Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Analytical

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min


Analytical Magnifying Glass
Analytical is what I call a “questioning” theme – people high in Analytical tend to ask a lot of questions. The questions they ask are most likely of the “prove it to me” variety:  “Where did you get that information? What does the data say? Have you done your homework? What are your sources? What is the evidence to back it up? How do you know this will work?” Analytical focuses on the facts, figures, data, and evidence to come to conclusions and find patterns. Before acting, individuals with Analytical in their Top Five will weigh the evidence, study the data, and make an informed decision – then take action. Sound thinking is the hallmark of Analytical, and objectivity is the goal.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I will explore the similarities and differences between Analytical and Strategic, Learner, and Focus.


Analytical and Strategic

Both Analytical and Strategic are thinking themes, which means they very similar in many ways. Both are characterized by gaining energy from internal processing, and both tend to have a “think before you act” approach to accomplishing goals and tasks. Both tend to look for and recognize patterns. But Strategic is more of an anticipatory theme while Analytical is more of a reactive theme. Strategic anticipates options and possibilities; Analytical scrutinizes current data. Strategic looks for possible patterns to predict alternatives; Analytical examines existing patterns to find solutions. Strategic tends to fly at 30,000 feet and sees the big picture; Analytical can tend to be “on the ground” and seeing the details of the obstacles and routes forward.

Analytical and Learner

Again, Analytical and Learner are both thinking themes, so there is a similarity in that internal mental activity characterizes both of them. Both themes tend to be rather studious. But the purpose of study is different for each theme. Analytical studies data for patterns, answers, trends, and solutions.  Learner studies subjects for information, clarity, creativity and novelty. For those high in Learner, the process of learning can be a satisfying end in and of itself, regardless of the utility of that learning. For those high in Analytical, often times learning needs to lead to a better conclusion, a more well thought out plan, or more sound thinking. Learner loves taking a class, reading a book, being a subject matter expert. Analytical loves finding the proof, exploring connections, discovering the source. Analytical searches for reasons and causes, while Learner searches for new information or experiences.

Analytical and Focus

Analytical and Focus can look very similar in their outcomes. There is a doggedness to each of these themes – a determination aspect that can give them a common appearance. But the aim of that doggedness is very different. Analytical is determined to find the proof, discover the connection, and won’t stop until the reasoning behind an action is sound.  Focus is determined to reach a goal, accomplish priorities, and won’t stop until the goal line is crossed.  Analytical is a certain way of thinking, and Focus is a certain way of executing. Those high in Analytical don’t necessarily need to act on fruit of their fact-finding – sometimes finding the facts is action enough.  Those high in Focus, however, are driven to achieve a goal – and data is only relevant if it helps achieve the goal.  For Analytical, thinking can be an activity that is its own reward; for Focus, thinking serves as an adjunct to action and serves the purpose of achieving one’s goals.

Be sure to catch up on Season One and Season Two of Theme Thursday-Analytical to learn more!

Catch the latest on all Theme Thursday episodes here

Al Winseman bio is below


Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al brings deep expertise in employee and customer engagement, executive leadership and organizational dynamics to his consulting work with Gallup’s clients. He consults with senior leaders, executives and front-line managers to improve employee and customer engagement and to implement strategic initiatives that drive business growth.

Al's top 5 strengths are: Ideation | Futuristic | Maximizer | Strategic | Command

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