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Psychologically Ambidextrous

Part I:  Description

Psychologically Ambidextrous: Embracing a Mindset of Flexibility

The term "psychologically ambidextrous" describes the ability to hold two opposing ideas simultaneously, recognizing the value in both, and choosing the most appropriate approach for a given situation. This mental agility involves:

  • Tolerance for Ambiguity: Being comfortable with complexity and uncertainty, not needing everything to be black and white.

  • Contextual Awareness: Understanding that the "best" solution often depends on the specifics of the situation.

  • Balancing Competing Needs: Finding ways to integrate seemingly contradictory perspectives, goals, or emotions.

  • Adaptive Thinking: Being willing to shift your approach when circumstances change, avoiding rigid adherence to one way of being.

Why Psychological Ambidexterity Matters

  • Enhanced Problem-Solving: Opens up a wider range of creative solutions and lessens bias.

  • Improved Decision-Making: Helps you weigh options thoroughly, seeing both the pros and cons of different approaches.

  • Stronger Relationships: Better at understanding diverse perspectives and finding common ground.

  • Increased Resilience: Able to navigate life's complexities without getting stuck in either-or thinking.

Part II:  Common Questions

1. Does being psychologically ambidextrous mean being indecisive?

  • Answer: Absolutely not. It's about thoughtfully considering all sides before making a decision, not remaining stuck in analysis paralysis. Psychologically ambidextrous people can act decisively, utilizing the insights gained from a multifaceted approach.

2. Isn't it better to be consistent than psychologically ambidextrous?

  • Answer: While consistency is important in some areas, flexibility is crucial for navigating a complex world. Psychologically ambidextrous individuals can be consistent in their values while being adaptable in their methods depending on the situation.

3. Can anyone become psychologically ambidextrous?

  • Answer: Yes! While some people naturally lean this way, it's a skill that can be developed with practice. Strategies include:

    • Actively seeking out opposing viewpoints.

    • Playing "devil's advocate" to challenge your own assumptions.

    • Practicing mindfulness to observe your thought patterns.

4. How does being psychologically ambidextrous help in leadership?

  • Answer: It allows leaders to:

    • Build more inclusive teams with diverse perspectives.

    • Adapt their leadership style to the needs of different individuals.

    • Make well-rounded decisions that consider multiple stakeholders.

    • Navigate conflicts by empathizing with opposing sides.

5. Are there downsides to being psychologically ambidextrous?

  • Answer: Potential challenges include:

    • Appearing wishy-washy if you don't communicate your thought process clearly.

    • Internal conflict when holding opposing views simultaneously.

    • Need for self-awareness to know when to be flexible and when to be firm.

Part III:  Additional Resources

Books about being Psychologically Ambidextrous

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant 

  • While not explicitly using the term, the book explores the importance of rethinking assumptions, embracing nuance, and intellectual humility – core components of psychological ambidexterity.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

  • Argues for the value of a breadth of experiences and explores how flexibility of thinking is often more advantageous than deep specialization.

Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life by Francesca Gino 

  • Challenges the idea of adhering to a single "right" way of doing things, advocating for adapting your approach – a mark of the psychologically ambidextrous.

Websites and Online Resources about being Psychologically Ambidextrous

  • Articles and insights explaining cognitive flexibility, the foundational skill underlying psychological ambidexterity.

  • Farnam Street Blog: Explore articles on mental models and decision-making, which often touch on the importance of considering multiple perspectives. (

  • The Decision Lab: A resource devoted to improving decision-making, with articles highlighting the dangers of biases and how to counteract them. (

Additional Options about being Psychologically Ambidextrous

  • Podcasts on Leadership or Habits: Look for podcasts discussing adaptable leadership styles or the importance of questioning your thinking processes.

  • Online Courses: Platforms like Coursera may offer courses on critical thinking, cognitive flexibility, or conflict resolution – skills that support psychological ambidexterity. (

  • Assessments: Search for online assessments measuring cognitive flexibility or openness to change. These can provide a starting point for developing your psychological ambidexterity.

  • Social Media: Follow thought leaders who promote critical thinking and embracing complexity.

Part IV:  Disclaimer

These results were highly selected, curated, and edited by The Nexus Inititiative. To make this amount of complimentary content available at a cost-effective level for our site visitors and clients, we have to rely on, and use, resources like Google Gemini and other similar services.

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