Are Technical Communicators/Writers more right-brain or left-brain thinkers? In a previous post about a technical writers soft skills (https://managementhelp.org/blogs/communications/2013/03/05/soft-skills-of-a-technical-writer/) , I defined the soft skills of technical writers as being made up of communication, emotion, concentration, and common sense. …...’ It is being able to see and interpret the whole picture and to translate it into useable and understandable terms for others ....Technical Writers use their soft skills to…communicate,…listen,…understand,….lead….’
While writing the above, this question came about: ‘Are Technical Writers more right-brain than left-brain oriented? If we define the difference between right- and left-brain thinkers as…..the right side of the brain controlling the art, music, humanities side of your thinking, and the left side featuring the logical, analytical side., you can associate the right side of the brain to artists, musicians, teachers, designers, or philosophers, etc. while the left-side dominant thinkers tend to be analysts, statisticians, scientists, or problem solvers, etc.
The right side of the brain helps us with:
- Understanding the audience
- Understanding what is needed by clients
- Communicating and collaborating
- Listening to others
- Designing good content
- Being able to work well with others
- Developing creative ideas
- Training abilities
- Writing well
- Handling stress
The left side of the brain helps us with:
- Being technologically oriented
- Seeing and understanding the technical and scientific aspects of a product and functionality
- Building a logical workflow of a system
- Analyzing data
- Supporting quality and accuracy via trouble shooting problems
- Usability and regression testing
- Understanding System enhancements
- Strategizing the detailed organization of a document
- Making decisions
- Recognizing and sticking to timelines
- Setting priorities
I think Technical Communicators/Writers are both right- and left-brain oriented and combined they bring out their best attributes.
Other questions arose, i.e., where does user experience of an application fall for the Technical Communicator/Writer when they function as a user interface designer? Is this a more right- or left-brain oriented skill? Is the ease of use of an application or what is presented related to one side of the brain? Maybe it’s the right side as it involves the user interface design. But then, argumentatively, the functionality and logistics is left-brain oriented. I think the same goes for proof reading or copy editing. Both sides are needed for checking content.
When you look at the whole picture, that is, the definition of a Technical Communicator/Writer, it doesn’t seem like one side is more dominant. We see that having both sides of the brain are needed to relate information. If you go too far to the left, the writing can be too intense, boring, or mind-numbing and if you go too far to the right, the content might not be serious or be too varied or diverse and be confusing because it doesn’t hit the nail on the head.
To be a good Technical Communicator /Writer, we need the right and left side of the brain to accompaniment each other; to balance each other out.
If you think otherwise, please leave a comment.