skip to main content
Analytical: Learning to Love All 34 Talent Themes

Analytical: Learning to Love All 34 Talent Themes

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Theme Thursday Webcast Series
  • Season 1, Analytical
  • Learn how themes form the core of CliftonStrengths and how to understand and appreciate your own -- and others' -- strengths, as we focus on Analytical.

On a recent Theme Thursday Season 1 live webcast, we discussed the Analytical theme with Nate Dvorak, Gallup Researcher in Predictive Analytics.

Analytical seeks an objective understanding of the world from data and facts. People talented in the Analytical theme like accuracy and precision. They want to quantify and measure their work. Indeed, if something isn't measurable, Analytical will try to make it measurable. This theme extends beyond numbers and figures -- it can make vocabulary and communication more precise. People with Analytical seek the essence of a subject. They can easily identify patterns and root causes. Their mantra might be, "Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler."

As a researcher, Nate uses his Analytical strength all of the time. He explained that he continually asks himself, "What is the truth here? What is the heart of the issue or the solution?" Nate also enjoys prioritizing research projects and questions to find the projects that matter the most. He explained that he asks, "How can we best spend our time?"

Nate has WOO and Positivity in his Top 10 strengths -- these themes are the least likely strengths paired with Analytical. Nate relies on his Woo and Positivity to build strong relationships with his colleagues, even when they might be intimidated by his Analytical eye. Nate explained that some people may take his comments as a personal critique, but that his relationship building strengths help maintain strong bonds with his coworkers.

Learn more about the Analytical theme and how people like Nate use it in their everyday lives. Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from the Gallup campus here in Omaha, Nebraska, this is Gallup's Theme Thursday, recorded on December 10, 2015.

Jim Collison 0:19

Theme Thursday is a Gallup webcast series that dives deep into the Clifton StrengthsFinder themes, one theme at a time, and today's theme is Analytical. If you have questions, comments or contributions during the webcast, we do have a live chat room that's available for you right below the main video window. If you're catching this recorded, it's, we're probably not there anymore. But if you come live and join us, log in, there's a Login button bottom left hand corner. Put your name in the guest account and join us there. We will expect your questions during the program. And that's the best way to interface with us during the program. So log in there. If you're listening to the recorded version, or you need custom strengths coaching solutions for small, medium, or large organizations you can contact -- send us an email easiest way to do it: We also have a, a forum on the page that you're at right now on the live page. If you're listening live, you can fill that out and get it to us as well. Don't forget to visit the Gallup Strengths Center -- -- for all your coaching resources and StrengthsFinder training needs. You can also catch the video on both streaming and now downloadable audio for offline listening to past shows in a car, in a train, on a plane -- recapture that time that you'd normally be doing something else. And you can catch all of our training -- Called to Coach and Theme Thursday -- all those links are available for you out at the Coaches Blog. That's just Benjamin Erikson-Farr is our host today. Benjamin is a Go To; that's what we call him here. He's a manager for our Learning and Development team. So all the coaches that we've had on here, this is a -- he manages them here at Gallup. And Benjamin, great to have you on the program. And welcome to Theme Thursday!

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 1:45

Thanks, Jim. It's great to be here. Hey, I've been telling everyone this week that I'm going to have a really fun Theme Thursday. And of course, everyone understands that that's a joke, because the words "Analytical" and "fun" don't often go together. So we'll do our best to make it at least interesting for you.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 2:01

Yes, so I am a manager; I manage our Learning and Development Consultants, the ones who teach our strengths classes around the world. And one of the pieces of evidence I have for them that Analytical is not the most fun theme is that when I ask them how a class went, I typically get one of two answers. The first is, "Wow, it was great! What a great group! We had such an amazing class." And the second answer is, "Well, it was a pretty Analytical group" -- which is code for not that fun, but perhaps still good. I have to remind them that their manager has Analytical No. 1. So my Analytical talent's No. 1. No. 2 is Connectedness, then I have Learner, Strategic and Achiever. And I tell them that perhaps we as Analytical just have fun in different ways. Because the fundamental question that we're asking in our minds -- our filter for the world -- is, Is this true? So there's a little bit of skepticism there.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 2:50

A brief description of Analytical would be that we seek objective understanding coming from data and facts. We value accuracy and precision. I think oftentimes, the first thing that comes to people's mind is we like numbers and we're data-driven, and we value measurement -- that which is quantifiable. And there's a great quote from Galileo that says, "Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so." In other words, if it's not measurable, try to find a way to make it measurable. That's a great Analytical quote.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 3:20

But I think Analytical extends beyond numbers, and I would say, to just about everything where we value precision. So for example, with words, I recently heard someone say, "Wow, that sales person is literally 'on fire.'" And I made the joke to someone, said, "Well, we better get the fire extinguisher and call 911. Because if someone's literally on fire, that's very dangerous!" And I think what they meant to say more accurately is that person is figuratively -- with emphasis -- on fire. So that's a little bit of the Analytical mind at work.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 3:51

People high in Analytical are adept at noticing, identifying patterns. They have an acute awareness of all the factors that go into something, and they're good at identifying the root cause. They're interested in cause-and-effect relationships. Another great word for Analytical is "essence." So those who [are] Analytical seek the essence of a subject. That can go with theories, that can go with words, subjects. A great quote from Einstein is that "Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler." I think that's a wonderful Analytical quote there.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 4:24

If we think of a physicist with their equations on a chalkboard that cover volumes go up and down in an auditorium, and yet the -- part of the brilliance of Einstein was he was able to simplify into an equation of E = mc2. So I think the Analytical mind tries to boil things down to their essence, simplify.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 4:42

Another word is "objective." Analytical values the objective more than the subjective of opinions, and in some cases, that can be a dispassionate approach. So that would be a word that I would use for Analytical. Another word might be skeptical, and I think there's such thing as a healthy skepticism. And perhaps there's something also as an unhealthy skepticism. Which brings me kind of to the basements of Analytical. I think one of the basements of Analytical is that people often feel like you're questioning them as if you don't trust them. And that's something that we who have Analytical have to very, very well manage; manage our reaction -- when is the right time to question?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 5:24

We can also be frustrated when things don't make logical sense, and can sometimes be described as too serious, which goes back to the classes maybe not being as fun with high Analytical groups. People high in Analytical can also devalue the emotional component of a situation. So ignoring the qualitative evidence of feelings. And I think when -- when Analytical becomes mature, it honors and, and acknowledges that evidence, if you will, of emotions. Simply put, I think the basement of Analytical is to overanalyze and have paralysis by analysis. And I think in common ... , "overanalyzing" has a negative connotation, as in, "Don't overanalyze this!"

