Living, Working, and Generally Dealing with Logicians.
A short guide to help you understand some of the most frustrating people you might meet.
During your life, it’s highly likely that you will encounter a Logician; whether that be at your job, in the classroom, in a relationship, or even in your own family. Now, odds are that if you’re not a logician yourself, you are frequently irritated by the Logician(s) in your life. As one of the ‘carriers of the virus,’ I feel like it’s important to let you know what makes us tick, why we do the weird things we do, and how you can minimize the friction on both sides of your relationship to your Logician.
What is a “Logician?”
The term ‘Logician’ is defined by most dictionaries as “A person who is skilled in logic.” Since this is a pretty vague definition that depicts logic as an acquirable skill rather than a lifestyle trait, I’ll go ahead and clarify how I’m defining a Logician for the purposes of this article.
Logician [loh-jish-uh-n]: noun — a person who is, by their very nature, highly methodical, cerebral, and fact-oriented. Individuals with this personality type prioritize objectivity & reason above nearly all else at an intellectual level.
While this may sound like a fortune cookie-type definition that could apply to lots of people, the thing to keep in mind is that this is not simply a skill or habit that can be turned on or off. This is a personality type, not a personality component. A logician does not simply possess these characteristics, but is truly defined by them. There are plenty of benefits that come with a relationship with a Logician, and keeping the things listed below in mind will help you maximize the potential of that relationship.
- We need to know why. Don’t think that just because we’re asking for reasons to do/not do something that we’re being argumentative— we aren’t. We just want to learn. (We actually hate when people argue simply for the sake of arguing. It’s inefficient, and by its very nature is illogical)
- Speaking of which… We heart efficiency! That’s why we’re typically very direct with discussions and strategies. We don’t usually see a need for “fluff.”
- We aren’t emotionless. This group is great at looking at things objectively, which almost always calls for us to remove ourselves emotionally from any situation. The fact that we can do it so effortlessly often can come across as callous, but I assure you it’s nothing personal.
- We don’t think you’re stupid, we just don’t understand how you don’t see it our way. Honestly. If we ever have a disagreement with someone else, we can typically formulate a sound argument; so naturally we feel like we’re right. (Don’t worry though! If you can also present an equally sound argument to the contrary, we’ll be the first to concede that there may be other options)
- We love to teach. If you don’t get/know something, ask us! We like everyone to be on the same page, and feel held back by people that are too proud to ask for info.
- We’re not all hermits. We like social inclusion, but simply don’t prioritize it. We find more value in intellectually stimulating experiences, like a 1-on-1 conversation or a good read, than we do in going to a bar to waste a night.
- We crave consistency & structure. Please note- that doesn’t mean that we love redundancy. We don’t. We love freedom and creativity, but within certain bounds— it’s how we apply logic to existing pieces of information. Picture it this way- we’re not great painters with a blank canvas, but we’re AMAZING at coloring books.
- We’re typically overplanners. Planning helps us work through problems, which is like therapy for us. As a result of this, we’re also not the most spontaneous group. We’re not big fans of variables for which we haven’t planned.
- We’re big-picture people. We’re not necessarily the ‘idea men,’ but we work great in environments where we can be around them. We figure out how to make things work and ask the right questions to get projects rolling and integrated.
- BONUS FACT: We’re typically good test-takers. Even if we didn’t study too well, as long as we understand most of the concepts we can put things together on the spot. Don’t look for us to side with you on your anti-standardized test initiatives. We don’t understand what the big deal is, and we’re pretty sure you just didn’t study enough.
What Logicians Hate.
- Having to constantly cater to highly emotional people. It takes a lot for us to get worked up, and we don’t know why you can’t control yourself. To us, objectivity is a sign of true maturity, thus, an overly-emotional response represents immaturity. We’re probably in the wrong here, but that’s just how we see it.
- People that cite made-up statistics. You’re a liar, and I can’t have a logical discussion with you if you keep doing that.
- Action without explanation/merit. See the first bullet point in the previous section.
- Having the same conversation twice. See the second bullet point in the previous section. Also, if you don’t remember having that conversation with us the first time you clearly don’t value our interactions too highly, so just know that we’re likely insulted.
- Blind allegiance or being expected to “back someone up” just because we’re friends. We typically see both sides of any argument, and therefore make horrible support groups.
- Having solicited advice/input ignored. Time and thought is a valuable commodity with Logicians. As a group that puts a lot of thought into our advice and responses, we can be a little wordy (you’re reading an example of that) but still feel insulted when our investment is ignored.
- Being expected to participate in gossip. It’s a speculative waste of time, and we’re not here for it.
- Getting off-track in meetings/discussions. Don’t be offended if we ask “Why are we talking about this?” We genuinely just want to know if this is a productive use of time, and if it isn’t, we’d like to refocus the conversation in a productive direction.
How to best utilize your Logician (in the workplace)
If you don’t work with any logicians (which is highly unlikely), feel free to move on to your next blog post or Buzzfeed ‘Top 25 ____s’ list now. As for the rest of you, now that you know a little more about your Logicians you might be wondering how to best utilize them in your workplace. Here are some roles that are ideal for these types of people:
- Managers & Supervisors. Since Logicians are experts at being objective, they are well suited to deal with any disputes that may arise in the workplace while being impartial. However, if your workplace has a more relationship-based culture instead of being heavily metrics/merit-driven, this may actually be the wrong move. They may come off as too focused on objectivity.
- Product/project management. Logicians love project-based work environments, because they provide the perfect blend of consistency and innovation. Product and Project Managers are tasked with building roadmaps, managing resources, and essentially “assembling all the pieces” for their teams. This is a perfect fit for the Logician’s skill set.
- Analyst. Applying logic to data sets in order to achieve optimum outcomes is basically what Logicians do on a daily basis. Logicians are always looking deep into the data around them, so you should probably use that expertise to your advantage.
- Teachers. OK, so these last 2 might not apply to every business, but if you’re a Logician looking for options or a superintendent looking to hire someone, here’s something to consider. Logicians are typically good at conveying concepts in relatable ways, making them ideal as teachers. Also, that whole “impartial” thing.
- HR Investigators/Business Partners. This should be self-explanatory by this point in the article. If not, here’s a short summary: Logicians are good at figuring stuff out and staying objective. Boom.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully with these fairly comprehensive lists you’ll be able to better deal with (or at least understand) the Logicians in your life. On behalf of Logicians everywhere, we thank you for your effort and support (even if we don’t emotionally display it). Go reason!
EDITED ON 7/29/2017. No changes in the core material, I just reframed some phrasing that I didn’t like as much upon reread. This article has really picked up steam in the past couple of months (I still don’t know why!), so I wanted to make sure I had my best foot forward :)