Mr. Spock was wrong… Is this skill hurting your relationships and productivity?

“It’s highly irrational” – was one of Spock’s famous sayings. If you ever watched any of the vintage Star Trek series or any of the movies from the 80s through current times, you’re probably familiar with Spock and how he focused upon logic, data and rational thinking. Good stuff right?  

Yes and no is the short answer. Here’s the longer answer… Logic, data, and rational thinking are all helpful in certain situations. Some professions, like accounting, actuarial science, medicine/healthcare, and many types of engineering rely upon the skill of analyzing data, applying logic and deduction to arrive at answers. This approach doesn’t work however when relating to others or unleashing creativity.  

Logic and relating to others live in different parts of the brain. 

Spock’s strength was a detriment when it came to relating to Earthlings. If Spock were to take the Positive Intelligence assessment, he would surely have the Hyper-rational as his top saboteur.  

Those who have the Hyper-rational tend to apply an intense focus on the rational processing of everything, including relationships. And the result is these individuals can be perceived as colddistant, and intellectually arrogant.

Hyper-rational is a skill. And like any skill, there are strengths and detriments (when the skill is overused).

Here are the strengths of Hyper-rational, sound familiar about you or anyone you know?

  • Capable of deep insight and understanding through objective analysis
  • Can be very observant and perceptive
  • Has the power of great mental concentration
  • Drive towards great expertise  (SME – subject matter expert)
  • Can be a great explorer and inventor

Those with the Hyper-rational can have an intense and active mind though come across as arrogant, aloof, or secretive. And those who are in a relationship with a Hyper-rational (work or home) may say the Hyper-rational is too private and doesn’t let others into their deeper feelings. Instead, feelings show up through passion about ideas… but watch out if you don’t share that passion! Hyper-rationals tend to prefer to watch the craziness around them and analyze or judge from a distance; they can be cynical and debate from a place of negativity or even hostility. And they can lose track of time due to intense periods of concentration.  

And there are typical thoughts and feelings that accompany the Hyper-rational including:

  • The rational mind matters most
  • Feelings are distracting and irrelevant
  • Many people are so irrational and sloppy in their thinking
  • Needs and emotions of others distract me from my projects
  • I need to shut out intrusions
  • What I value most is knowledge, understanding, and insight
  • Self-worth is attached to mastering knowledge and competence

And so, the Hyper-rational may feel:

  • Frustrated with others who are emotional and not rational enough
  • Anxious about preserving personal time, energy, and resources against intrusions
  • Feeling different, alone, and not understood
  • Skeptical or cynical 

As part of our identity, any skill becomes a preference that we use as a “go-to” tool. And this skill becomes dominant and can feed us lies that seem totally convincing. For the hyper-rational, it is that the rational mind is the most important thing. It needs to be protected from the wasteful intrusion of people’s messy emotions and needs, so it can get its work done.

BUT… there is a cost of overusing this “strength.”

Relationships suffer and productivity decreases because creativity is stunted. Overusing the skill of Hyper-rational limits the depth and flexibility of relationships in work and at home by analyzing rather than experiencing feelings. And this can intimidate less analytical people.

The important takeaway here is to use all strengths in moderation. Problem is, we tend to use our strengths most of the time, for all tasks and situations. Without some insight, you or your employees may surely have some blind spots. And this will hurt interpersonal relationships and productivity, and of course, will negatively impact happiness. It’s a cycle.

As always, the first step in growth is self-awareness. Want to see if you or someone on your team has the Hyper-rational saboteur? Then we can tackle re-balancing, so this skill is used when appropriate and not overused or abused. Click the button below to schedule a complimentary strategy session. 

Or if you’d like to see if you have a strong Hyper-rational saboteur, CLICK HERE to opt-in to receive a link to the free PQ assessment where you’ll learn about your saboteurs and where you’re being held back. 

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