In our recent e-letter we discussed the challenges facing the Analytical Leader (AL).  An AL is someone who approaches issues by fact finding and collecting data.  ALs are less interested in people and their emotions than they are in what they know.  The AL looks critically at issues, analyzing first what is wrong, before addressing what went right.  They tend to trust people who have credentials and experience, but most of all they tend to trust their own thinking.  ALs need time to plan and think through their strategy.  Until they get that strategy clear in their own mind, ALs don’t share information or ideas with others.  It can be hard to work for someone like that.  It can feel like your boss doesn’t trust you.

What can you do to improve your working relationship with an AL boss?

First, recognize that your clash is a style difference, and try not to take it personally.

Second, acknowledge the benefits and talents that the AL boss brings to the team.  Their good thinking and methodical approach reduces the likelihood of problems, crises and mistakes. ALs don’t rely on gut, instinct and convenience as decision factors; they consider various options before they decide on the best one.

Third, cut down on behaviors that get in the AL’s way.  Follow these tips to improve your interaction:

  1. Focus on data and information to support your position, especially when you offer an “out of the box” idea
  2. Cut down on being too social and fun-loving
  3. Follow procedures and rules
  4. Don’t expect quick decisions; given the AL time to consider
  5. Give the AL advance notice of an issue; it will cut down on the time it takes to resolve them
  6. Think before your talk, and don’t chatter
  7. Mirror the pace of the AL

Learning how to work with ALs will improve your own growth and development and your interaction with your AL boss.