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The Analytical Theme: How You Can Productively Aim Your CliftonStrengths Talent

The Analytical Theme: How You Can Productively Aim Your CliftonStrengths Talent

by Albert L. Winseman, D.Min.

Gallup StrengthsFinder Analytical definition: People exceptionally talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all of the factors that might affect a situation.

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?

If you have Analytical among your Signature Themes, these are most likely very familiar questions -- perhaps ones you ask on a regular basis. Analytical focuses on facts to find patterns and reach conclusions.

Those with strong Analytical CliftonStrengths talents tend to be logical and rigorous in their thinking; before acting, they will weigh the evidence and study the data to make an informed decision -- and only when convinced by the evidence the data provides will they take action. Sound thinking is the hallmark of the Analytical theme and objectivity is the goal.

Analytical: Helps and Hinders

When coaching those with Analytical as a Signature Theme, helping them claim both the "helps and hinders" of Analytical is critical to productive aiming. Some common helps and hinders:


  • You are a logical thinker. You gather facts and information, and as such, you make sound decisions.
  • Your Analytical theme makes you credible -- your evidence-based decision making creates trust.
  • You have a knack for asking the right people the right questions, gaining insights into what you and your team need to be successful.
  • You have a dispassionate approach to decision making, which makes you an asset in highly emotional situations. You can clearly assess the situation and your data-driven approach can calm the storm.


  • Your Analytical talents can lead you to take emotion out of the decision-making process, which can be perceived by others as uncaring, skeptical or harsh.
  • Because you ask a lot of questions, others may see you as someone who always doubts or questions the validity of their work, which can be demoralizing.
  • You may tend to keep your thought processes to yourself, and only share your conclusions with others. Your team members need to see and hear your logic -- find ways to let others know how you come to the conclusions you reach.
  • Due to your focus on evidence and question-asking to assess the soundness of any approach, others may perceive you as negative toward or unsupportive of new initiatives. That is not necessarily the case, so find ways to communicate to your team that your questioning is not about being negative, but is a way of ensuring all factors are taken into consideration to find the best route forward.

Analytical: Self-Awareness, Self-Expression, Self-Regulation

To productively aim their Analytical StrengthsFinder talents at a particular goal, an individual must have: 1) good self-awareness about the theme's power, edge and vulnerabilities; 2) an understanding of how this theme finds expression in day-to-day thinking, feeling and behaving; 3) an understanding of how to regulate their Analytical to maximize the potential positive outcomes that can be achieved through intentionally applying a strengths-based approach. Coaches can help clients with strong Analytical talents by exploring some the following:


  • The Power and Edge of Analytical: Those with Analytical as one of their Signature Themes find great satisfaction in uncovering the essential facts needed to make wise decisions. This information leads to effective action and can prevent serious errors that can come from acting too soon. Analytical examines and inquires, and then reaches a conclusion.
  • The Vulnerabilities of Analytical: Because they tend to ask critical questions and explore all the ramifications, those high in Analytical talents often can be seen as negative and untrusting of others. People may feel that their opinions aren't valued by those with strong Analytical talents and may cease to offer their ideas. As a coach, you can help your Analytical clients manage this perception by guiding them in thinking about how they can reinforce the value each person brings to a team, while still not sacrificing rigorous examination of the facts in front of them.


Coaches can assist clients in realizing and claiming the expression of Analytical talents by helping them explore past instances when this theme has been particularly useful. To facilitate this exploration, coaches can ask questions like the following:

  • Tell me about your best day at work. What made it a great day? (listen for expression of Analytical)
  • When was the last time your examination of the data at hand prevented a serious error? How did you feel?
  • Who is your best thought partner when exploring options? What do you value most about them?
  • What does your team or your supervisor value most about you and your work?


Self-Regulation occurs when individuals know which of their talents to use in particular situations, or know which talents to combine to sharpen, accelerate or soften a specific talent. For example, Analytical's questioning, "prove it to me" nature can be mistakenly viewed as negative or resistant to change. It is then that a coach can help the client find other talents they might use instead to help others feel valued and respected -- and help others value your client's talent for critical thinking. Coaches also can help clients explore different theme combinations to sharpen, accelerate or soften their Analytical. For example:

Analytical: Five Powerful Questions for Productive Aiming

  • In what work situations and environments are you most productive?
  • What are you known for on your team or in your organization? What are some ways you can intentionally help others see the value in your questioning and evaluating?
  • What are the roadblocks to your team's or organization's success? What are the critical factors that need to be solved -- and what information and analysis will be needed?
  • Who would benefit the most from your unblinking, analytical eye toward a problem? How will you approach them to let them know of your willingness to help? How can you help them see the value you would bring to the situation?
  • How do you know you are successful? How do you measure success? What additional metrics or data would be important for an accurate evaluation?

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:


Al Winseman's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Ideation, Futuristic, Maximizer, Strategic and Command.

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