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February 21, 2018

How to Communicate with a Left-Brained Leader


One of the things that’s key to communicating with leaders is considering that person’s leadership style. From experience working with leaders across the globe, I’ve noticed that the majority of senior leaders today are left-brained.

  • They think in words (vs. images)
  • They are highly analytical
  • They focus on logic (as opposed to emotion)
  • They do a lot of advanced planning (they don’t wing it)
  • They approach challenges in a linear way

Increase Your Chances of Being Heard

Left‑brained leaders benefit from and respond to a certain style of communication. If you know you’re communicating with this type of leader, you can tailor your message to appeal to the left side of the brain and increase the chances of getting heard:

  • Focus on the rationale for a decision
  • Outline your thoughts in steps that flow logically (first, then second, then third)
  • Discuss details and why they matter
  • Appeal to their decision-making abilities with specific consideration of options and their implications
  • Communicate any potential hypotheses you have

In the end, the best approach may be to appeal to both sides of the brain. You might begin by painting a picture of the future state you envision (appealing to the right brain), and then quickly move to your recommendations and the rationale behind them (appealing to the more analytical left‑brain side). Doing so can ensure that your audience not only hears your message but also is inspired to act on it.

How might you flex your communication style the next time you need to communicate with a left‑brained leader? 

David Grossman

Click below to download the eBook—Can You Hear Me Now? Make What You Say Matter and Increase Your Chances of Being Heard—to access messaging secrets on how to connect and communicate with your team:

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