The Brilliance Series: Structural

The Brilliance Series invites you to take a closer look at each of the seven Emergenetics® Attributes. Whether you are craving more information about your own Profile or interested in better understanding the preferences of others, the series will offer insights to shine a light on the gifts of each Attribute. This week, we’re exploring Structural. 

An Overview

While I know this is the overview section, I’m going to share a few more details about the Structural Attribute because that is what a person with this preference would appreciate! Structural Thinking is often known for its task-oriented, thorough approach. I have had colleagues compare it to using a fine-toothed comb.

The Structural Attribute likes to be prepared for all of the possible outcomes to avoid unexpected surprises. Structural thinkers typically embrace a common-sense attitude and appreciate that if a process is not broken, there is no need to fix it.

The Attribute also values protocols. By following guidelines and attending to each step (in order), people with a tendency for Structural thought feel confident that they will meet their objectives. These brilliant thinkers tend to embrace plans, lists and agendas.

Some of the words that are often associated with the Structural preference include:

  • Diligent
  • Practical
  • Precise
  • Organized
  • Task-oriented
  • Consistent
  • Dependable

The Inner Monologue

To learn more about the burning questions and inner dialogue that come from the Structural Attribute, you can find a 1 minute and 36 second video clip below.

The Brilliances

With their appreciation for the details and the process, Structural thinkers have many gifts to bring to their teammates, organizations, friends and family. Some of the capacities you may notice include:

  • Bringing order to chaos
    This preference has a knack for synthesizing information and creating a thoughtful approach if none previously existed.
  • Organizing a problem
    When a challenge presents itself, Structural thinkers are gifted at breaking it down into relevant components and considerations.
  • Detailing a comprehensive plan of action
    Related to the comment above, people with this inclination typically enjoy identifying the right steps and timeline to achieve a target.
  • Considering all the what ifs
    Structural thought can be particularly useful when assessing possible outcomes and creating contingency plans.
  • Being dependable
    Accountability is deeply important, so when a person with this preference makes a commitment, they will do everything in their power to stick to it.
  • Implementing
    Structural thinkers love the execution part of a process and are eager to accomplish tasks and to-dos.
  • Utilizing best practices
    This Attribute thrives on examples and prior experiences to inform next steps and stimulate creativity. By borrowing from what’s been done before, it can churn out brilliant ideas.


If you have a Structural preference and find yourself in need of some inspiration, I invite you to write the ideas below on a piece of paper that you can keep handy and identify ways to integrate these suggestions into your day-to-day.

For readers who may be interested in boosting motivation in others who have a preference for Structural Thinking, reflect on how often you engage in these practices and determine any opportunities to put them into action.

  • Define rules, timelines and constraints
    Knowing the boundaries can help Structural thought better recognize the path forward.
  • Clarify expectations and responsibilities
    When Structural thinkers have a clear understanding of their role, it empowers them with clarity and direction.
  • Honor time commitments
    This Attribute is often ruled by schedules, so creating realistic expectations around milestones and respecting time is essential.
  • Focus on relevance and practicality
    People with a Structural preference tend to be more engaged when they can make connections between what they are doing and their day-to-day impact.
  • Explore the details
    Taking a deep dive into all the nooks and crannies can inspire this Thinking style, which is interested in understanding the intricacies of whatever it’s working on.
  • Seek out examples
    Find inspiration from those who have come before by reviewing samples or best practices.
  • Bring closure
    In addition to completing individual steps, this Attribute often gains energy when it can see the completed product and close out an initiative or project.

Flexing Into Structural

To bring the best out of someone who has a Structural preference, it’s important to find ways to flex. For those who may not innately have this tendency, pick something from the list below to start implementing today.

  • Follow through
    Again, accountability is paramount. By sticking to commitments and making only realistic promises, you can better support Structural Thinking.
  • Avoid surprises
    To respect this preference’s interest in being prepared, provide advanced notice and give information in writing as much as possible.
  • Be specific
    This Attribute is not typically energized by theories. When communicating or collaborating, be concrete in your approach and provide clear direction.
  • Stay on track
    Adhering to timelines and keeping conversation focused on the task at hand helps to honor structure.
  • Stick to the guidelines
    Once parameters and directions are set, do your best to stay within the confines. Doing so will help those with this preference focus on one of their favorite things: implementation.
  • Ask about the methodology
    Delve into the how and take an interest in the process to demonstrate your appreciation.
  • Make time for clarifications
    Structural thinkers are likely to have follow-up questions to make sure they understand every detail, so it’s important to build in time to answer their queries.

I hope these insights provide you with new tactics to boost your Structural superpowers and support anyone in your life who may have this preference. One of my teammates will check in next week with a look at our next Attribute: Social.

Explore the other entries in our series: Analytical, SocialConceptual, Expressiveness, Assertiveness and Flexibility.

Discover how your employees can collaborate and communicate more effectively with their colleagues. Explore the courses in The egLearning Library or fill out the form below to talk to one our team members about potential training solutions!

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