Motivational Maps - what’s your Relationship Motivator?

Motivational Maps - what’s your Relationship Motivator?

by Kriss Akabusi

In my last post, I introduced you to James Sale’s Motivational Maps which help you to max out your motivation! If you’ve not read it yet, you can find it here.

We found that the Motivational Map is split into three kinds of motivators – Relationship, Achievement and Growth motivators. As we saw, a Motivational Audit scores a coachee against each of the map’s nine motivators. Any score over 20 indicates a dominant motivator within that person, with the highest three identified as core motivators. Scores over 30 signify a spike, meaning if that driver is not satiated, the person is at risk of becoming significantly demotivated (it is rare to have more than one or two of these in a profile, however). In this post, I’ll take you through the Relationship motivators – the Defender, the Friend and the Star.

And remember, the Motivational Map is great for managers who are trying to get the best from their team. That’s why I’ll also share how to motivate a person with each of these traits!

The Defender

Identifying a Defender: If your profile scores over 30 in the Defender, you are all about processes, procedures and systems. You like to relate to others in your environment in a systematic way and work best when you know what will happen on any given day. You enjoy going about your work in a set framework where everything is mapped out, clear and precise. When working with others, you want to know everyone’s role within the system and appreciate everyone playing their role as planned.

As such, you find change and spontaneity uncomfortable; you can adapt to change, but you need ample forewarning and time to plan for this change. On the plus side, you can foresee disruption far into the future and plan accordingly – maybe we could have done with more Defenders in the lead-up to the Financial Crisis!

Someone with classic Defender traits could be our new PM, Theresa May. She knows what she wants, but takes her time over decisions – meditating, cogitating and regulating over everything. Look at her approach to Brexit so far: to May, ‘Brexit means Brexit’, but we’ve got to work out what Brexit means first!

Motivating a Defender: If you’ve got a Defender in your team, they’ll respond best when allowed to work within their set systems and processes. They appreciate routine, so don’t spring last-minute jobs on them! If there is to be change on the horizon, they’ll need reassurance, help and consultation – and enough forewarning to adapt.

As such, Defenders are demotivated if they are not given this kind of time or clarity to deal with change. They’ll also struggle if forced to work with people who thrive on spontaneity. Defenders are risk averse and great workers, willing to work through detail with meticulous precision – so allow them the environment to flourish!

Take this real-life example. I was working with a private school where the Head Teacher was perplexed as to why one of his best and most supportive teachers was suddenly off-side. An inventory showed this person to be a classic Defender/ Expert, and the Head had imposed an extra two-hour meeting on the teachers every Thursday night. Not only did this teacher have to get home by 6pm each night to take care of an elderly relative, but on Thursdays she also had a long standing engagement in London for a series of edifying lectures. As we probed around and dug into the issue, I will never fail to remember the refrain, “I’ve got tickets, I’ve got tickets!”

The Friend

Identifying a Friend: If you’re a Friend, you’re driven by the people around you and the strength of your relationships with them. You’re focused on your community – whether that’s a workplace or friendship group – and on your place within it. This means you love forming bonds with others, and care about those bonds! You can spot a Friend by their willingness to talk about themselves and their genuine interest in the lives of others. These relationships are what motivates them; to a Friend, the emotional bank is worth far more than the actual bank balance!

A Friend flourishes in an environment where everyone gets along, and they do their best to foster this – sending flowers or remembering birthdays, for example. If a Friend leads a business, it’s because they’re great at relationships and networking. If a Friend is a great salesperson, it’s because they’re great at customer relations. If a Friend is a good boss, it’s because they’re good at taking care of the needs of their employees and will go ‘a million miles for one of their smiles’!

Motivating a Friend: It’s no surprise that a Friend appreciates your interest in them as a person. Find out about their day, ask about their family, cut them some slack when things are going badly at home. If their mum’s sick in hospital, give them the day off to be with her – this will resonate more with a Friend than any financial reward. Make sure your interest is genuine though (a Friend can tell when you’re just going through the motions). And even more so, make sure you remember what they tell you when they ask!

I found this out the hard way with a former employee and a classic Friend. She came in for a meeting one day, and I started off with the small talk. “How’s your son?” I asked, knowing he was really into his football. “Great!” she replied, telling me all about everything that was going on with him. Emotional bank – tick! I then asked how her daughter was getting on with her drama. Same reply – another tick for the emotional bank! Then I asked about the dog…but couldn’t remember the dog’s name! This did not go down well. I could feel the shutters come down; it was almost as if forgetting my colleague’s dog’s name was a personal slight on her! Ultimately, being interested in a Friend – and remembering what they tell you – is one of the best ways to get the most from them.

The Star

Identifying a Star: Just like a star in the sky, the Star reflects all that is good about the organisation they work in. They imbue all the best parts of the workplace and reflect this in the way they act. As such, Stars make great salespeople because they understand what a business is about, projecting this to others. They’re so enthusiastic about their work and organisation, they can even oversell things at times – they’re fittingly on fire!

For a Star, it’s important that they’re recognised for their contributions and their fervent representation of the organisation. They thrive on knowing other people think well of them and so are driven by how they are perceived externally. Again, like the Friend, it’s not money that drives a Star – it’s recognition. Just as we look up to the stars in the sky, a Star relishes the knowledge that others look up to them.

For a real life example of Stars, we could look at the many people who have made the Queen’s Honours Lists. People who are driven to go above and beyond – not for any monetary award, but for those letters after their name that prove their contributions and efforts to others. Or perhaps look at athletes who strive to compete in the Olympics over the Diamond Circuit; the recognition of being an Olympian means more to them than any prize money.

A classic example from my own experience is when I joined the Army as a 16-yearold recruit, straight from the children’s home. Till then, my star trait had been rewarded by being the ‘class clown’, ready to do any prank for the boys to clap me on the back and talk about me in the playground. Bite the top off a Bic, chew up some paper, mouth on to apparatus, shoot projectile through flue, hit teacher on the back of the head, get ejected from class, get the cane, job done, school legend. In the Army, my athletic officer turned this trait into an advantage. Having introduced me to the sport, he posted my successes on to Company Orders (latter day intranet) for everyone to see, acting as a massive motivation for me to work harder for this positive affirmation.

How to motivate a Star: Naturally, Stars want your recognition – the more public, the better! Name them in team meetings when they’ve done particularly well. Point them out to colleagues as an exemplar of outstanding work. Name them as Employee of the Month. You’ll soon find that this public (but non-monetary) recognition of their efforts encourages the Star in everything they do. Appreciate them and they’ll appreciate you!

In my next post, we’ll cover the Achievement motivators – the Director, the Builder and the Expert!

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