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 6:05

Interestingly, I think for most strengths, if you overuse them or misapply them, that would be the basement. But one of them -- overcommunicate -- is actually has a positive connotation. So "This is a time when we need to overcommunicate this message." And I think someone with Analytical might say, "Well, I don't know if we want to overcommunicate; let's just communicate the right amount. Let's simplify the message such that we get to the core of it, and people really understand it." Where if you overcommunicate, perhaps the message is lost.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 6:35

Analytical's in the Strategic Thinking Domain, and in terms of frequency in the Top 5 of our database, 12% of the -- our database has it in the Top 5, which puts it ranked tied for 19th. The most likely pairing is, at 35%, both Achiever and Learner. And I would hypothesize that's probably because those are two of the most common themes in our database. And there's not an inherently interesting relationship about those. But I would be welcome -- any people's theories about that. In terms of least likely pairing, it's tied at 2% for Positivity and Woo. And I think there's some interesting things we can do by theme contrast here.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 7:14

So I'll start with Positivity and Analytical. A Positivity would describe themselves as an optimist. Someone high in Analytical, not an -- not, would be a realist, not a pessimist but a realist. So a joke that I say is optimists see the glass as half-full; people high in Analytical see the glass as at 50% capacity. People high in Positivity might be light-hearted, where high in Analytical would be serious-minded. Woo was a little bit harder for me to contrast. But I went right to the source and looked for evidence in StrengthsFinder 2.0, which is always a great resource to go right to the definition. I was looking for patterns, of course, and within the first two sentences, I saw the word "challenge" in both Woo and Analytical. For Woo, it said, "You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you." So there's that word "challenge." For Analytical, it was, "Your Analytical theme challenges other people." So I think if you have Woo and your goal is to get people to like you, there's probably a bit of a contrast by challenging them right away. That may not be the fastest way to win them over is to challenge them.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 8:20

Another contrast would be Connectedness and Analytical. So I think Connectedness would accept mystery, whereas people high in Analytical would accept truth. And I think both might be seeking truth. Connectedness, maybe more "Truth" with a capital T, a spiritual truth, whereas Analytical might be "truth" with a lowercase t -- more of an objective truth. The final and most common contrast would be Empathy and Analytical. So Empathy leads with the heart and emotion; Analytical, with the head and with logic.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 8:50

A couple of theme packages. One would be a serious package of themes. People high in Deliberative are serious about risk. People high in Responsibility are serious about commitments. And people high in Analytical are serious about proof. Another one might be a sorting package. So people high in Strategic intuitively sort possibilities; people high in Focus would sort priorities to find that top priority; and people high in Analytical might sort realities, or they might sort of evidence to find the one true reality.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 9:22

If I were to say who would be a fictional character who would symbolize Analytical, I was going to say Spock or Data from Star Trek, because they were purely logical and they didn't have the emotion. But I didn't want to appear like a Trekkie and appeal to only my Analytical friends. So I'll use Sherlock Holmes, who is a, perhaps a more, more well-known and popular figure. And Sherlock Holmes has a great quote, which says, "Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth." And I think that quote, great summary in kind of ends my Overture for the Analytical theme. And so from the fictional characters to the real character of Nate Dvorak, our guest. Nate is a Researcher in Predictive Analytics here for Gallup. Nate, it's so great to have you here. Welcome to the show!

Nate Dvorak 10:12

Thanks, Benjamin. Thanks, Jim. Happy to be here.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 10:15

Great. Nate, I'd love for you to tell us all your Top 5 and then describe your role at Gallup.

Nate Dvorak 10:21

Sure. So my Top 5 is Individualization, Strategic, Ideation, Futuristic and Analytical. So a lot of Thinking themes, as we'll talk about shortly. And my role here at Gallup, specifically, is relevant to my Analytical theme. I've been at Gallup for about 7 1/2 years now. And I'm a Researcher on our Workplace team. So I spend my time each day studying workplaces and organizations and individuals and understanding how Gallup can transfer our knowledge into different ways to benefit those workplaces and individuals and find different ways to measure beneficial things and create an impact -- certain beneficial things that we study, like individual strengths, for example, or how engaged they are at work, or maybe the talent of their manager -- how we can partner with organizations to replicate those and create impact with them.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 11:11

That's great, Nate. And obviously, there's a just a strong correlation with your Analytical and your role. So I'd love for you to hear specifically -- or tell us specifically about how Analytical plays into your role.

Jim Collison 11:21

Yeah, great question. Thanks, Benjamin. Analytical is is a strength that I use every day, probably multiple times a day, especially as a researcher. We're always asking ourselves a few different questions. As you said, Benjamin, what's the truth here? So what's the truth about a talented manager, for example? What, really, if we study, you know, 10 different organizations and 100 different managers, what is the truth that all of those talented managers have that really differentiates them and helps them and their teams succeed? That's a big one for me.

