just leadership alone. (Jennifer Adams, SVP, Digital Hives at Big Village, wrote a beautiful post recently on right-brain market research and consumerism!)
While our left-brain is crucial to our success, learning to leverage the right brain skills is just as important in leadership.
So how can we activate our right brain more? The good news is activating our right brain can be fun! I hope that this post will encourage you to prioritize some fun during your holidays and into next year.
Left vs. Right Side of Our Brain
As early as the 1960s, psychobiologists, like Roger Sperry, have discovered that a human brain has two sides that operate pretty independently of one another.
These two sides of our brains process information very differently. We have the left side, or often called the “logical” side, that handles activities like reading, writing and calculating. We also have the right side, or often called the “creative” side, that controls problem-solving, spatial thinking and attention. This side of our brain is more visual and processes information in an intuitive way. It helps us with skills to relate better to others (think empathetic leadership!). (For more information on the two sides of our brains, Healthline posted an image that summarized this visually.)
In more recent years, more and more thought leaders have been diving deeper into the value of right-brain leadership. More focus is now being placed on developing leaders to tune into their intuition when making decisions, inspire their teams by connecting more to their passions and strengths and foster a culture of innovation.
Right-brain skills are just as crucial to leadership success as left-brain skills. Learning to embrace both will help leaders achieve long-term results and build/sustain engaged and resilient teams! (Inc wrote an interesting piece on embracing whole-brain thinking.)
How to Activate Our Right Brain?
We’ve been focusing on developing our left brain in the workplace for years so how do we re-train ourselves to utilize our right brain in harmony?
The good news is, activating our right brain can be fun! The idea is to be more engaged in activities that stimulate creativity and turn down the volume of our logical mind. Some simple ideas are dancing, drawing, coloring, yoga and meditation. However, right-brain activities can look different for everyone.
Here are two simple questions you can ask yourself to identify what your right-brain activities are — What are some activities that calm your mind or bring your joy? How can you incorporate these activities in your day-to-day so they feel more effortless?
The Value of Being a Right-Brain Leader
In recent years, we have been learning more and more about the value of our right brain skills. To achieve success as a leader, it is crucial that we learn to leverage our right brain skills as well. Doing more activities that help activate your right brain will help you become a better leader.
What right-brain activities will you be prioritizing during the holidays and into the new year?
If this post resonates with you in any way, feel free to subscribe below for future leadership resources and follow us on LinkedIn!