The communication of Rationalists


To let your understand what I am going to talk about this and other blogs we have to do a quick introduction of esports personalities.

Just like the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) or 16personalities-test. There are 16 esports personality profiles. Each of these profiles have different tendencies, but some profiles share a lot of the same tendencies. These profiles that share a lot of tendencies are called temperaments.
For this blog we only stick to one of the four temperaments to have it as practical as possible for you to extract value to take your esports team to the next level. This blog is about the Rationalists.

I can’t physically test you while you are reading this blog from somewhere. So how do you know what your temperament is for this and future blogs, where I will be talking more about esports personalities and temperaments? You can just read the blog and see what fits you the best, often times you can quickly see what temperament fits you. Or you can go to www.16personalities.com and take the free test. This takes about 5 to 10 minutes. When you get the end results, you have to look at certain letters for your temperament/communication style which are listed below.

The 4 temperaments:

  • Rationalists        (NT)
  • Guardians         (SJ)
  • Craftsmen         (SP)
  • Idealists              (NF)

Communication within a team is important, inside and outside the game. Below you can read all about the communication of the Rationalist. In this blog you will learn how rationalists prefer to communicate, what to avoid in communication with rationalists, how you can motivate them and how they communicate while stressed.

Preferred communication for Rationalists

  • Sharing knowledge in things he is good at or knows something about

When you have a rationalist in your team and he is good at something, activate him to tell and teach others in the team about that subject. The Rationalist can often logically tell why it is best to do certain things and why he does certain things. If others don’t agree with a rationalist, that is alright. Rationalist love to discuss as long as you make sure that you also logically build up your perspective as well, so the rationalist can make the best decision to learn and adapt accordingly.

When you have interesting facts or a new intelligent perspective, be sure to share it with the rationalists on the team. They love to learn new things. Don’t be surprised if you get a lot of questions and after that to get belittled if they think your intelligence is flawed. On the other hand, they will honestly compliment you and say it was very interesting indeed and want to learn more.

  • Rationalists want to have logical conversations with as little emotions possible involved.

When rationalists communicate they tend to communicate in a logical manner. They will build up their arguments with facts and proven methods. They will engage you on facts and that are true for them. If you disagree with them, that is alright as long as you can back your statements up with facts and logic as well, else they will have a hard time to listen to you and get frustrated most of the times and call you out on flawed statements.

  • Questions almost everything, is skeptical, need to know the “why” a lot

Rationalists always want to know “why” they have to do certain things or “why” things go as they are going. If you can’t explain the why, don’t expect rationalist to change their behavior. When you logically explain the why, they can change behavior almost instantly and follow you anywhere. Rationalists truly want to seek out the truth and therefore ask a lot of questions to unravel the underlying thoughts. This can be exhausting for other esports temperaments sometimes. It is good to invest in explaining the why to rationalists, because once they fully understand the subject, they are very fast in making decisions and often making the best choice.

  • Precise language – every word that comes out of their mouths are carefully picked.

Rationalists have a big word vocabulary, and they will use it. This can confuse other esports temperaments. Because they want to explain precisely what they mean, they often need more time to explain certain things than other temperaments. A good thing is to set a given time to explain something, so they won’t keep talking while the other party already understood the rationalists in the first or second sentence. An example of precise language:

Rationalist: “It’s stuffy here in my room, it is harder for me to concentrate on the game”

Person X: “Yeah, it’s hot today.”

Rationalist: “No not hot just hot, it’s stuffy. Because of the dense air, it’s harder to breath. I’d wish it was only hot”

Person X: “Yeah, I know what you meant by that….”

  • Rationalists are natural strategic talents and analysts

Rationalists are natural analysts. They quickly see what can happen, the good or the bad. They can have a more difficult time to express this analysis in words. But when they have the time to explain what happened or can happen together with the consequences, there is something to be learned and improved from. To activate this talent inside a game, you can call upon the rationalist in the team to tell the possible options in quiet moments or between games/rounds and make strategy adjustments accordingly.

What to avoid when communicating with Rationalists:

  • Avoid small talk

Rationalists don’t care about the weather or what you ate 1 hour ago or what you are about to do in the weekend, just get to the core and talk about things that are interesting or useful for a rationalist. When you want to have a conversation to improve or discuss something or have a coach call, get right into it. When rationalists talk small talk with others, it is only to be polite to them.

  • Avoid talking trough your emotions when you want to reach a rationalists.

Rationalists think emotions are clumsy to have and get in the way of making the best decisions. “I feel that this is the best way to do it.” “Trust me, I have a good feeling about this.” Isn’t going to cut it for rationalists. Explain why it is the best way to do a certain thing. This way they can check if your logic is good or flawed.
When you bring up emotions, don’t expect rationalists to instantly understand what you mean. Explain where the emotions are coming from. What caused these emotions and what the effect of the emotions are. Don’t expect rationalists to give perfect emotional comfort. It feels awkward for them and they have a hard time doing it.

  • Avoid getting into to much detail, rather work from the big picture to details

Rationalists like to talk about the big picture and the grand scheme of things. When you talk about a tactic in detail it will cost a lot of mental energy to focus on it for rationalists. Rationalists know they can’t avoid focusing on details, but don’t get into details to long or start with the details. Rationalists gather information and will make it conceivable for themselves. An example how rationalists will respond after a 15 minute conversation of details:

“So basically you are saying that you want me to play more defensively and communicate more on where the enemy is? You could’ve said that 15 minutes ago”

When explaining something, start with the big picture and then work down to sublevels and details of the thing you want to explain, this works better for a rationalist to logically follow the explanation.

