Learn what your motivation type is and how to use it to live your best life

What do you think of when you here the word motivation?  Most of us think of that inner oomph which gets us in gear to do the things we want or need to do. For example, being motivated to exercise regularly, eat healthy food or achieve success in something. But did you know that people ascribe to different motivation types? And furthermore, our type influences how we relate to others and get along with them?

I recently attended a professional development event, in which motivation was explained like this:

  • Behavior is driven by motivation to achieve self-worth.
  • Motivation changes in conflict.
  • Strengths, when overdone or misapplied, can become weaknesses.

When we know the underlying aspects which motivate us, it helps us achieve better results.

For those who are curious, this way of looking at motivation stems from Elias Porter’s Relationship Awareness Theory from 1971. He was also the first psychometrician to use colours to summarize different personality types. I won’t go into the social science behind this theory because that exceeds the scope of this blog. Luckily, you don’t need to delve in to it to that extend to benefit from valuable learnings. Content you can apply easily and immediately to help you live a better life. Check it out here:

  One. Each person ascribes to a specific value systems which influences how we approach things and others. Elias Porter thought there were 7 value systems in total (see below to identify yours). Although each system is different, they are equal in their value. In fact, together they offer a full perspective. Individually, they only cover one vantage point. More on why this matters later.

  Two. It is valuable to know what motivates you. Once you know this, you can start to capitalize on your strengths. And on the flip side, identify your blind spots. Blind spots are either values we overdo or ones we exclude from our repertoire entirely.

  Three. Knowing what motivates other people helps you too. When others approach things differently – or we disagree with their approaches – we tend to assume their approach is wrong, because it is not the same as ours. We often wrongly conclude that their approach is not as good as ours. Naturally, this brings us at loggerheads with the other person.  The solution? We learn to catch ourselves, by remembering that others are simply motivated differently. And are contributing another valuable facet towards the whole. Then, we can see that the other person’s perspective is also valid – even though it is not driven by our go-to motivational driver.

What motivational type are you?

Ready to identify your motivational type? Then check out the abridged description below. Tip: Read each of them first, then pick the one which best describes you!

The altruistic, nurturing type (Blue). A person who is motivated by this type, believes in protection, growth and welfare of others. They are motivated by helping others and do not want to be a burden. They are happy to support a strong leader.

The assertive, directing type (Red). This person values task accomplishment, organization of people, time, money and any other resources to achieve desired results. They are motivated by winning, making progress and are fixed on goals.

The analytic, self-determined type (green). This person likes things to be properly thought out. They value meaningful order to be established and maintained. They are motivated by logic, structure, principles, details and completeness.

The rest of the types are combinations from the above:

The flexible, cohering type (HUB). This person enjoys flexibility, welfare of the group and concern for the members to the group, as well as belonging in the group. They are motivated by team work, options, flexibility, variety and will “fill in the missing gap”.

The assertive, nurturing type (Red-Blue Blend). This type of person values protection, growth and welfare of others through task accomplishment and leadership. They are motivated by helping others achieve their goals and are often mentors or coaches.

The judicious, competing type (Red-Green Blend). They value Intelligent assertiveness, justice, leadership, order and fairness in competition. They are motivated by strategy, principles and winning.

The cautious, supporting type (Blue-Green Blend). They value affirming and developing self-sufficiency in self and others. They are motivated by helping others help themselves

When we understand our motivation, we can better relate to others.

This makes us better at what we do and how we experience life.

Can you guess which type you are?  Since you know yourself better than anyone else does, reading the descriptors above will likely give you a close enough idea. For those who want to know for certain, I’d recommend you complete the official psychometric test called the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI).

How can knowing your motivation type help you live a better life?

Below are three main “Aha’s” I’ve had since learning this approach. Perhaps there is a valuable nugget in there which becomes a game-changer for you too?

  • Just as our value system feels like the right way to approach things, others are just as convinced of theirs. Ironically, none are ideal on their own, because all leave out at least one facet the others cover. And that is totally okay,  when we start to value other people’s perspectives. Because only then can we really succeed.  
    • Question: What can you learn from another person’s perspective, which may seem frustrating at face value, but carries insights you can use yourself?

  • When you know what motivates you, you can better understand why you do what you do. As with most things, when it’s overdone, it no longer serves you. Think about how your motivational strength may be keeping you from getting what you want.
    • Questions: What are your blind spots? How might you compensate them by adopting some aspects from the other motivational types?

  • Start seeing what others do as an extension of their motivation system. When you adapt your approach to respect another’s different motivation system, you facilitate coming to a common understanding. This will spring-board a better working/living relationship. And that in turn, creates more harmony, better team work and improved results.
    • Question: How can this way of looking at motivation help you navigate the waters with others?

I hope this article gave you some new food for thought? Don’t expect to crack this nut at the first try. I recommend sitting with it for a while. Maybe journaling on the questions above to deepen your insights. And revisiting this topic as you start developing a sensitivity to the different motivation types around you. As well as understanding why you may react as you do.

Feel frustrated by someone else? Most likely, they simply have a different motivation type than you do.  By spending less time making them wrong for thinking that way, you can move on to see how their perspective may actually add to your own. And help you be happier and more successful.



Hey, check out the free 5-Day What is Your Why Challenge I held last month. Click to sign up and get access to the free videos!

Simone Alberts is a success coach, psychologist, mom to a 5 year old and founder of The Self Coach Approach. She empowers freedom seekers to know exactly how to coach themselves so they can create the life they really want – and not settle for the default.

Leave a Reply

Verified by ExactMetrics