Our brain is divided into two hemispheres yet it’s interconnected, within your skull & all the way out to your skin. For simplicity, let’s begin with a focus on the whole brain – that is the part of your brain encased in your skull.
Many people believe that individuals are either right or left “brained.” In truth, the two hemispheres operate from different perspectives.
However, they work irrevocably together.
You may find yourself gravitating toward one way of thinking & perceiving, left or right, more than the other. But the finished product you receive, insight in the form of knowledge, is the result of the seamless cooperation, sensory input, & interpretation performed by your brain as a whole.
Communication offers a perfect example. Imagine hearing the words, “I hate you.” The meaning you take from that input, & the emotional & physiological reactions it causes within you, will be vastly different if the person saying it has a grin on their face or an angry expression.
In this scenario, the left half of your brain comprehends the grammatical message while the right side takes into account additional cues to comprehend the intended meaning. This same interplay is taking place for the speaker too. The left side of their brain orders the words to form the message (speech) while the right side cues up an emotional wink through their grin (humor).
As a Whole Person Coach, you can employ different kinds of questions & processes to help your clients balance the function of their brain. In this state, they become capable of processing information on both sides simultaneously.
How does this work? Let’s say your client tends to lean into a more left-hemispheric way of underst&ing their world. They may orient themselves to the details & not see the bigger picture. They might get lost in details or fixate on something as “the problem” & not see beyond it.
Individuals who favor the left hemisphere may be more logical or linear. From a neuroscience lens, you would help them exp& their aperture to see more possibilities & step into a more holistic point of view.
Conversely, when someone aligns more toward a right-hemispheric way of navigating the world, they may orient to their situations or problems from a broader point of view. Your goal in this scenario would be to help them narrow their focus to see the details that contribute to their true current state.
The pitfalls for each are exactly the opposite. A left-hemispheric person can miss out on the big picture by obsessively focusing on its individual components. Whereas the right-hemispheric, far more comfortable from a bird’s-eye view, may easily feel overwhelmed when presented with numerous options.
It’s important to know that we’re just touching on surface potentials available to us through neuroscience & the rewards of working toward an integrated, balanced brain.
How do you identify? Are you more of a right-brained person? Left? Little of both?
What challenges do you have when it comes to making change with this in mind?
Do you find yourself getting stuck in the details? Or lost in the big picture. You are not alone. & you’ve got options. Developing your capacity to leverage a whole brain approach can help you to become highly effective. As a coach, this skill is an essential element in your coaching toolkit!