Being a right-brainer, I'm fascinated by my left-brain colleagues. They're so logical. Their sentences are barely camouflaged if-then statements. I can almost hear gears grind as they attempt to translate my nebulous brainstorms into well-ordered bits. I often gauge the boldness of my ideas by the level of their skepticism.
But, my left-brain love is far from blind. After getting a few literally-true-but-practically-useless results, I'm more careful when making requests of left-brainers to avoid interactions like this.
Right-brain Q: Is it possible to update the interface so the customer has to make fewer selections?
Left-brain A: Yes.
Imagine crickets chirping.
Right-brain Q: So, could you add it to the list?
Left-brain A: Yes, I could.
Right-brain Q (after seeing the final results): Why does the customer still have to make so many selections? I thought you said you could change the interface.
Left-brain A: I said I could change the interface. I didn't say I would.
Imagine dramatic, right-brain sigh.
Avoiding yes-no questions is the simplest solution. It's worth the added prep time on my part to yield fruitful interactions like this.
Right-brain Q: How many fewer selections would a customer have to make if some of the prompts were collapsed or re-ordered? (Note that I've turned this into both a puzzle and a challenge-an irresistible combination for left-brainers worldwide.)
Left-brain Q (after just a few hours): I've eliminated several steps by posing the report-type question first, thereby making the other selections unnecessary. Can you take a look?
Right-brain A: Fantastic. You're very smart.
Although the objects of my conditional left-brain love might struggle to express it, I just know they feel at least some conditional love for me and my fellow right-brainers. We simply need a translation interface to enjoy our union.
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