Today's post is about the benefits of cognitive ambidexterity, why you should take some time to work on it each week, and how you can do that.
What is Cognitive Ambidexterity?
Cognitive ambidexterity is a measure of how simultaneously right and left brained an individual is. It's not about high or low IQ, it's about balance. Theory tells us that left-brained individuals are analytical, logical thinkers, but less expressive and emotional. Well, in truth, they are just as emotional as right-brained thinkers, but less expressive of emotions. Right brained thinkers, on the other hand, are known to be more creative, innovative and expressive.
Typically, we associated left brained individuals with the stem sciences, and right brained individuals with the arts. A left-brained individual might be responsible for developing an algorithm, designing software architecture, or managing operational teams. Right brained individuals are more often found in design, marketing, and human resource roles, including leadership.
There is a body of theory outlining the rigidity in brain growth. Followers refer to intelligence as crystaline, or non-developing rather than fluid, or dynamically developing. Promoters of crystalline intelligence usually think of individuals as static and suited for one type of job or another. While there is some truth to this, for example, if you are 5'5" it's unlikely you will play in the NBA, there is a lot of evidence pointing to the amazing and incredible ability of the brain to evolve, grow, and learn, even well into old age.
Believers in fluid intelligence are more focused on the habits the individual engages in, and how they exercise their brain to develop their faculties. I have found over the years, through exercising my own brain that left-brained development supports growth in right-brained activities and right-brained development supports growth in left-brained activities. You can actually improve your analytical skills by playing a musical instrument or thinking creatively. In fact, you should.