In my work environment, I am surrounded by particularly innovative and inspiring people, all devoted to developing wonderful graphic and written materials for English for kids. I have worked in many companies, but have never seen such a pool of talent converged in one place. I wondered what makes the group so special and hypothesized that MAYBE there was a particular attribute shared by Helen Doron employees that makes them especially creative.
I decided that this common thread could be that there are more left-handed personnel here, which could explain the high level of skill. So, I asked everyone in the Helen Doron head office if they are right-handed or left-handed and found that 12% of our staff is left-handed. Although this is a little higher than the average (about 10% of the world’s population are lefties), it is well within the normal range. So, I guess that isn’t the common thread, but I did learn a lot about being left-handed and the implications in brain function and language development: so important in our challenge to impart bilingualism to the world’s children.
So, why are some people left-handed (also referred to as southpaws, especially in sports), and why are they the minority? Researchers haven’t quite figured that out yet, but some believe it’s a complex collaboration between genes and environment. There isn’t a distinct gene that indicates left-handedness. However, there is a difference between brain capabilities in righties and lefties.1
According to Chris McManus, a professor of psychology and medical education at University College, London, left-handers’ brains allow them to process language, spatial relations, and emotions in more creative ways — which is the reason there is a higher percentage of musically and mathematically gifted lefties than there are righties.
Left-handedness has definitely been linked to enhanced mental abilities. A study conducted by Dr Alan Searleman of St. Lawrence University found there are more left-handed geniuses than right-handed ones. Lefties also tend to be better at problem-solving skills and have larger vocabularies than average.2
Looks like when it comes to creativity, the lefties have us righties at an advantage, but that is definitely not the case at Helen Doron, where everyone seems to be so gifted.
What is the leftie to rightie ratio at your workplace? Do those who are “other handed” than you have different capabilities or talents?
Marilyn Glazier – Social Media – The Helen Doron Group
- Medical Daily, International Left-Handers Day: What Are The Benefits Of Being Left-Handed? August 2013
- Dr Alan Searlemen St Lawrence University, Left-handedness and Intelligence 2013