In our work with engineers we’ve discovered many are left handed, maybe a disproportionately large number. Engineers are tenacious problem solvers. They are also pretty creative. Research tells us these abilities are common among most southpaws.
While maybe 10 or 12 percent of the population are left-handed, why are so many lefties earning their daily bread as engineers? A recent study at Saint Lawrence University revealed that lefties with high IQs outnumber their right-handed counterparts. Lefties think quicker, work well on teams, multitask, and are capable of dealing with large, unorganized streams of information. Engineers need these capabilities.
Australian National University research found that lefties react faster to stimulus, and are skilled at spotting details in patterns. Lefties are also more capable of dealing with sensory overload. So, perhaps many left-handed folks are destined to be engineers.
Engineers know how to explain their work to those in their field as well as others from all walks of life. Engineers often collaborate, as their work is usually a component of a complex project.
Successful engineers respect deadlines. Engineers have the flexibility to handle unexpected challenges, including obstacles that come out of left field. Southpaws are good at anticipating delays and other events that can throw a schedule off track. Their thoughts travel in the left lane—it’s the fast one.