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Right Side vs Left Side of brain

Our brain is an amazing organ of that learns, remembers, controls, moves, repairs a complex body. It is in control of lots of functions and as part of that it is also responsible for our Logical and Creative Thinking. There are lots of articles that talk about the left side of the brain being responsible for Logical and the right side for Creativity. This was first researched by Roger Wolcott Sperry with his work on the split brain.

There are lots of articles that talk about people being left or right dominant on the brain, hence being more logical or creative, however more recently published articles and research show that the activity in the brain is similar on both sides of the brain regardless of how dominant they are “An Evaluation of the Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Hypothesis with Resting State Functional Connectivity Magnetic Resonance Imaging“.

Either way the brain is still an amazing thing and you can learn to use both Logical and Creative Thinking techniques, you just need to apply a growth mindset.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Logical Thinking

Logical thinking helps us to make “sense” of things, coming up with solutions and in decision making.

The five W’s and 1 H are commonly used as questioning to help form logical thinking. These are

  • Who
  • When
  • Why
  • What
  • Where
  • How

Some add another H – How Much to the list as cost can play an important factor in decisions.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking helps us approach things with an out of the box approach and an ability to look at things through different lenses to discover new solutions.

Balanced View

Taking a balanced view across Logical and Creative thinking, the Six Thinking Hats written by Dr. Edward de Bono starts to provide a balanced view by using the idea of parallel thinking to plan and use thinking more effectively. This can include logical and creative thinking.

Blue Hat – Process

  • manage process
  • action plans
  • next steps
  • reviewing thinking
  • summary

White Hat – Facts

  • data
  • facts
  • information needed
  • information available

Red Hat – Feelings

  • feelings
  • hunches
  • instinct
  • intuition

Green Hat – Creativity

  • creativity
  • solutions
  • ideas
  • alternatives
  • possibilities

Yellow Hat – Benefits

  • positives
  • brightness and optimism
  • value
  • benefits

Black Hat – Cautions

  • difficulties
  • potential problems
  • weaknesses

Build on the Skills

Learn different ways of thinking

Learn some new ways of thinking that you have not used before.

Practice and mix it up

As the phrase goes “Practice makes perfect”. Using different methods of thinking can bring different views and possibly different solutions to the problem/challenge.

Personally I have created my own set of cards based on several ways and methods of thinking that I use when I am looking at a problem. See my blog post Playing a Game with Innovation and Thinking.

Work with others

There is nothing better than working with others to bring in different views and ways of thinking that you may not have thought of previously. This is a great way of seeing how other people approach the problem/challenge and help identify if there are areas you can improve/learn on.

Be creative

Spend some time on creative hobbies that will help you build you creative thinking.

Learning a new skill

Learning a new skill will help you develop your thinking.

Further Reading