Personality Type – Rational – The complex world of problem-solving personalities

Rationals are the problem-solving temperament: the more complex the problem, the better. People with this personality are forced to analyze complex systems, whether organic, mechanical or social. A Rational must understand how systems work in order to make them work better.
Mainly concerned with abstract concepts and fundamental principles, you will try to find solutions with real-world applications. Focused and strong-willed, you will be pragmatic, efficient, and tireless in pursuit of your goal; this absorbed concentration can sometimes be seen as cold and distant. Think of that pop culture icon from Logic, Mr. Spock. Self-contained, focused, and resourceful: he probably wasn’t voted the clown of the Vulcan class.

Rationals value intelligence and will listen to anyone who has something useful to contribute, while showing little regard for arbitrary procedure and authority. Rigorously logical, they pride themselves on solving problems with efficiency and ingenuity; wasting time and resources is unacceptable to a rational temperament. These independent thinkers are skeptical by nature, even skeptical of their own ideas, yet they believe that any obstacle can be overcome through sheer force of will. Are you a Rational?
“The error of opinion can be tolerated when reason is free to combat it.” Thomas Jefferson (Rational Architect)

It is not necessary to think of Architect Rationals as being interested only in drawing plans for buildings; but rather as master designers of many theoretical systems, including school curricula, corporate strategies, and new technologies. For architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained, and redesigned. They are not concerned with external reality, focusing on fundamental principles and natural laws to create efficient and consistent designs. An Architect is precise in thought and speech; finds it difficult to listen to nonsense, even in casual conversation, without pointing out the speaker’s mistake. Interested in logic only, statements must be consistent and coherent to carry any weight with it. Architects often seem difficult to get to know; With their great desire to understand the structure of the universe, they can appear arrogant and can show impatience with those who are less skilled or less motivated. Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein were Rational Architects.

Quarterbacks are required to lead; they can be seen taking command of groups from a young age. Strong-willed, with a natural drive to give structure and direction, they take advantage of people and direct them to accomplish distant goals. When in charge of an organization, whether it’s military, business, educational, or government, quarterbacks can envision where the organization is headed and communicate that vision to their team. Organizational and coordination skills are highly developed, making them good at systematizing, prioritizing, and gathering evidence. They enjoy positions of responsibility and are exemplary administrators in virtually any field. They prefer decisions based on impersonal data, they want to work from well-thought-out plans, they like to use engineering operations, and they expect others to do the same. Quarterbacks eliminate and reject ineffectiveness and inefficiency, and show impatience with the repetition of the error. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Senator Hillary Clinton are Fieldmarshal Rationals.

Inventors start building gadgets and mechanisms as young children, and they never really stop. These innovative entrepreneurs, who make up just two percent of our population, have a huge impact on our daily lives, always with the goal of ‘building a better mousetrap’. The keenly pragmatic inventor brings a fresh new approach to work and play, often rejecting the status quo in favor of more effective problem solving. Intensely curious, he continually investigates possibilities, especially when trying to solve complex problems. Inventors are quiet, rarely critical, and often have a lively circle of friends. By engaging chatters, they can employ debate skills to verbally disarm their opponent. Inventors show an extraordinary talent for rising to the demands of the most impossible situations. ‘It can’t be done’ is a challenge that elicits an ‘I can do it’ reaction. Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin were rational inventors.

All Rationals are good at operations planning, but Masterminds are head and shoulders above the rest at contingency planning. Complex operations, particularly those involving new technologies, require many steps or stages, one after another in necessary progression. Masterminds are naturally able to understand how each leads to the next, preparing alternatives for difficulties that are likely to arise. Although they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to remain in the background until others prove their inability to lead. However, once they take charge, pragmatic Masterminds will plan and maintain a well-run organization, always aiming for maximum efficiency. Career-wise, Masterminds often rise to positions of responsibility as they work long and hard in the dedicated pursuit of their goals. Though strong-willed and decisive, Masterminds insist on researching all available data before embracing an idea. Generals/Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant were Mastermind Rationals.

In general, Rationals are very rare, comprising only 5 to 10 percent of our population. But due to a drive to discover the secrets of nature and develop new technologies, they have done much to shape our world. To learn more about the different personality traits of the four temperaments, visit and take the FREE personality test. Next time: presidential temperaments.

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