Strengths Coaching Blog

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Analytical: The Insistence that Theories be Sound - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Analytical with Gallup's Benjamin Erikson-Farr. 





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Your Analytical theme challenges other people: “Prove it. Show me why what you are claiming is true.” In the face of this kind of questioning, some will find that their brilliant theories wither and die. For you, this is precisely the point. You do not necessarily want to destroy other people’s ideas, but you do insist that their theories be sound. You see yourself as objective and dispassionate. You like data because they are value free. They have no agenda. Armed with these data, you search for patterns and connections. 

You want to understand how certain patterns affect one another. How do they combine? What is their outcome? Does this outcome fit with the theory being offered or the situation being confronted? These are your questions. You peel the layers back until, gradually, the root cause or causes are revealed. Others see you as logical and rigorous. Over time, they will come to you in order to expose someone’s “wishful thinking” or “clumsy thinking” to your refining mind. It is hoped that your analysis is never delivered too harshly. Otherwise, others may avoid you when that “wishful thinking” is their own.


Thinking is synonymous with doing, and you will be so much better for others if you give yourself the time to process things through in your mind. Analytical is about the challenge to prove it. It is the need to prove that what you’re claiming is true. Liking data is a symptom of wanting the truth. Often times the quickest answer to a question can be found by sifting through the data. 

If as an individual Analytical is seeking understanding through fact, as a leader it is that dispassionate approach to creating a shared understanding. It is not only how you process, but how you help others process as well. It is about noticing patterns, as well as discovering cause and effect. It is about sorting through evidence in pursuit of that truth. In a leader it can mean fearlessness in times when situations are very emotional. Analytical can help you cling to facts and truth in a stormy situation of emotion. A leader does not discard emotion, but rather uses it as a starting point for new discoveries that they would perhaps not have made if they had stayed in that emotional state. 

Individuals high in Analytical can be trusted not to be swayed by feelings or hunches alone. You can listen to hunches and follow them in pursuit of what is accurate. You can use these as clues as a starting point for the evidence you will gather. There is a lot of thoughtfulness, precision and honesty in this theme.

A leader may use the Analytical theme to build trust by showing their work. From time to time it may be not only necessary, but fascinating to others to show how you came to your conclusions. Compassion can described as an absence of judgment, and so with Analytical it can allow you to talk about success objectively. Perhaps this could lead to more inclusiveness, understanding and the ability to hire and introduce others to teams without being blinded by your gut reaction to a person. You can really look for excellence, and find that outside a person’s resume. 

A leader may use Analytical to provide stability by getting to know your own tipping point for confidence. How much data do you need to be able to provide stability to others? How much time do you need? Discover this point for yourself to be able to provide this need to your followers. Finally, you can provide that idea of hope by being able to provide measurements of success for the people who follow you. Think about describing the future in milestones. Include that ability to be able to connect cause and effect. Sometimes truth comes back to measurement, and so Analytical is uniquely positioned to provide that concrete level of hope. 

How do you feel about the Analytical theme in a leadership role? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr Profile Picture


Benjamin Erikson-Farr serves as the Performance Team Lead, Learning and Development, at Gallup.

Benjamin manages a global team of learning and development professionals who work with Gallup clients to improve organizational performance and drive business results through consulting, analysis and development. Benjamin is also responsible for managing Gallup’s translations team, ensuring that the company provides high-quality translations of its consulting and learning materials to clients worldwide.


Benjamin's top 5 strengths are: Analytical | Connectedness | Learner | Achiever | Relator.

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