How to motivate Rationalists with communication

  • You make them excited by talking about concepts, ideas and let them execute it.

When you want to see a rationalist in their best behavior, make sure you talk and imply exciting concepts and ideas to execute. Rationalist like to come up with new strategies and out-smart the opponents. Rationalists are natural strategists, so make sure to always involve them into the strategy making of upcoming matches.

  • Talk about things to achieve in the future, then work your way back to the present moment

Rationalists tend to spend a lot of times thinking about the future and the next things that are coming up. They often have a clear vision on how they would like things to unfold and want to work for it to make their vision a reality. Talk about rationalists about what they want to achieve in the long term and what they will need to get there. Start with the big picture and then work your way day to details into the here and now.

  • Natural problem solvers

Rationalists like to solve puzzles in any form. They have a clinical look on things in life and always see things that can be improved or solved. When there are problems in the team on any level, it is often a good idea to include the rationalist into the conversation to fully speak his thoughts about it. Often they will need a bit of time to work out the problem or puzzle in their head before they logically can explain what they are going to say. When you want to involve them to solve something, give them at least some time to let them think about it and work the problem out for themselves.

Rationalists under stress

  • Will come across as calm, but it can storm with tensions when stressed.

Because rationalists find emotions clumsy, you don’t really see clearly what their state of mind is. When rationalists start talking from their emotions, you know they are stressed. When you hear them talk about how they feel, often times something is wrong and you should keep an eye on them. Make them aware of their state and let them focus on the things they can control. To put them in a better mental communication state, make them do analyses about the situation and let them figure out the best possible ways, bring in logic.

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Source: ActionType®

Team communication in esports

Almost a year ago I talked to a League of Legends coach about different personalities in esports. We talked about tendencies of different personalities and how people react in certain situations and also how players and coaches communicate differently. He did a personality assessment back then and he fit into the Guardian temperament of personalities. In short (I’ll explain later more in depth what this means), a Guardian is a personality style that wants to take care of others with proven and safe methods, is not very risk taking and wants to have a stable environment. I talked him through the tendencies of his profile. After talking a bit back and forth he said to me: “But, this all sounds like this is normal, almost everyone has these tendencies and want this for their team, right?” My reaction was: “Well….”, with a pitched tone, “I can read you my profile…”.

We often communicate the way that comes easiest for ourselves

I started to read some tendencies of my profile. His response to my temperamental tendencies was: “Oh wow, really? That’s definitely not something that I would do! I wouldn’t like that at all! Are you really like that?!” In his response I said “I’m not always like that, but these are my tendencies, so when I face problems or challenges, I will often take the path that comes easiest to me and thus fits my personality without thinking, it is just my way of dealing with things in most situations.” The League of Legends coach’s mind was blown and he started to recognize people that had my Rationalist temperament too and how hard it was for him to understand them. After that moment I said to him that many players and coaches think everybody is all the same and treat everybody the same, they view everybody from their own perspective. But is that real effective communication?

Understand other ways of communication

For this story, you could say that the coach had Guardian temperament glasses on and viewed the world and everyone else as a Guardian too. Anyone who acted differently was just “hard” to understand and “hard” to deal with. It is very important as a player, but certainly as a coach, to understand all different perspectives and temperaments players and yourself have. If you want to compete on a higher level with your team or organization, it is very useful to understand these different perspectives, because of the impact communication has on the performance of any team!

Use different types of communication to get the best outcomes

Within an team or organization with many different personalities, almost everyone has a different mindset, different goals on what they want to achieve, a different idea on how everybody should approach certain things. You could say that every individual has their own temperamental glasses on, just like the League of Legends that had the Guardian perspective glasses on. To work as a successful team, you want to have shared goals, ideals and a streamlined game plan where things go as planned. This can’t be achieved without proper and effective communication and a true understanding of each other. You have to put on different glasses to see what others see. Glasses that the other players or coach prefers to wear. By taking in the perspective of someone else, you can start to understand others better and create better outcomes through better and understandable communication.

Take time to learn about other ways of communication

There is no best temperament for communication. Every temperament has it’s pro’s and cons. The use of the right communication in the right situation is what is important and makes a difference. Instead of miscommunicating and be frustrated a lot of times, take your time to learn about other communication styles that come with different esports personalities. This will help yourself and your teammates to reach your next level in esports.

Because of the magnitude of things to go over on communication alone, this blog will be split up in 4 different blogs. Each blog will be focused on a different temperament that will give you insights into the communication style of each esports temperament and how each prefers to communicate. When you read all 4 blogs, you get to put other temperament glasses on. When you will read these 4 blogs you get to know what tendencies each temperament with the addition that you will learn by what they subconsciously mean by what they are saying. When you apply this blogs information in your own team or organization, there is more room for understanding each other and better insight to help and improve each other. This creates opportunities for a better culture, faster development of the players, but probably most important: Much better team synergy when out there on the battlefield whatever your game is.

Source: ActionType®

Let’s get into it!

Blog 1 of the blog series “Team communication in esports” is about the Rationalists: The communication of Rationalists (click the link)

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