Nate Dvorak 11:50

Another, another way that I use my Analytical talent every day is looking for, Where do we invest our time? So what's worth studying and researching? And what other questions do we say, Aah, maybe to benefit our ability to study and measure and define a certain construct, for example, may not be the best way to go. So I'm always looking for sort of the truth, once we've defined the research question, and also looking for certain, what research questions should we explore and pursue? And what should we maybe put less priority on?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 12:21

That's great. Yep. Certainly searching for truth. And I think also, it's sorting, sorting priorities, or sorting realities, if you will. So we talked about the theme dynamics and the least likely pairs. And in fact, Nate, I know that you don't have Woo or Positivity in your Top 5. But those are the least likely pair statistically, and you have both of them in your Top 10. So tell us a little bit about some theme dynamics that you have, and how that helps kind of complement or, or moderate your, your, Analytical?

Jim Collison 12:49

Yeah, sure. For me, you know, some -- when I think of my Analytical, I think of really two things. One is, is sort of a curiosity. Right? I'm curious, asking questions, seeking that truth. And the other is sort of a bit of a critical lens that I have, if you will. And that critical lens sometimes can be, can be difficult to manage and can be, especially for people who take that as more, rather than a review of something or a questioning, take that a little bit more personally.

Nate Dvorak 13:17

So my Woo and Positivity has really helped me critique maybe some thoughts or ideas, but still remain and ensure I'm building strong relationships with people. So I still want to, I may critique an idea or a thought or a research project. But my Woo really brings me back and says, Hey, but what I'm not critiquing is the person. I still want to win this person over, have a great relationship with them or a great partnership with them.

Nate Dvorak 13:41

And I still want to be positive on having some ideas. I have Ideation high, too. So the Positivity part of me -- doesn't want to use Analytical just to say, you know what, the answer is "No," or I don't think we should do this, period. Positivity then kicks in and says, "But what about this? How about this?" Let's, let's, let's keep partnering and keep moving forward and working together. So those really, for me, are a great balance, having a lot of Thinking themes, as you said, 4 out of my Top 5, that Woo and Positivity sort of, kind of eject a little humanness in me, maybe, and help me build those strong relationships in the people I work with and spend my time with.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 14:18

That's great. You were also talking about your Individualization being No. 1 helping to moderate it.

Jim Collison 14:24

Yeah, yep, exactly right. Individualization. I use the Individualization, Woo and Positivity together to really understand if, if Analytical is sometimes getting too curious or sometimes too critical, I want to make sure that I don't feel like I am critiquing a person or making them feel bad; that I really want to -- my Analytical is searching for the truth, it's not searching for ideas to knock down.

Nate Dvorak 14:44

So sometimes it can come off -- and I felt that too, and I feel like, Man, I think this person feels like I'm really just knocking down their ideas. And, and I use that Individualization to kind of recognize that, and the Woo and Positivity to say, and Ideation sometimes to say, Hey, let's work more on this. We may not be there yet. But I really want to partner with you and get there. And so let's, let's make this work.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 15:06

That's great. So what do you wish people understood or knew about the Analytical talent?

Jim Collison 15:14

Yeah, good question, again. A couple of things, as I talked about, kind of the critical piece and the curiosity piece. The curiosity piece, let's start there, the Curiosity piece is that I may (somebody with high Analytical) may never be satisfied with what we know. So we're always asking "Why?", always asking questions, always asking for more evidence, always asking for further support and data, perhaps. And some people can get very frustrated with that. And they can say, You know, I told you this one. So we have a certain study, or we talked to so-and-so and they proved it to us.

Nate Dvorak 15:46

And for me, what -- I'm not discounting -- my Analytical isn't discounting everything I've heard. But it's always looking to build on that foundation and keep asking questions, keep exploring my curiosity and pursuing that truth, like you said, and pursuing the essence that we can always count on that's there. So that's the curiosity piece of it.

Nate Dvorak 16:05

The critical piece is sort of like I talked about, that for me, when I think about my Analytical, my Analytical is sort of like a little engine in the back of my head. It's always running; it never really shuts off. Right? And it's always saying, OK, Is this enough? Is this truth? And it's never, I think sometimes people wish I could shut that off, because they may want to say, "I'm not asking you for your critique. I'm not asking for you to say if this is good or bad. I just wanted to share an idea with you."

Nate Dvorak 16:30

And sometimes I have to, my Analytical isn't saying, you know, trying to shut an idea down or trying to ask somebody to refine an idea a little bit further. It's just always saying, "Let's move this to the next level. Let's think about this in a different way. And keep refining this." Sometimes, I think people think it's, it's sort of a, you know, putting a kibosh on something, right. And what I wish they knew is Analytical is always trying to get further and further forward and further and further progress. Not -- it's trying to say a more refined "Yes" versus a "No," for example, or an "I don't understand quite yet."

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 17:04

That's great. And with that, I mean, are there clues of your Analytical talent if you think back to your childhood, where you say, "Ah, that was my Analytical at work"?

Jim Collison 17:13

Yeah, I, kind of to that point about curiosity. I remember numerous examples, talking to my parents or talking to teachers, where I would always be saying, "Why?" "Why, you know, why is this? Why are we doing this? Why are we having this for dinner? Why are we going here? Why am I playing this sport?" Whatever it is. And my parents especially, I got the, the old parental response, "Because or "Because I said so. Because they -- my siblings weren't nearly that curious, weren't nearly that questioning. And so, frankly, I think they, they got sick of it at some point.

Nate Dvorak 17:44

But it was very, very early on, I was asking questions of my parents, of other people, of my friends. The other people kind of look quizzically and say, "Why are you" -- almost "Why are you wasting your time thinking about this?" Let's just take it as it is and go with it. Teachers, the same thing, where I would ask teachers, you know, after class, for example, or beyond just the kind of the standard daily lesson, "Why is this happening?" "Why are we doing this?" And great teachers that I had would really invest in that and take that curiosity and help me explore that curiosity in different, individualized ways. Teachers that maybe weren't quite as strong would, would just, sort of like my parents sometimes, say, "You know, that's, that's the end of the lesson for now. And we're gonna move to the next thing."

