Use the Workplace Motivators (WPMOT) Tool
After having gauged someone based on your gut feeling and then observing their behavior, you can now move on to more in-depth analysis of the relationship.
What does it mean to really know someone?
I feel that I truly know someone when I’m capable of thinking as they would, imagining what they would do in a given situation, and, mostly, if I’m capable of explaining why they behave in a certain way. Understanding why they decide to take one approach instead of another means understanding their motivations, values, and drives.
In this chapter, we are going to explore a tool that helps us determine someone's personal motivators.
After years of research, he concluded that there are six main motivators :
You may well think, “OK, that’s nice, but it’s just another list of driving forces.” Well, yes, and no. Yes, because it is about what motivates people. No, because this list is about personal motivation (not just reasons for buying something). The American company TTI Success Insights reworked this model, dividing it into 12 driving forces and giving more depth to this system.
Here is a summary table:
My contact person is driven by utilizing past experiences, intuition and seeking specific knowledge when necessary.
My contact person is driven by opportunities to learn, he/she values knowledge and expertise and likes to think “why?”. They will look at different perspectives and models and seek to acquire knowledge and discover the truth.
My contact person is driven by completing tasks for the good of the team or group. They are naturally generous whilst showing little expectation of personal gain.
My contact person is driven by optimizing the use of resources and returns on their investments. They will think, “what’s in it for me?” and will think of how things can benefit them and those around them.
My contact person is driven by the functionality of their surroundings and bases their judgement on facts, not taking into account personal preferences. This person seeks to be objective in their decisions.
My contact person aims for coherence, beauty and wellbeing with the approaches they adopt. They understand and appreciate subjectivity and develop a strong sense of aesthetics: they need things to be beautiful in order for them to work.
My contact person is driven to assist others if he/she thinks that they deserve it. They assist others under certain conditions and look for quantifiable results in doing so, they’re not just there to provide support for the sake of it. Often the reasons behind providing such assistance will depend upon the other drivers (if I have some of the intellectual in me, for example, then I will tend to help those who are also driven by this).
My contact person helps everybody without distinction and without the use of any criteria. They find meaning in the act of helping others and thus expect nothing in return, especially not that the other person returns the favour or becomes quickly autonomous.
My contact person will opt for collaborative approaches where all team members will feel valued. He/she will respect the power of the group even if this means their own individual influence is reduced.
My contact person likes to do what they want, when they want to do it and can become jealous of the control others have over their activities and their fate within the company. He/she accepts the power of the group as long as they don’t hinder his/her independence and get in the way of his/her decision making.
My contact person has principles but these principles can evolve and be adapted to a given context or situation. This type of person is driven by new ideas and methods that fall outside of a defined system for living.
My contact person is the caretaker of the values of their team and their business, they may be quite set on these values and would be reluctant to contravene them.
Over to You Now!
Head back over to your workbook to answer the following questions:
Ask yourself the question, “What are the three or four main things that motivate you?”
For the five contacts you used for the previous exercise, ask yourself, “What are the main things that motivate them? And, most importantly, how can you adapt to this?”
For this last question, I’ve prepared this table which gives you a bit of advice.
Adapting to What Motivates Your Contact
I carefully choose the information I share with my contact person, focusing on examples and case studies that have worked well with this person in the past. I avoid overloading them with information, especially information unrelated to our current project.
I help to widen the scope of knowledge of my contact person, I talk to them about related projects and information but which don’t necessarily need to have a direct link to the project (such as a newsletter that I find interesting). I try to teach this type of person something new. I have to be careful with my language choices, using the right words and turns of phrase.
I explain the utility of the project to the team and the company in general (and even for society as a whole, if appropriate).
I constantly outline the specific ROI and how resources are being optimised in the project. I don’t hesitate to talk to my contact person about what the project brings to me as a person.
I show the feasibility and/or validity of my comments in a logical and, most importantly, objective manner. I base my argument on facts and statistics.
I can display subjectivity and give personal opinions with this type of contact person. I don’t hesitate in asking my contact person if he/she “has a good feeling” about the project and I don’t shy away from saying if I “like” or “don’t like” certain things.
I ask my contact person for help, showing them why they can trust me and, most importantly, what I’m going to do to ensure their contribution will be used properly.
I position our project as part of a broader spectrum and show my colleague or client how beneficial this spectrum is for many people. If possible I help them in their work to ensure that their support is as effective as possible such as by ensuring that all stakeholders are kept informed.
I always include this type of contact person in my decision-making processes and I try to get their team and all other stakeholders involved as well.
I show this type of contact person that I can manage the project on my own whilst ensuring that I don’t set too many limits and restrict my contact’s ability to take action.
I change the rules as we progress in the project and I even help my contact to get around some of the company’s rules. I could, for example, split a large project up into several parts to avoid having to get approval by the Purchasing Department of a big company. By “breaking the rules” together I can create complicity with this type of person.
I show my contact that I have understood their principles and their company’s principles. I outline the connections between what we are doing and their principles.
If you want to personalize your relationships with certain business contacts, you need to understand their values and what drives them.
Everyone has a certain number of main things that motivate them; you saw 12 of these driving forces in this chapter.
Learn to adapt to what motivates your contacts, and feel free to ask them what drives them once you have established a strong relationship.
You’ve reached the end of the second part of this course! Bravo! You have learned how to analyze your relationships by looking at three aspects: intimacy, behavior types, and motivations.
If you feel you have all the answers to these three analyses for your business contacts, you almost don’t need to continue with this course! Why almost? Because we’ve talked about being service-minded in general, but in the next part, we’re going to look more into what to do when the relationship becomes thorny, and things become difficult to manage.