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How To Work With The Logical Left-Brained People On Your Team

By Angie Joens

So I have a confession—I'm not very technical. Ok, there, I said it. I struggle with my phone, my apple watch, my remotes, and I'll put off buying any new technology until it is almost obsolete because I don't want to learn how to work it. It baffles me, bamboozles me, and it frustrates me. I want an easy button. I often call friends or my nieces and nephews to help me – and slowly and patiently (most of the time), they walk me through it.

I've always dreamed of being one of those people who understands technology and can easily figure it out. I admire and revere anyone who is analytical and technical. They amaze me, and I so wish I could be like them, but alas, after all these years, I've finally admitted to myself that I'm just not wired that way.

My brain sees the big picture—or I get an idea or a hunch. I can see the end and honestly don't always know how we will get there, but I know we can. I also understand that each of us has natural strengths and weaknesses. That's why I love my left-brained colleagues and friends! They are logical, analytical, literal, and to the point. They know how to take all the pieces of information, line them up in logical order and then draw conclusions. They are my people. They can take my ideas and hunches and sort out how they can work.

When I start any conversation with "hey, I was thinking" or "I have an idea," my left-brained colleagues cringe, laugh, or give me "the look." I've seen it my whole career, but somehow, together, we create magic.

How? Part of it is that I learned I need these people to be successful. I know they can do something I can't. They can take their gifts and make the whole better. They make me better. They create systems that save time, provide data to demonstrate something will (or won't) work, look for trends, consider all possible outcomes, find new tools that will save us money, and so much more.

If you struggle with communicating with those left-brained colleagues, here are a few tips:

  • Share your "idea" and potential hypotheses

  • Explain the rationale or hoped-for outcome for this "idea"

  • Outline your "idea" into steps, so it flows more logically

  • Discuss the details and why they matter to your "idea"

  • Create a feedback loop throughout the process so they can see how the "idea" is progressing

  • Celebrate and acknowledge the significant role these colleagues played in the successful execution of the "idea"

I love that our workforce today is made up of people with the most amazing skills. And guess what—their skills are not my skills and my skills are not theirs. Thank goodness. No one team needs two Angie Joens' on it. I believe it was Aristotle who once said, "the whole is equal to the sum of its parts." Let's all celebrate the parts that make up our whole organization. We need them all and are grateful for what they offer to our success.

If you want more tips on communicating with your technical partners, join us for the webinar Left AND Right Brains: Bridging Advancement Services and Donor Relations on November 8, 2022.


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