Process - Self Coaching - Thinking brain

Thinking brain

** Please note we would advise that you complete the self coaching section on a desktop computer, as you may need to print out some sections in order to complete **

Are you left, right, or middle brained?

To find out more and assess your own thinking style, choose one of the three responses to each question and tick the box on the line against your choice.





You may have heard of left-brain and right-brain thinking; the box above with the highest total indicates your preferred style.


LB = Left brain RB = Right brain MB = Middle brain


This questionnaire is intended to provide food for thought and give you a pointer as to why you may be more successful in some situations than in others. The type of job you do, your background and upbringing will all influence your thinking style. For instance:


     Western business culture rates left brain thinking higher than right brain

     Creative people are sometimes regarded as a little eccentric


Left brain

This controls the right side of the body and is responsible for the rational and logical approach, often typified by people such as analysts and accountants. It handles linear processing - things like number, sequence and language.

If you scored highest on left brain you are very analytical and logical. Your strength lies in your reason and logic and your thorough approach. You will normally take an ordered, step-by-step approach to problem solving and make sound, fact-based decisions.

You may suffer however from ‘analysis paralysis’, the inability to make a snap decision, or one where data is not available. Your sound decisions may be perceived by others to be too safe or cautious. You may also find that because you tend to rely on what’s worked before, you are reluctant to try new ideas and lateral thinking


Right brain

The right brain controls the left side of the body and is responsible for the artistic and creative approach, often typified by people such as musicians and writers. It handles parallel processing – things like patterns, rhythm, imagination and colour. A higher than normal proportion of people in these occupations are left-handed, indicating the predominance of the right side of the brain.

If this is your preferred style you have tendency towards creative thinking and will approach problem solving in a way that generates lots of new solutions.

You may be a risk-taker or seek after new experiences. You are happy with concepts and comfortable thinking laterally.

However, your preference for new and different ways of thinking may mean that once you have – for example – solved a problem, you want to rush on and tackle the next one, without tidying up the loose ends of the one you’ve just solved. You should guard against boredom and frustration when dealing with routine tasks, and work to avoid being perceived as a butterfly brain.


Middle brain

The most effective approach is to learn to harness both sides of the brain. For example if when problem solving you habitually use a logical step by step approach, you might find that an off-the-wall idea may be just as effective and open up possibilities you would never have considered before.

If this is your highest score you have a very flexible and balanced approach to most situations and problems. Your main strength is that you can work with analytical or creative people, techniques and processes, and generally can identify and apply the most effective approach to dealing with any situation. However, be sure to apply the appropriate method to each situation or problem, in order to gain the best from your abilities and provide the best or right solution.


Further development

Consider the following questions and note your thoughts. There are no right or wrong answers, this is to give you food for thought.


     Which styles did you score the highest and lowest for?

     How well balanced are your preferences?

     What are the implications for people that you work with or manage?

     Do you need to change anything?

     Do you need to work to adapt to any of the other styles?


For related topics see Top Tips:


     Analytical thinking

     Creative thinking