“Without data you are just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming
I read with interest the recent slew of collective sales taking place in Singapore (also known as en bloc sales). Market participants were predicting that the housing market had hit a bottom and prices were expected to rebound from here on. My first thought was to ask questions like, “Where are they getting these predictions from? On what basis do they claim what they say? Can they be trusted?”
About the Analytical Talent Theme
Go Where No Man Has “Thought” Before
People with the Analytical talent theme love facts and numbers. They may well have been that kid who owned the entire Britannica encyclopedia (in the times before the internet and Wikipedia came along). A person with the Analytical theme is driven by a motivation to seek out the truth. In reality that often means arming themselves with data and credible sources to quantify or qualify what they say.
Mental stimulation is a must for people with this theme. They are curious and love to find out more by asking questions on the “what”, “why” and “how” of things.
In God We Trust, All Others Must Bring Data
Being highly objective, they try to apply their logical reasoning in every situation. They love it when others ask them to share the insights gained from their analysis, which makes them powerful additions to organisations and teams that make decisions based on solid facts.
In the absence of data, analytical people are unlikely to blindly assert their views. However, the opposite situation of having too much information may also cause problems, as analytical types would spend excessive amounts of time researching before coming up with an answer.
Because of their preference for objectivity, people with Analytical as a dominant theme may come across as being ‘cold’. Things that are hard to quantify (e.g. relationships) may fall to the side, since they favour rational thinking above all else. Their deeply rooted belief in using logic as a life compass leads them to being highly opinionated on issues that matter to them, and they may find it difficult to accept alternative perspectives. This reminds me of Spock from Star Trek, who often makes emotionless but logical remarks like, “Leaving me behind will significantly increase your chances of survival, Doctor” (in Star Trek: Beyond, when Spock and Dr. Bones try to locate the rest of their crew after crash-landing on a planet).
Analyticals at Work
As a Leader / Employer
The Analytical leader is the one who always asks the what, how and why of things. Adopting a dispassionate approach, they are focused on discovering the root cause and effect of situations. When given a large amount of data, analytical leaders excel at sieving through it, forming hypotheses and generating their conclusions on what needs to be done. When working with them, not knowing simple facts and being unable to substantiate proposals with something concrete is a surefire way to get on their nerves. If you are the analytical leader, be sure to clearly communicate your expectations to the team!
As a Follower / Employee
Analyticals can be trusted to ‘get to the bottom of things’ in situations that require solid evidence. For example, the company could require a market research report to determine whether their new product could sell well in the face of competition. This would be a task that individuals high in Analytical relish. In a chaotic environment, analyticals will be the voice of truth. At meetings, they may be the ones who point out facts that appear obvious to them, but not for the others in the room. As an employee, if you know that your leader is not as analytically-driven, be sure to be tactful when presenting your findings. Choose a right time and place as leaders can be preoccupied with other tasks and not receptive to what you have to say.
Theme Pairings for Analytical
Man shall not live by brains alone.
Some of the themes they pair well with Analytical are:
- Activators. People with Activator will push to get things done, which may be necessary in cases of information overload. By giving the analytical individual a limited timeframe, decisions can be made in a timely manner using facts, not emotions.
- Competition. People with this strength will push for Analyticals to achieve measurable outcomes based on the insights they have generated.
- Empathy/Woo. Using cold hard logic is not always the easiest way to get people on board. People with Empathy and Woo can help ‘soften’ the message to make it more palatable to other stakeholders.
With Analytical ranked second in my top 5 strengths, I see the theme showing up in every aspect of my life. I love exploring data and see it as a crucial tool from which I build my thoughts. From keeping detailed records on my daily expenses to evaluating the merits of a potential investment, I see myself using facts and figures to objectively measure the pros and cons of every situation that I encounter in life.
While the goal has always been the search for truth using a methodical approach, I have found that over-reliance on this theme could lead to disastrous outcomes – others have noted that I can appear to be aloof or give the impression that I am ‘unfeeling’, when that is hardly the case.
Over time I have learned to temper the instinctual habit to point out the facts (no matter how harsh they are). Being ‘situationally aware’ allows me to get my point across while taking into consideration the right timing to deliver the message. In the end, logic does not always trump emotions, and being respectful of that reality is key for an Analytical individual to excel when working together with others.