Nate Dvorak 18:24

So that really helped me identify some of the great teachers I've had over time is, is when I was curious about certain things, or had a critical eye about why are we doing something? Those teachers really took time, and mentors took time and invested in me, and helped me explore that Analytical. It all -- what I've also found is people that have Analytical are much more likely to dig into those questions a little bit more and partner with with me or others to say, "Hey, let's really, you know, two Analytical people together can, can spend all their time just exploring a certain question, and they feeding off each other. I found that a lot working with other Analytical people. We can really feed off each other because there's none of that critical aspect to it. It's more just we're partnering to search for the truth, and we're taking two brains into people's talents and going that much faster and that much further into our quest for really having a deep understanding of something.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 19:21

Yep. I can see that. You kind of have a, an understanding that it's not a personal attack. It's just a search for truth.

Nate Dvorak 19:30

I'm sure you know how that goes, Benjamin. You've got Analytical No. 1.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 19:34

You know, one of the things that Nate and I were talking about, and it's just a hypothesis, but that people high in Analytical tend to have a drier sense of humor. I -- and, and, and Nate and I are an n size of 2 on that. So Nate, talk to me about, a little bit about your sense of humor and how perhaps your Analytical plays into that. You have a great one!

Jim Collison 19:51

Thanks, Benjamin. I think, when I was thinking about the sense of humor, as we were talking earlier, it kind of reminded me of that little wheel, you know, always turn In the back of my head. And, that that Analytical wheel likes to see, you know, the, the deeper -- you call it the deeper or more of a dry, refined sense of humor. That when, when we hear a joke, I think you and I, that turns that little wheel a little bit and makes us think doubly, not just, you know, physical comedy, but something that really makes us think, recall an experience or recall something else that's referenced in the joke. It sort of makes that wheel spin a little bit faster, and makes kind of the corners of our mouth smile a little bit more, because we kind of, we got to use that Analytical piece of our, of our brains and our personality to really understand kind of a subtlety or more of a depth to a certain joke or a comment for perhaps another just more basic or obvious jokes.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 20:41

Yeah, I think that's true. That sounds true to me. Jim, are there any questions? I have some more for Nate. But if there are any, we can, we'd be happy to entertain them now.

Jim Collison 20:51

Yeah, let's drop a few in. So kind of an observation, so -- and a good one, actually. So Nate has Strategic, Ideation and Analytical in there, in his Top 5. So does Seth Schuchman here. Seth was on recently being interviewed as well. And I don't know, we're not going to pull this number out. But Benjamin, I'll ask this to you, because this would be a tough math number: How often do you think that triplet comes up in people's, you know, that the combination of those in your coaching and working with people? Do you see that combination pretty often?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 21:25

And the combination again, was -- ?

Jim Collison 21:27

Is Strategic, Ideation, Analytical.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 21:31

Well, I think what they all have in common is multiplicity. So I don't have a statistic for it. But I think what they're all thinking about is multiple -- in the case of Strategic, it's starting with a with a certain point and thinking about all the future possibilities. With Ideation, it's, it's thinking about all the multiple ideas. And with Analytical, it's actually in a bit the inverse of the process. So it's taking all of the complexity of the data and refining it down to a single point.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 22:01

So I think it's interesting in talking to Nate about his Ideation with his Analytical, I think they really feed off of each other. So I do have both of those as well in my dominant themes. So, Nate, talk a little bit about how your Ideation and your Analytical tend to feed each other. It's almost expand and contract, or, or multiplicity, then down to singularity.

Jim Collison 22:23

Yeah, you're exactly right, Benjamin. When I think about Ideation, Ideation, it's the, there's no boundaries to it, right? My -- the Ideation part of me is always moving, thinking in different ways, looking at ways to analyze different things. And so there, it's really, it's kind of a universe that never ends. When you think about Analytical, though, it is that refined lens that says, OK, if we've got 100 ideas, how do we -- 100, acting on 100 ideas is impossible. So how to refine -- how do we refine that down to one or two ideas that's going to be most beneficial for me or my work team or a research agenda, for example?

Nate Dvorak 23:00

And the two of those really, for me, I've seen play really well together, because they kind of help me go really broad when I need to go really broad. And then when I, after I've done that, I got to say, OK, how do we sort out -- we've got 100 ideas now, 1,000 ideas, all kinds of different opportunities that are really exciting. How do we sort that down to something that really we can, we can believe in, we can find truth in, that we can stand, you know, stand on? And the two of those go together really well for me, what I've found.

Nate Dvorak 23:28

I think sometimes when I -- I'll catch myself, I'll find myself, my Ideation running without a little Analytical, and people will sort of look at me and just go, "No. Can't do that. Too many ideas, too many ideas, and I've got to step back for myself." And they almost look at you like you're, like, they sort of, it's like "Get real!" You know, you -- "Come on back to reality." And I'll feel that and then it kind of put my Analytical into little overdrive a bit to say, OK, well, now we've done enough ideating, and ideating is a lot of fun, right? But the Analytical piece, the fun there comes out of it in sifting things down to really what's important, or what's most valuable. And that's fun, too, in a little bit of a different way. You know, I think what I've found is that's fun after you've done the ideation and you've tested something out, and it works. And the reason it works is because you were a little bit Analytical or Strategic beforehand, in sorting those ideas out. But the ideating is fun, just because you're getting to think about so many different options, like you said, so many different ways to go.

Jim Collison 24:25

Nate, let me ask you this question. So I have Ideation high as well. [No.] 7 for me, but none of the Strategic; I'm all action, right? So Activator, Woo, Communication, right, rolling forward, pulling people along with me. How does that make you feel when you get an Ideator in there, but moving maybe faster than you want to think through it? How do you, how do you deal with that?

