Become a Committee of Two in Your Mind

October 17, 2013

brain dominance

Brain Dominance

You are shaped by conclusions based on your past experience and learned behaviors. Think of how many of those are not explicit but implicit learnings. Many of the things you have learned were drawn from turning your head for a moment and suddenly you had a new belief programed. These come to you and are informed by attractions and aversions. While some of these beliefs are with self-awareness a vast number of them enter your subconscious and profoundly influence your body, mind and life. The effect of your unconscious on your wellbeing is profound.

You are always filtering the world based on which side of your brain you favor. This has been documented in, Brain Dominance Theory or split brain research. The research shows that each side of your brain has governance over how you process information or address challenges. This is not like being left or right handed. It has become clear that the delineation that many pop psychologists use was based on dated research from the early 1980s by Roger Sperry. It is clear that the interrelationship of the hemispheres is critical for the mind body function.  Jung also gave language to this in looking at the left hemisphere being more logic, analytical and objective oriented and the right being intuitive, thoughtful, subjective and emotion. Although each of us has the ability to play for either team from birth – lives circumstances tend to lead us to a particular proclivity based on intensity of certain experience. You will often have a bias towards leaning on one side over the other based on the intensity of past experience. Like a good decision making groups, the greater the diversity of thought the more improved the result. If you think of your mind as a committee of two rather than white boarding on your own you are bound to improve your overall thinking. This can only happen if you get each hemisphere to cross over to the other with your thoughts.

This on the surface seems easier than it actually is because of several factors. Clearly the strongest being the emotional resonance of past experience and behaviors in the form of intuition will quickly favor your first order of thinking as described by Danial Kahnaman in his book Thinking Fast and Slow. Your second order of thinking will favor the logically side and like your body not wanting to extend more energy than it has to, like when working out your body has the same interest in reduced energy spent when using your brain. Your second order of thinking will favor proving what your intuition believes is right over what is actually right. Which means it will favor information that goes along with your already drawn conclusion.

In Just Ask Leadership Assessment we have proved how based on how leaders ask questions they are favoring a dominant way of thinking. This favoritism leads to less effective leadership and less effective decision making. The Just Ask Model suggests that moving from one quadrant to the opposite will likely land you in the middle and all you to use your entire brain state rather than being a committee of one. By doing this you will be helping rewire some of your subconscious beliefs.

Marilee Adams in her book Change your Questions, Change your life gives us the direction that simply by understanding that when you ask a question, conscious or subconscious you will begin to answer it. What you will find is when your life is not working the way you want the way to rewire it is not to work on the answers but to shift the questions. Rather than ask your self why do I continue to stay in my company ask, how can I leave this company? By shifting the question you can see how easy it is to shift your self talk and the many internal dialogues you are having with yourself throughout a day.

Using the Just Ask Leadership Assessment you can literally plot the style you are as a leader and once you understand the types of questions you are asking yourself and others everyday begin to expand those questions by asking different ones. By doing this you will have multiple benefits:

1) Increase cross traffic communication between left and right hemisphere which will increase the quality of thinking
2) Change the subconscious triggers from automatic to explicitly healthier mental energy
3) Move from level one to level two thinking without as quickly going to the path of least resistance.

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