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In God we trust…all others must bring data.

Analytical thinking combines rational thought with a love of abstract ideas.

When the Analytical mind is intrigued, it perseveres until all its questions are
answered. In a meeting or learning situation, people with strongly Analytical minds
are the ones that make all the non-Analytical thinkers uncomfortable by continually
querying the speaker, asking “why?” or “how?” and basically saying “prove it to

What’s the Key Question for the Analytical Mind?

The Analytical mind asks: “Where’s the research?” The Analytical part of your
brain immediately looks for verification.

What Is Analytical Thinking?

Nick, who has an extremely Analytical Profile, attended one of my seminars that
was held in a luxury hotel. “My family always complains that I don’t tell them I
love them,” he told me. “You have inspired me and I am going to change, begin-
ning this minute. I am going into the gift shop to buy some postcards to send to all
my children and grandchildren. On the card I shall tell each one of them that I
love them. Do you know where I can find a Xerox machine?”

Analytical thinking is logical and objective. People who show a strong pref-
erence for Analytical thinking enjoy math, science, technology, and fields like fi-
nance. They have disciplined thought processes, and prefer deductive reasoning
that follows a logical sequence. They base their conclusions on facts, not conjec-
ture, and—being naturally skeptical—seek data, evidence, and proof. They do not
believe in “cosmic woo-woo.” The Analytical mind is comfortable with statistical
and technical information, and is able to mesh details with abstract ideas. If you
gave strong Analytical thinkers a new technological device, they would find a hun-
dred ways to adapt it to their needs, using all of its capabilities, sometimes in unex-
pected but nonetheless successful ways.

What Is Good about Analytical Thinking?

The Analytical part of your brain is excellent at rational, clearheaded problem-

solving. People who are extremely Analytical are terrific at formulating systems that
accommodate lots of important details. They are excellent critical thinkers, always
notice inconsistencies, and can spot the fault line in an approach that isn’t going to

How Does the Analytical Mind Solve Problems?

The Analytical approach is theoretical, but not fanciful. The scientific
method—careful observation, use of data, plus a new idea in the form of a hypoth-
esis—is a premier example of Analytical thinking.

How Does the Analytical Mind Learn?

The Analytical part of your brain learns by mental analysis. This is a solitary
activity, so people who are highly Analytical often work alone. Analytical thinkers
want value for time spent, and they get more out of a learning opportunity if they
have some reading material to absorb ahead of time. If you are teaching someone
with a very Analytical mind, be prepared for critical questions, and make sure you
can defend your information. If you are discussing something interesting about
which they know little, strongly Analytical people are happy to consider you the ex-
pert—unless they catch you in a mistake. If this happens, you might as well pack
your bags and go home.

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

Marie Curie

What Are Some of the Drawbacks of Analytical Thinking?

People who are extremely Analytical are so logical that they can be perceived
as unemotional and uncaring. In fact, they may care a great deal, but they do not let
their emotions interfere with their thought processes. Analyzing a problem from
every angle is their way of showing that they care. Why bother, otherwise? People
with a preference for Analytical thought can be intimidating and somewhat judg-
mental. Often they are seen as negative and critical, when really they are simply at-
tempting to deeply understand a topic.

Analytical Thinking at Work

Roger’s Profile is extremely Analytical. On the first day of a three-day seminar I

gave to aircraft engineers, Roger asked, “What happens to the brain as we age?” I
responded that the aging brain basically gets better as we get older, and proceeded
to support this declaration by quoting several recent gerontology research articles
by Yale researchers. Satisfied, Roger had no further questions.
On the third day of the seminar, Roger raised his hand. I called on him, but I
mistakenly called him Andrew, the name of another participant. When the group
immediately called this to my attention, I laughed and said, “Sorry, Roger. I know
your name. My recall just isn’t what it used to be.”

Does This Sound Like You?

The following statements describe the Analytical brain:

•I like to review new technology.
•I make most of my decisions based on rigorous analysis.
•I like to have reading material prior to any class, lecture, or meeting I’m at-

Immediately eight people with strongly Analytical Profiles jumped up and, in

concert, yelled, “But on the first day, you said our brains get better as we get older!”
How much did this simple mistake matter?
At the end of the seminar, the participants filled out evaluations. Under “in-
structor thoroughly demonstrates knowledge of subject matter,” this group’s aver-
age response for me was “5” on a 7-point scale. These engineers enjoyed the sem-
inar and were already thinking about how to apply Emergenetics concepts at work.
But they weren’t about to let their overall enthusiasm


The key question is: Where’s the research?

Analytical thinking is: Logical, elegant, abstract, quantifiable
The Analytical mind learns by: Mental analysis
Rational problem-solving, inventing
The Analytical mind likes:
systems that incorporate necessary details
Predominantly Analytical
thinkers Deny emotion

cloud their judgment about my performance. A mistake is a mistake, and I had to

be held accountable. One of the engineers came up to me at the end of the session
and said in a flat, monotone voice, “Thank you. This has been the most significant
event of my life.” I knew, coming from an Analytical brain, this was high praise.
However, on his evaluation form he gave me a “4” out of 7—which for him was as
good as it gets.