Jim Collison 24:44

Yeah, well, it can be frustrating at times, right? Because I may want to, with Strategic and Analytical, there may be times where I want to say, "Slow down a little bit. Are we sure about this? What's the evidence we have? Or why should we go this way or that way?" So I think, and, and sometimes I have a natural reaction that can lean that way and say, you know -- Benjamin talked about it a little bit -- it's a little bit of paralysis sometimes where, if I'm not convinced about an argument or an idea or an opportunity, I'm gonna, gonna question a little bit, and say, "Yeah, are we sure? Do we know?"

Nate Dvorak 25:18

So that's kind of how the, the brain works. But to your point, too, the Individualization kind of brings me to that and says, OK, Jim is just going to be a go-getter, Jim's going to move fast. And so what I'm going to do is partner with Jim, and as we're moving fast, we're going to make sure we're always learning. So we're adding knowledge to what we've got. So our are Analytical is getting smarter. We're getting smarter about this. Even if Jim wants to move fast, and I understand that that's just the way that Jim works all the time, I use those, those fast-moving people who are a little bit different than me to feed that Analytical so that we're always getting smarter and more refined about what we know and what we can count on.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 25:54

I'll add to that and say that there's, there's data in trial and error. So all the failures that you might have, Jim, in trying, that also -- that's one way of testing a hypothesis by starting it! We might say as Analytical, it'd be better to think it through up front. But certainly that's, that's one great way to go. And Activators are great partners for Analytical. I agree.

Jim Collison 26:14

That's -- Benjamin, that's great insight, because that can be, where it's, where it can normally be very frustrating to be like, "Would you slow down?" You can turn that, with Analytical and say, "Hey, wait a minute, actually, when you get going, I can start collecting data." And, and one of the things Activators are great at is not necessarily owning their ideas very long. So, you know, it's like, "Hey, we tried this; it didn't work. I'm willing to let it go." And so that's a great partnership. I've never thought of it that way. So that's pretty cool.

Jim Collison 26:43

Let me, let me move on to another question so we get it in here. Nate, how do you know when to stop asking questions? And -- so how do you temper the tendency to appear not to trust other team members? And how do you get team members to understand you? And, and how do you stop asking? So how do you, how do you kind of get out of that "question hamster wheel"?

Jim Collison 27:03

Yeah, very good question. I think I'll answer the question in two parts. One is the, there's some times when I when I've said OK, we've got to stop asking questions for now, and it's a personal thing. So that, that's where when some people, like I could have teammates or friends, significant others, for example, who are saying, "OK, you've just asked me a million questions about this." It's time when I can personally kind of use my Individualization and see that they may be exhausted with all the questions we're asking. So there's definitely a personal aspect to that where I say, "OK, time to stop asking questions for a bit." And like Benjamin said, maybe now's the time to set up some, collect some data, for example, or ask, think about asking some different questions, but not right now. That's, that's the personal side of it.

Nate Dvorak 27:45

The -- call it the data or the more objective side of it, to me, it varies by, based on endeavor, but it really is about OK, when am I convinced that I know as much truth of this as I can? And would I be confident, if I made this claim in front of predicting the future, for example? If I said, OK, do, do I have enough confidence that if I saw this happen 9 times in a row, and I had to bet -- I'm not a bettor, but if I said, "If I'm going to bet on the 10th one, how confident would I be on the same thing happening?" Once -- when I'm there, to that point where I'll say, "I know enough knowledge about this that I can, I can be pretty confident that I can predict what the future is gonna be" -- it's maybe my Futuristic a little bit too -- then I can say, "OK, we can stop there. We know enough. We're confident that when we see this in the future or we see something like this in the future, the outcome is going to be the same."

Nate Dvorak 28:34

Or we find that if we know enough about this, we can generalize our knowledge, say, in one organization, for example, or one industry over to another industry. Once we're at that point of generalizability, where we know enough to generalize, that's a point for me where I can say, "OK, we've asked enough questions, we've refined our understanding enough about it, that we can take something maybe that we don't quite know of and predict what's going to happen there [based on] the things that we've already tested and we know about. Those are two kind of clues to me that I say "OK, we can stop asking questions about this because we're so confident in the data we've collected, the data, we've analyzed, the relationships that we've seen, or the experience that we have." That the Analytical is sort of satisfied, I would say, about that topic, whatever it is. What do you think, Benjamin?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 29:23

Yeah, absolutely. So I like -- I like how you divide it into the relationship piece. So there's, there's a right time and a wrong time to ask questions, based on who a person is. And then I also think it's sorting, like, I could also see your Strategic saying, "You know what, there's no ROI, or there's no, there's no value in asking any more questions at this point." So it's kind of refining or sorting there.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 29:42

One of the things, as you were talking, I love the combination of Analytical and Futuristic, because predicting or thinking about the future is inherently uncertain, and people with Analytical are seeking certainty. So there's a tension between those two themes. I have low Futuristic, so predicting the future, for me, is very difficult, because I'm like, "Do we have enough data?" So it sounded like, as you were describing it, it's almost like when you get 3 years of data, then you have a trend. Now I can predict the future, right? Whereas someone without Analytical might not, their Futuristic might not manifest that way and need that trend or need the evidence for the future; it may be more of a vision.

