Engineers ARE Left-brained

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A few years ago I worked in an office where one of the people that worked there had some creative side to her, singing or playing an instrument or something. Since I also have a part of me that some consider to be somewhat creative – although I am an engineer and very much of an engineer and think like an engineer – my coworker and I would talk at times about our creative interests. This led to what I will only call – the email.

She sent me an email about something dealing with work, and then at the end of it, she made mention that it was good to have another right-brained person in the office to discuss things that were not so much of a technical nature. What? Me? Right-brained?

I went home that Friday, told my wife about this insult my coworker leveled on me, and spent the weekend sullen and vexed. I went in on Monday and composed an email back stating that she was obviously misreading my mental state. Speaking of which, I wrote it my emai that I had to talk about this “right-brained” comment at length with my wife, and, possibly embellishing a little, discussed the depths of depression and intensity of professional counseling I endured over the weekend due to this comment.

Just as I was about to hit Send, the left side of my brain caught the problem, analyzing it thoroughly and keeping me from actually sending the email. Why? Because if I did send an email that complained and whined about a little comment and the counseling is caused, then that would only prove her point that I was right-brained.

I deleted the email. For what it is worth, I felt better doing that.

Engineers are left-brained. They think logically, and with reason and pragmatism. And that is needed when insulted by careless coworkers.

Brain Analysis

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For a person who just happens to fall for an engineer, with all that love stuff involved, it is helpful to realize the following graph that depicts where on the left-brained/right-brained continuum engineers tend to fall.

Engineer                                      left     center     right

←—————————————————————————→

One can see that the engineer would be considered left-brained he was more emotional. Put another way, Spock was too emotional to be an engineer.

If a person has hung around an engineer long, this is likely a known fact. However, it is always good to recall the truism for engineers: Engineers don’t feel, they think.

So, remember the continuum. This will help a great deal when interactions are necessary or desired.