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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

Is there a "right brain and left brain" in community building?

Regardless of the scientific accuracy of "right brain and left brain", it is sometimes short hand for the logical and scientific mind vs the artsy intuitive side.

Community-building involves empathy, intuition and care, but it also involves a certain type of "systems thinking".

How do you see this playing out in your work. How do you need to rely on different parts of your brain and/or build a team of people with different dominant ways of thinking?

Top comments (5)

mhall119 profile image
Michael Hall

The "right brain/left brain" thing applies to how a person approaches a problem, not what's needed to solve it.

Some people can solve community problems with nothing more than intuition and creativity. They know what they should do even if they can't explain why they know it.

Other people solve community problems analytically based on data. They can explain why they came to a given solution, but not always necessarily the right one.

Importantly, I think you can solve community problems either way, as long as you solve it using the way you specifically need to approach it.

8bit profile image
John @ YEN

systems 100%.

art is your personality — that's your value prop in the beginning.

but, community building is relationship building, just at-scale.

b/c, science.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Are there any specific qualities of systems thinking that are especially useful in community building?

Are there any systems-oriented books that would apply especially well to community-building, perhaps books not specifically about communities, but systems in general?

8bit profile image
John @ YEN • Edited on

oh god, so many.

i share this next bit to add context, not to flex. i have a masters in education and my thesis was "the future of education"

... TOO many books to list that have informed my thinking, but, i obsessed over this for 7.5 years (took me that long to get a double-masters).

that was my bedrock, the classics.

what's CRAZY is that i'm literally building this software today... decades later.

... insane:

... this is why i tell people...

... there are OBVIOUS whispers about what we need to do with our lives... we just need to look behind (and beyond) ourselves... stfu, and listen.



muratcandemir profile image
Murat Can Demir • Edited on

That is actually how you probe the data you perceive. It's basically based on avoiding pain (left) / seeking pleasure (right) , that's an important part of one's personality.

All communities / companies / organizations have their own persona and they are either left or right brain oriented, depends on how dominant the founder is.

Left brain people focus on benefit, context, systems and detail oriented and right brain people focus on fun, swags, collabration, networking and not much detail oriented.

The community persona should have a balance, because we need both parts. But for the sake of sustainability, focus on benefit (value) first, then bring in the joy part.