Jim Collison 30:21

Benjamin, how important is that? Or how does that play in as in a manager's role? So, you know, you're a manager, you manage people, and when you think about how do you apply that, you know, that, that theme to your, to your management style?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 30:36


Jim Collison 30:37


Benjamin Erikson-Farr 30:38

Yes. So the way that I think about my themes is, is kind of there's, there's research that Gallup has done around the needs of followers. And there's is -- one of the things as a manager you need to provide is, is stability, compassion, hope, and trust, right. So how would my Analytical play into each of those? So I think trust is a very inherent one, like when people, I think I, when I say something, people trust that it's accurate because they know that I've thought about it. Stability, in that I'm going to make a change or a move only after I've given it a lot of thought. And my Analytical plays into that very much.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 31:17

The compassion and the hope ones, I think those are the ones where there's some tension, right. So the compassion, I would often say, I have to lean on some of my other themes like my Connectedness to provide that. Because in a sense, Analytical is dispassionate by its nature. That being said, I can give you examples of when I've used my Analytical to provide hope or compassion. Hope also would be something that Analytical could provide hope. But probably I would tend to provide hope in the terms of, is there data to support that hope?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 31:48

So I think when I say something about the future, and provide hope, people tend to count on that hope, there's a higher likelihood that it happens because of the Analytical theme. And with the compassion, the example I was going to use is, "Hey, I know you've been very busy. But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Here's the data I see." And, for example, I know that we're going to have a break for you in the future and I show a trend or a chart on that. And that actually shows that I care, because I'm providing evidence that I've noticed what's happening with a person. And then they see that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jim Collison 32:23

So in a related question, and we may have answered this in the answers before, but when you're, Nate, let me -- How do you turn the brain off? I mean, you kind of gave some strategies for "stop asking questions." That's the outward appearance of an inward condition of how do you, you know, how do you shut the brain off? So when you get to a point, is there a, would you give someone, at least in your in your case, like, are you ever done thinking about things? And how do you turn it off?

Nate Dvorak 32:51

Yeah, great question. I think it's, there are some times when I would say it's never, it's hard to turn off. What I would think about is more, How do I manage it? So it's, when I think about it, my Analytical, it's so strong sometimes that it's hard to really take the key out and shut the engine down. What you do sometimes is just, just put the car in the garage for a while and say, OK, you know, maybe the work I'm doing right now or the people I'm with, there's really no need for that. They're not interested in the Analytical. There's other things that, you know, we could be in an Ideation situation, for example, or just a social situation. So for me, the, the Analytical is still running; I'm still thinking about questions that I'm asking myself, different ways, as Benjamin said, ways that we can test things out, whether it's collecting some data on it or some experiments that we can do.

Nate Dvorak 33:38

And those, in the back of my mind, may be always running. But outwardly I'm not nearly as vocal about sharing those critiques, for example, or those curiosities with the people I'm with. Because I will admit, it, it's pretty hard to sort of shut off sometimes. Sometimes if I'm just totally distract -- if I'm really into ideating on something, I'll feel that the Analytical kind of pushes away, and my mind's really stretching and thinking about bigger things. So there are some instances where that's happening. But usually, you know, I'll catch myself, even in the lunch line or something like that, and there's Analytical kind of running in the background, saying, "What do we know about this? What's happening? How confident are we in this? How can we collect more data about whatever it is?" So it's hard to shut off sometimes. What do you think, Benjamin?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 34:25

Yeah, I think the short answer is you don't shut it off. I think, you, the "Manage it" was a pretty good answer, Nate. I guess the longer answer is there are ways to, to slow it down. I think one is is intentionally moving from the headspace, and I think maybe with your Relationship talents like Individualization or me with my Connectedness, you can almost turn off the thinking by moving into more of a feeling space when you're with, with people you care about, or it's like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna stop thinking and just be with a person. So there's kind of a moving from thinking to being, if you will.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 34:58

Another one is, honestly, hobbies, hobbies that are in a way mind-numbing like television or playing sports or something like that where you're not thinking; you're just in the moment, or you've kind of shut, shut the brain off. But that's almost just a way to wind down. But generally speaking, during the day, the mind is, the mind is running. And it's a -- we both have the combination of Strategic and the Futuristic, and -- or Analytical and Strategic. So it's what is, what could be. So that's a, it's, I think, the mind keeps running.

Jim Collison 35:29

Yeah, good point, Benjamin. When I think of, you know, mind distractors can kind of get me. So if I'm reading a book, for example, that can get me away from the Analytical, but once I put the book down, then the Analytical kicks in. Or if I'm, you know, working out, riding a bike or running, for example, that's when my Analytical goes on overdrive, because there's nothing, you know, my mind is, is just kind of clear and ready to start thinking about things. So the, the best thinking that I've done is usually in times like that, where I'm running or riding a bicycle, driving, for example, in the car. That's when I've got just enough focus to drive a car or ride a bike. My brain's turned on, but there's no other things that, you know, that are immediate in my brain that I'm talking to a person or something like that. So, really, Analytical can kind of go into overdrive. And, and, and I can, it sounds, it would almost get through a lot of thinking, you know, get, get a lot of mental work done in times like that.

Jim Collison 36:21

Benjamin, let me throw this question to you. When we think of Analytical and Deliberative, someone in the chat room was saying, you know, some of the things we've been saying makes Analytical sound like Deliberative. Like it takes time, we want to think through. We say those things with Deliberative. How do you see the difference between those two?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 36:38

Yeah, there, there are some, there is some overlap. I think both of them, of course, they're both Thinking themes, and both of them would tend to move slow versus fast. OK, I would say the big difference is Deliberative is, is sorting risk. So it's thinking about What, what could go wrong? And I think Analytical would be thinking about, What are the facts that can validate this? And even, even with Deliberative, you know, you might be thinking about, I think, Analytical could moderate Deliberative.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 37:07

So, for example, Hey, a meteor could fall from the sky and stop us. Analytical would say, Well, what are the odds that a meteor would fall from the sky and stop us? Well, that's happened once in recorded human history, and therefore it's unlikely. So I think Analytical can temper Deliberative in that sense, because it's assessing the validity of the risk or the likelihood of the risk.

Jim Collison 37:28

Nate, someone had asked a question, and I'll pose this to you about Input working with Analytical. Is that a theme that works with -- well with it or well against it? Your thoughts as you think about someone with Input -- works well with you? Works against you? And other dynamics that play into that?

