Project Management

PM Technical Skills: Balancing the Right and Left Brain

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

The PMI Talent Triangle® identifies the core capabilities needed to be a well-rounded and proficient project manager, focusing on technical project management skills, leadership and strategic/business management. Most employers assume that PMs have competency in these talents—so don’t always enumerate on them in their job postings. 

The sad truth is that finding people with a mastery of all the elements contained within the Talent Triangle is rare. When you think of it, this is to be expected, as few people (PM or not) have the whole brain functions (balanced left and right hemispheres) needed to master it all.  

This is not to say that a right-brain or left-brain dominant person can’t learn to perform in areas contrary to their aptitudes and the way they are wired; it’s just likely that they will never be comfortable or masterful in those performances.

People that are right brain dominant to be more:

Those who are left brain tend to be more:

  • Creative
  • Empathetic /Feeling /Sensing
  • Free-thinking
  • Selling/Motivating
  • Expressing emotion
  • Sensing emotions in others
  • Risk taking
  • Able to see the big picture
  • Intuitive/Listens to gut
  • Imaginative
  • Possibilities oriented
  • Likely to visualize in patterns and images

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