Know Your Crew, Part 2: How to Lead the "Analyticals"

Last month, I started a five-part series about knowing your crew and the four different social styles on your team. If you haven’t read that column, be sure to start there so this month’s column makes sense to you. (You can find the archived article at Just enter “Know Your Crew” in the search box and it will take you to the article.)

The concept of social style originated with Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.), who developed the idea that there are four basic temperaments among people: Sanguine (the “Expressive”), Choleric (the “Driver”), Melancholy (the “Analytical”) and Phlegmatic (the “Amiable”). He stressed that the elements inside the body contributed to the factor of personality.

This series is based on the specific social-styles concept developed by Merrill and Reid, as presented in their book, Personal Styles and Effective Performance (Chilton). My own observations and research have also been incorporated. In this column, I discuss the Analyticals, the “technique specialists” on your crew. They are “askers” who are “task oriented.” They like to organize, solve problems, and create quality work. They prefer to work carefully and alone. Their decision making tends to avoid risks, is slow and deliberate, and is based more on facts than intuition or a “gut feeling.” Analyticals have a strong sense of duty and obligation and tend to take on too much responsibility. They are driven by a forceful work ethic, and play does not come naturally to them. They see themselves as conservators and are prone to worry. They are steadfast and dependable.

Their strengths are: Sacrifices own will for others, schedule-oriented, detail-conscious, economical, perfectionist, orderly and organized and finishes what he or she starts. Weaknesses include: Not people-oriented, hesitant to start projects, spends too much time planning, standards often too high, may discourage others and sulks over disagreements.

I want to share some tips with you for leading an Analytical. First of all, they need reasons why they should complete tasks or participate in activities. They want details and exact instructions. They need a work environment that is structured and orderly. As a leader, you need to give Analyticals space and time to think and react. They do not like to be pushed, intimidated or manipulated. They would rather make no decision than make a bad decision.

Analyticals work well alone, but they also add value to teams by developing game plans and setting high standards. They follow through on assigned tasks and do not need leaders to breathe down their necks. They like completing tasks that require planning and accuracy, and they take their work seriously. They can be picky about who they work with and have a difficult time working with those who do not keep deadlines or disregard rules or regulations. They can become critical and negative concerning people who perform at low standards or produce mediocre work.

The Analytical will typically maintain a neat and orderly work area. They like to focus and concentrate on one task at a time and do not appreciate having too many projects dumped on them at once.

No shortcuts

Analyticals resent leaders who take costly shortcuts. They want to follow those who think carefully when making decisions. Analyticals want things done right the first time. They appreciate leaders who will give them clarification and suggestions. They like alternatives for implementation and want practical methods for projects.

To lead Analyticals, know what they value and what annoys them. Analyticals value accuracy, competence and organization. They appreciate facts, efficiency, quality and structure. They are annoyed by disorganization, hastiness and aggressiveness. They are especially annoyed by shouting, invasiveness and exaggeration. Analyticals become frustrated with illogical policies, procedures or projects.

Analyticals do not like confrontational situations and will tend to avoid leaders who are loud and obnoxious. Analyticals respect leaders who think through their decisions carefully and remain calm when things get crazy.

My next column talks about the “Drivers” and why they are the most difficult to supervise. n