Jim Collison 37:43

I would, I would say that works very well. That's what sort of feeds my Analytical, I think, is the Ideation. I would think of them as a theme of 3: Ideation, Input and Analytical. So Input is really me collecting ideas, things to think about, research questions. Ideation helps me sort of think broadly about those. You know, I may get inspire -- use my Input talent to get inspired by or intrigued about something that I read about and want to learn more about that. Ideation helps me kind of blow that up and get really big. And then the Analytical comes in with the 3 of those and says, OK, how do we, how valid is this, like Benjamin said, what we're, what I'm taking in? Is this a bunch of bologna? Or is this something where there's really something there?

Nate Dvorak 38:23

And what's the next question? Is this gonna, is this going to be valuable or beneficial for me? That's where Analytical kind of helps me sort those out. Or Ideation comes in, and what, what can we do next? If you've gotten an Input or some inspiration, Ideation can help me take that What do we do next with this? And then Analytical boils it down to what's actually feasible -- of all the things that we could do, what's actually feasible that we could test out or experiment or collect some data on to really, maybe, you know, create something new?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 38:50

Yeah, and I don't have Input. But one, one thing I'd say they both have in common -- Analytical and Input -- is they're both looking for answers. Input's looking for answers from external sources, and [Analytical's] kind of looking for answers in, in terms of, as we've talked about, refining to truth.

Jim Collison 39:09

Chat room is caught up. I'll throw it back to you, Benjamin.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 39:13

Great. OK. So, Jim, do we have time for more questions?

Jim Collison 39:16

We have about 6 or 7 minutes. You bet.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 39:20

OK, great. So Nate, I think, I think one of the, one of the things about Analytical is this sense of being dispassionate, which oftentimes is seen as a negative. Can you talk a little bit about, you know, how you manage that?

Jim Collison 39:39

Yeah, very good question. And you're right, it does come off many times -- both, what I've experienced in both my work life and personal life -- that it can be, the questions, the thoughts that go through your mind, having high Analytical to maybe the person having those don't seem dispassionate or emotionless. But they can come across that way. And honestly, in my life, it took me a long time to realize others had that perception. Because I think, you know, you know, having Analytical high, Benjamin, it's -- internally for somebody having Analytical high, it's not that lack of emotion. But it's questioning around emotions, questioning certain situations, for example, where emotions may be involved in.

Nate Dvorak 40:22

So for me, it took me a good over 20 years, I would say to understand that, or I would get confused, maybe even frustrated, when people would respond to some of my questions and say, you know, "You're just -- you don't have any emotions about this. You're not emotionally involved in this." And I would say, the, what I've found is that the more I ask those questions, what I found anyways, is when I'm more emotionally involved in situations or people, I'm more curious in asking those questions, versus the less emotions I have, the less, the less questions asked, the less I'm bringing that Analytical talent to the situation. To other people that comes across as, you know what, you're asking these questions when you should be just being with somebody or just feeling with somebody.

Nate Dvorak 41:02

So it's taken me a long time to understand that it comes off that way to other people, and also to manage it and help me communicate. And say, you know what, some -- the reasons I'm asking these questions is not because I don't care. It's not because I don't understand maybe your emotions or understand the situation. But this may be helping me understand the situation, you know, me emotionally, or maybe thinking me how I can help you understand the situation emotionally. So that's taken a long time to understand. And it's not an easy thing to do. I still find myself, you know, being in situations where I realize that some -- they may not know that my questions are coming out of care and love, for example, instead of just curiosity or, or being critical.

Nate Dvorak 41:45

So I always have to kind of manage that and overcommunicate, I think, that the, a person or a group of people may be getting a lot of my talent, maybe a lot of my Analytical talent. But, but what I've found is that they're getting a lot of that talent because I care about their, you know, that situation. But not easy to most people. It's hard to -- they don't naturally see that, I guess I would say, and I've had to overcommunicate that.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 42:09

Yeah. And I think that's right. I mean, in my experience, Analytical in isolation can come across as if you don't care, almost as if you're not emotional or you're, you're detached. And it almost shows up like in a poker face. Like when you're happy, you have the same face as when you're sad. And that can be a tough read for people. And I think oftentimes, Analytical people show that they care by asking questions. And I think Analytical in its balcony can ask questions in a way that, that appear, or that come across to others as if, as if there's care involved.

Nate Dvorak 42:43

Yep. I've had to be very intentional about that, about using my Individualization talent to say, OK, if I'm, if I am Analytical about this, and the reason I may be using, you know, that, that Analytical part of my brain is working a lot is because I am emotionally invested in the situation. How do I ask those questions or explore these things in a way that really understands the other person and respects where the other person is, and doesn't come off as, as just sort of a cold, dispassionate questions or approach to the situation?

Nate Dvorak 43:13

Yeah, that's good. Jim?

Jim Collison 43:14

Benjamin, let me ask a question real quick, because Curt always used to say, you know, he wanted everyone to love all 34 of these themes. And we kind of started the webcast today, kind of thing, you know, that Analytical people don't have fun, right, which is kind of a negative connotation to that, right? And Curt would, Curt would try and spin that around. So let me throw that to you guys because both of you have it high: What does fun look like? And, and I know you can have fun. So I'm not going to say, you know, but what does it look like? Benjamin, let me start with you. What is fun? And let's, let's bring some fun to Analytical.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 43:49

Well, mental stimulation is fun for me. And I will say this, like Curt wrote the Theme Insight Cards, which is almost everyone's favorite tool. And he attributed that to, primarily to his Analytical because he was able to take the complexity of the themes and bring them down to simplicity. So it's almost a mental challenge. I know that was fun for him with his Analytical. So having an intellectual discussion, debating about something, asking tough questions, getting tough questions -- that's all fun for me. So I think where, how would I have fun, like, in the traditional sense? Maybe like a board game or a strategy game. Something like that, I think, is, is fun for an Analytical.

Jim Collison 44:31

Nate, what about you?

