Differences in what I value–what motivates me–and what you value can lead to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and conflict.
Luckily there are only six things that motivate any of us.
- Theoretical: Life will be better when we pause to understand before acting.
- Utilitarian: Life will be better when we set goals, take practical steps to get there, and measure ourselves along the way.
- Aesthetic: Life will be better when we drink in the beauty of life and design everything for enjoyment.
- Social: Life will be better when we realize we are all in this together and we choose to help each other out.
- Individualism: Life will be better when we coordinate and consolidate our power with strong leadership.
- Traditional: Life will be better when we find, live by, and encourage others to live by the same, time-tested views, truths, and approaches.
Typically, we rank our motivators from most to least important. Two of the six will drive us all of the time, another two will only occasionally motivate us, and the last two we will be indifferent or negative to.
We can use motivators to influence each other better. We tend to present our observations, requests, and ideas in terms of our own motivators. By learning the other person’s motivators, we can better engage and influence them by tuning what we say to the motivator channels they are listening to.
In your corner,
PS: Example: Let’s say I have a utilitarian motivator and think that we should take a practical approach to solving a problem. I might say, “This is the quickest, cleanest solution.” If you have a strong social motivator, I would do well to show you how my suggestion works well for everyone.
PPS: You can discover another person’s motivators by asking questions that are similar to, “What do you want and why?” Example: “What would you like to get done in your job this year? And why is that?” Their answers will resonate with one or two of the motivators listed above.