Interacting with an Analytical Mind

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Our company’s behavioral assessment technology partly relies on dividing people’s core behaviors into four main categories. While they have overly scientific, superfluous names, we like to refer to those four behavioral styles as the following: “decision-makers,” “good samaritans,” “people-pleasers,” and “analyticals.”

Depending on what kinds of behavioral styles make up your own personality, you will most likely find it more difficult to get along with people that are more aligned with one behavioral style than another. For example, if you’re not the biggest fan of people that take charge and don’t have much of a problem bossing others around, then you may not get along with some “decision-makers” out there. It’s perfectly natural that not all of us will get along with one another, but there are some people that we are more likely to both get along with and butt heads with.

As for me, I’m a people-pleaser. And as such, I love people, caring for them and about them, and hate to see them upset — especially with me. Because of this, I find I have the least luck getting along with “analyticals,” because they aren’t often social butterflies and can be very bad listeners. But, the more people I interact with every day and the more I learn about different behavioral styles, I’ve come to understand analyticals a little better. I’ve learned how to work with them, laugh with them, and coexist with them. And, I’ve compiled some tips I’ve learned along the way for people that might also have the occasional trouble interacting with an analytical mind.

  1. Sometimes, you’ll have to work for it

Usually, the life of the party isn’t going to be the analytical. They’re not the most social and often prefer to work in solitude where they can have control over the many projects they’re probably working on simultaneously. They may not offer up personal information or share too much about their lives outside of your relationship. So, sometimes you’ll have to really work to get them to come out of their shell a bit. Ask them questions (as long as they’re not busy working) even if they seem indifferent or hard to talk to. If you want to get to know an analytical, it’s going to take some effort and sometimes you’ll have to make the first move. But, from my experience, they’re some of the best people to know.

2. You might have to convince them to let you help

Analyticals can sometimes have trouble delegating. They are true perfectionists to the core and don’t usually like placing their precious work in the hands of someone else. If you find yourself in a position where you need or really want to provide some assistance to an analytical, it most likely won’t be accepted easily. Try to get them to see why they should let you help. For instance, maybe you can express the different strengths you could bring to the table or explain that you have more time to spend on the project than they do. Whatever your reasoning, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want to make an analytical feel like they need your help. Instead, they will be much more receptacle if they feel your help will benefit them in some way.

3. Listen

Analyticals that I’ve met love to talk. Not necessarily about themselves or about anything relevant to the subject at hand. They just love to educate. They love acquiring knowledge and sharing that knowledge with people. Sometimes people can view this as exhausting behavior because they’re essentially back in a college lecture hall. But, analyticals in your life are not giving you a college lecture, they’re just trying to talk to you like people do. And people like to be listened to and heard, not ignored. When you ignore or disregard an analytical while they’re talking, it can be really detrimental to your relationship, and they don’t forget about it quickly. So, even if an analytical has been dragging on and on about the newest marine animal discovery…again, simply listen and be polite — they’ll appreciate it more than you know.

4. Be prepared to be wrong, and fight if you’re right

The biggest issue I tend to run into with some analyticals is their absolute inability to be wrong…about anything…ever. Since they pride themselves on gathering and gaining so much knowledge and then later relaying it to people, they don’t like being told the information they’ve compiled is false. In fact, they hate it, and sometimes don’t even believe it until they look it up for themselves. Most of the time if you go up against an analytical, you’re going to be wrong. They’re devastatingly intelligent people with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an insatiable lust for proving themselves right. But, every so often when I know without a doubt that an analytical has made a mistake, I have to make sure to stomp the argument battleground very boldly. If you try to argue with an analytical and don’t come out of the gate with 100% confidence you will fail. They will pummel you with facts and dizzy you with figures until you forget what your point was in the first place. Come into your argument strong with your points carefully laid out. If you know you’re right, then don’t back down…just make sure you’re right first.

5. Be patient

Still at the very core of an analytical’s personality is their determined drive for perfection. Even the smallest projects can become so large in their minds that the stress becomes overwhelming. They may spend days or weeks working on things that could take half that time. Excessive energy will probably be expelled, sleep will be lost, and hair will be pulled out. But, no matter an analytical’s avenue for completing an assignment, they give their all to everything they do and don’t turn in projects unless they meet crazy high expectations. You have to learn to be patient with analyticals, especially if you want to reap the results of their hard work. Let them work at their own pace as much as you can and respect their creative processes when possible. If you can allow an analytical the time, space, and resources required to complete a task, you can expect perfection.

Chad Q. Brown’s Profile is a retained consulting firm incorporating distinct team building and talent strategies utilizing proprietary technology and behavioral assessment infrastructure. Our mission — help people get better at people.


Chad Q. Brown

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