Jim Collison 44:32

You're absolutely right, Benjamin, you nailed it, though using that of our brain that's always running and getting to apply it and see something happen -- so playing a, you know, a game like a board game like Risk, for example, or having a really in-depth discussion where we get to take that out and kind of take it for a spin with other people, and especially in social situations where we combine a little bit of Analytical with some social situations too. Though -- that's a really a lot of fun for, I would say somebody who has Analytical pretty high. Sounds a bit nerdy, but for us, it really kind of gets, gets us moving and gets us excited. And, and let me tell you, Benjamin and I are the, the furthest thing from a nerd ever, right?

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 45:09

Yes, of course. Yeah, that's very good. Thank you, Nate!

Jim Collison 45:13

Nate, is that why you were asking me the question about Google Glass? We got started on the program today. So --

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 45:20

And, and I do want to also say about, about this idea of fun, it kind of reminds me of like, how do you engage an Analytical person if you're coaching them? I know we have a lot of coaches. And I think, when we talk about traditionally, in the sense of coaching, we talk about establishing the relationship. And again, Analytical in a vacuum, they're not going to want to start the call telling you about their family; they're not gonna want to hear about your family. They want to get to interesting questions right away. So asking them, I think starting with, with theme dynamics, starting with a tough question about their strengths, that's going to engage an Analytical person much more quickly than the traditional rapport-building. Because they want to see value in mental stimulation, not that relational kind of connection and -- that some other themes might.

Jim Collison 46:09

Yeah, that's, that's a great point, Benjamin, I think, I was thinking about that same thing as a, as a being coached, somebody who has Analytical, I would want to, I'd have two questions. One would be I'd, I'd ask about the credibility of a person right away. So I would say, "Prove to me that you've got the experience or the knowledge to coach me." And then once you get through that, I'd immediately want to go to the challenge. "How are you, what are the questions we're exploring? What can you give me to work on as homework to think about about my strengths or my team's strengths?" Because those are the things that would really engage me.

Nate Dvorak 46:39

Once I see you're credible, then you're in, then challenge me mentally and then I'm sort of hooked and attached. And so it's almost like you get addicted to a soap opera or a show like that. If you keep giving them those, those Analytical challenges to think of, whether it's with themselves or with their team, that's what really hooks an Analytical person and says, "I'm really getting value out of this coaching relationship." It may seem, as you said, a little bit less relationship-focused. But it's, but I would say somebody with Analytical is, is just as attached maybe to that coach and finds just as much value in it. But it comes out as much more of a mental challenge for them versus a "Hi," get to know you, "How is your family?" these, these sort of things.

Jim Collison 47:17

Ah, very good. Benjamin, as we kind of bring this in for a landing, maybe we could put a, kind of put a wrap on Analytical, and, and thank Nate for his time here.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 47:27

Great. Yeah. So I'd say with Analytical, with the filter of searching for truth and, and think -- and loving mental stimulation, I'd say definitely, as you're working with and partnering with people with Analytical, have those things in mind. Because that's their filter on the world. It's been a pleasure talking about Analytical. It's certainly one of my most favorite themes. It's my No. 1 theme. So I love it.

Benjamin Erikson-Farr 47:52

And I encourage you all to fall in love with all 34, including Analytical. And Nate, thank you so much for your time. It's been a pleasure talking with you this past hour, and, and I just love working with you and partnering with you. Because we're like-minded in that sense. We have that Analytical bond, and you've done a great job of illuminating the Analytical talent for us. So thank you very much!

Nate Dvorak 48:14

Thank you guys, both! It's been a pleasure.

Jim Collison 48:17

We want to thank you guys for coming out today. Nate, both you and Benjamin -- Benjamin, thanks for filling in again, as well. You partnered with me -- after Curt's passing, I got with you. And we said, Hey, we've got to finish 10 of these. And you, very thoughtfully with -- using Analytical as well as Strategic, helped me work through the, you know, the final 10 and getting the guests lined up. And we are -- this is 33 of 34. And if you're listening to the recorded version in 2016 sometime, we wrapped them all.

Jim Collison 48:46

But a very special Futuristic coming up next Tuesday. And yes, that's right. We're going to do Theme Thursday on a Tuesday. The only day I could get Jeremy Pietrocini was, was on a Tuesday, and, as well as Rosanne Liesveld will be on a very special Theme Thursday. You'll want to be live for this one next Tuesday. The schedule will be, and it will be right, on Eventbrite. So go to If you are listening after the fact, that's where we keep all of our webcasts and so they're current. If you go out there right now in 2016, we'll have a current list of them as well.

Jim Collison 49:18

Remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available at the Gallup Strengths Center, just Send us your questions, comments, contributions. If you want to be a guest blogger -- in fact, I'll mention this here in just a second; we have a big project coming up in 2016 -- send us an email: You can also catch the recorded audio and video of this program as well as all the past ones. The links to our Facebook group, YouTube page, iTunes and RSS feeds, iPhone and Android app. Here's -- this is for you Analytical folks; I'm giving you guys all this data that you can do, all these things that you can do, as well as the new weekly Strengths Wisdom Program that's coming up in 2016. I'd invite you right now: There's a tab that says GWSW; click on that. In 2016, we're going to go back to through all these themes again, one a week, and we're gonna really dig in and expo -- you know, we're gonna, these Theme Thursday programs will be available. We have a new program coming for you, available in 2016. We would like you to go through these themes with us in a pulse, and so that we have this pulse of themes going around the world every single week in 2016. That's available, again, There's ways for you to participate, and those are on that GWSW page that's out there. So head out there right now, even if it's 2016, and you're just coming to this video, we'll still be doing this. So head out to and click the GWSW tab and we'll get that as well. If you found this helpful, please share it. And we'll thank everyone for coming out and joining us today, and we'll look forward to the last, the last Theme Thursday next Tuesday. And you'll want to join us there. And with that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Nate Dvorak's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Individualization, Strategic, Ideation, Futuristic and Analytical.

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

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030