Taking Your Stage Blog  
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4 Tips to Communicate with an Analytic

IMG_0797_webI confess.  I am an analytic.  I love details, solving problems, and getting things done.   For those of us who are more analytic, I'd like to help you communicate with us more effectively because we know who you are.  You get frustrated when talking with us.  You wish we would stop being so detail oriented and get to the point.  You want us to just get the job done.  But if you understand us, you'll be amazed by what you get out of us.

We analytics can get a bad rap when really we just want to understanding things correctly in order to do things right the first time!  If you are feeling a bit of frustration with folks in your organization that are more detail oriented (such as those in a technical position), here are four suggestions just for you:

1.  We LOVE to solve your problem...usually

If you need someone to analyze and solve a problem, we're your person!  We love to think through problems, brainstorm options, and work out the best solution.  Throw us a problem now and then to show that you appreciate our "superior" (at least we think so) problem-solving skills.

However, if the problem is a result of someone's stupidity or lack of planning, we'd rather sing "Oh Suzanna" 100 times while walking around the building...in the rain.  We want no part of it.  So if you need to approach us about a problem like this, bring some contriteness with you.

2.  Give us INFORMATION..but keep us from overanalyzing!

We crave the details.  If you ask us to make a decision without enough details, we're going to be hurting.  The only thing we hate more than making a wrong decision is being forced to make a decision without all of the pertinent data.  While there may be times where you need to challenge us to be more decisive (instead of over-analyzing), most of the time you are going to get our best when you give us the details we need to make a good decision.  Or...you give us the time to get the details ourselves - we're ok with that too.  And yes at some point, challenge us to step up, stop analyzing, and make a decision (after we have had the opportunity to do at least some analyzing).

3.  Let us talk

When we pause in a conversation, that just means we are thinking about what we want to say.  It doesn't mean it's your turn to continue to ramble now.  Some of you can't stand the silence.  We know this because you can't let two seconds go by without filling the silence with more talking.  This wears us out.  Many times you will finally give us the opportunity to say something, but when we pause to think about what we are going to say next, you start talking again.  This irritates us and causes us to disengage from the conversation.  Here's a suggestion: if we pause, count to 10 (one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, etc.) before speaking again.  It's like a "pause war."  But we probably still have something to say.

4.  Give us a goal!

We love goals.  Give us a goal, an objective, a mission, and we'll fulfill it.  Just make sure it is crystal clear because we will take it at face value.  We appreciate recognition as well, but that is not as satisfying as the feeling of a job well done.  So give us something clear and challenging, and we'll run with it!

As with any style, you can get a lot of your analytic folks if you take the time to understand them instead of running over them.  Take a minute to jot down the names of the analytics on your team, and think about how you have interacted with them recently.  How can you adapt to utilize their strengths?