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Ellen McCormick Martens

I find these dichotomies difficult -- I am both rational and intuitive, for example.

Michelle James

Exactly. Most people are all of these in varying degrees. In your case, you may find you are able to be both fully in your work. The distinctions (1) are not set in stone - but rather a loose continuum to understand your leanings and (2) are an invitation to look at your work culture and see where the current values - and valued contributions - are. What if our society's work cultures began to embrace and encourage all of the ways of processing on the right hand side of the list as as viable and valuable as those ways on the left hand column? The current working paradigm would change significantly.


While some folks find this model interesting or helpful, it's been disproven, scientifically. Even though it's been debunked it persists: http://www.livescience.com/39373-left-brain-right-brain-myth.html. When it's called a "brain" model, the person using it can lose credibility. If it's talked about differently, it can still be useful. I haven't yet seen an alternative name for it, aside from polarities.

The polarity model is a great way to open this kind of conversation. It doesn't assert that it's based in science (i.e., is brain-based, which it is not). It talks about dynamics and tensions, balances, and options. http://www.gisc.org/gestaltreview/documents/ManagingPolarities-AnInterviewwithBarryJohnsonPh.D.pdf


Thanks for your comment, KM. I am very familiar with Barry Johnson's Polarities model and am a big fan of it...it fits in perfectly with my won works about seeming opposites int eh creative process. If you read other posts on my blog, you will see how connected it is, and how I view opposites as polarities waiting to be integrated. You might want to check out this post: http://creativeemergence.typepad.com/the_fertile_unknown/2012/01/creativity-rocks-opposites.html

To clarify, the point of this post was to invite people to not be limited by a particular style of thinking, and expand to include others. I did not say this was a model of the brain (and would not make that claim). That is why I said, "The words in the left hand column are TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED with the "left brain thinking," and the words in the right hand column are typically associated with "right brain thinking." These are SIMPLE GENERALIZATIONS, designed to get you thinking about the habitual thinking patterns you use to approach your work."

I chose the entry point of what is typically associated with whole brain thinking, and said they were just generalizations. The point of the article was not that this was an accurate model of brain functioning, but that it was to use the polarities to go BEYOND habitual thinking patterns. I've been reading articles on the brain for 20 years, and do not subscribe to any of the models out there because they are always changing, and one is proving another incomplete, each one bringing new and different understandings.

I care more about consciously embracing opposites in order to be more creative and agile, and sometimes work off different models to illustrate that - but it is never about being limited to the model. Hope that clarifies.

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