Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0339, Apr 08, 2008
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This week’s article "Overcome the Rusty Right Brain Syndrome" is inspired by Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, who was on last month. In Jill’s words, “How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out?. I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.”

As we live in a world ruled by the left brain, this article and Jill’s story will perhaps open us to embracing the right brain.

Here is the link to Jill’s talk, we hope you enjoy the video and the article.

If you know of someone who might be interested in being on our tele-interview show, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.

Thank you for being a part of this growing community.


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The Point

Overcome the Rusty Right Brain Syndrome
Embracing The Right Brain

Intervention Skill

Our education system has excelled in enhancing the power of the left brain at the expense of right brain function. In the process of pleasing the system, a vast majority suffers from the Rusty Right Brain Syndrome (RRB). If you feel disconnected, bored, mechanical, re-tired (tired over and over again), stuck or even depressed, then you too have been struck by the RRB Syndrome.

Many of us who tuned out from the educational system were pronounced ‘good for nothing’. In the process some of us became day dreamers, dysfunctional or joined the street gangs (the so called rejected members of society looking for meaning through creating their own way of life). Some of our most creative and prominent figures including Einstein, Edison and many more were also labeled as the ‘good for nothing’ students. And then of course there are millions of the not so prominent figures who suffered rejection and remain anonymous.

The overuse of left brain thinking has segregated us from our own nature and the underuse of the right brain has made us dysfunctional.

Let us take a closer look at the different functions of the left and right brain. Remember neither left nor right brain is superior or inferior, they each have different qualities and when the power of the two halves is combined, great outcomes are possible.

Left Brain

Right Brain






Looks at parts





Looks at wholes

While the left-brain focuses on logical thinking, calculating and analyzing, the right-brain focuses on innovating, empathizing, and big-picture thinking.

A new way of thinking, feeling and doing is born when the power of the two halves come together.  It helps us transition from a mechanical way of being to being fully engaged, interested and invested.  Unless we are willing and able to fully engage both sides of our brain, we will not experience the unfolding of intelligence at play. 

Cultivating an approach that includes right brain activities in our day-to-day work and relationships is at the cornerstone of bringing creativity, happiness and bliss back to our civilization.

How do we begin to build the muscle of the right brain?

Right brain is all about the heart and understands the language of love. Yes, it is all about love, connection and receptivity.

What does love have to do with Facilitation?

Groups we lead, facilitate, or train are all after some result. They want to solve a problem, improve a process, strengthen their team, etc. Results are good, tangible and measureable. The left brain craves results!

Sometimes, when we focus only on the linear, tangible, results oriented world, we miss those not so linear solutions that might be staring us in the face.

Teams who continually fight with one another are not likely connecting on the personal level. There is likely an absence of empathy, patience, understanding, and appreciation of other’s values.

Problems of profitability, cost reduction, retention, and all of the other issues we typically face in the organizational world, may not be solved with compassion and receptivity alone. But without it, we are far less open to creative solutions that might be right in front of us.

I’m reminded of the old story of the mistake that happened at 3M when designers were working on a new glue. The glue was sticky, but not sticky enough. However, one receptive employee discovered that it worked great for pasting paper on desks, books and walls. This failure soon became the ever-popular “Post It Notes” product.

Right brain receptivity and openness to possibilities expands what’s possible for us when we’re leading groups, and expands what’s possible for your participants to achieve when they bring their right brains to play.

Another word for receptivity is love. Even though love is our nature, we have become uncomfortable with love and comfortable with frustrations.

We cannot teach someone to love or to be receptive any more than we can teach someone to breathe. Just as we have forgotten to breathe fully, we have also forgotten to love fully.

Love or receptivity is a function of the right brain and also is the key emotion in stimulating the right brain.
According to a renowned public figure in Japan Dr Makoto Shichida who has been researching the functions of the Right and Left brain since 1951, the first portion of the brain that is developed in the fetus is the right brain. Intuition, humility, imagination, cooperation, understanding for others and love are just some of the many functions of the right brain. By developing and activating these aspects we are better preparing for a more positive approach to life.
He further specifies that photographic memory is hidden in the abilities of the right brain. He states that most of us use 3% of our true potential, or only 3% of our Right Brain.
A great practice is to be open to receiving love…the right brain responds to love. Love cannot be taught, it can only be received through being open. Once we become receptive, our outlook to life, groups, challenges and conflict changes and we open up to solutions that are in front of us.

When we become open to receiving, doing becomes effortless. The work that took you two to three hours could be completed in less than an hour because you have more zest and are engaged.


A very good friend of mine Kate Major, is an expert on happiness, the best one I know. She was gracious enough to give us the permission to include her brilliant article as action steps for developing the right brain. Click here to read the article and follow the instructions to open your sense of receptivity.

With a little practice we begin to undo the Rusty Right Brain Syndrome.

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