How insight into our inner motivation will make us more effective as a professional and human being! 

Setting good intentions!

Like many of us the end of the year meant reflection on the year past and good intentions for the new year to come. More exercise, less eating, more family time, finally start that project … All our intentions are born from a desire to change something about ourselves and our situation. How did you do on your good intentions? Unfortunately, feeling motivated to change is often not enough to get you there – as you’ll probably know, if you’ve ever tried dieting or quitting smoking. The reason for this lies in the fact that our unconscious inner motivations are just a bit stronger than our conscious motivations to change. Our inner motivations dictate us to keep doing things the way we have always done them, even when this approach is bad for us. For example, the unconscious belief that you are needed by other people and you must always support them, can prevent you from going to the gym to exercise. The unconscious belief that you have to reach all your goals and be successful to be appreciated by others, can block your intention to relax during lunch breaks and take a walk or socialize with your colleagues. And…. after a few weeks, you quit going to the gym and eat your sandwich while doing your emails.

This issue of the Happy professional is all about these inner motivations. Each person is mainly driven by one out of nine inner motivations, and it determines 90% of what we do, 24/7. So, if you really want to realize your 2012 intentions, it is a good idea to uncover your unconscious inner motivation. Then you know what is really stopping you and you have a conscious choice to follow the old belief or to go for what you really want.

How insight into your inner motivation will make you more effective as a professional and human being! 

icebergPersonal effectiveness is like an iceberg, only a small part is visible, the rest is hidden below the surface. The iceberg symbolizes the factors that determine our personal effectiveness in life and work. The 10 % visible part represents our knowledge and skills. The large invisible part represents our inner motivations; the unconscious part driving 90% of our behavior. It is not our knowledge and skills, but our inner motivations that ultimately determine our success and satisfaction in life and work or.. “sinks the ship”.

Professionals or managers who understand what unconsciously motivates them, will know the pros and cons of their automatic approach to situations at work. They will be more ready to adapt their behavior to get the results they want. Besides being more flexible and effective, they are more relaxed and easy in the communication with others.

A real business example of how revealing inner motivations can solve problems at the workplace.

The same problematic behavior can be caused by different inner motivations.  Below example is partly based on the book, ” Enneagram for managers, 9 management styles” , by management coach Dr. Rolph Pagano.

A large management team suffers from the fact that some managers  do not finish their mutually agreed assignments in time. The director was not able to change that and time-management trainings were only effective for a short period of time. However, a management coach focusing on inner motivations discovered that all managers notorious for delaying things had different personal reasons for their behavior. Nine personality types were identified, with nine different basic motivations (motivations are underlined).

  1. He always wants to do things right and believes his work is not good enough yet. He is not ready in time.
  2. Her automatic attention goes to contributing to others. As a result,  she runs out of time on projects which are very important for her personally (e.g. personal development plan)
  3. He always wants to deliver results and reach his goals, no matter what. However, he also hates failing, so he postpones the plan until he is sure the project will be successful.
  4. It is important for her to be different and unique. She delays until her plan truly reflects her personality and is unique.
  5. Being focused on gathering as much objective information as possible to write a complete and balanced plan, sufficient information is always lacking, he is not ready in time.
  6. Her unconscious motivation is all about arranging security in the outer world and being loyal to others. So, she wants to be absolutely sure her plan is supported by her colleagues.  A lot of time is spent on getting the opinions of others. She is not ready in time.
  7. He likes to make his life fun and exciting.  Difficult and longlasting  projects automatically get a lower priority.
  8. She likes to be in control and not allow any influence from others.  So, she simply denies the deadline and is not ready in time.
  9. His inner motivation is to maintain peace and harmony in the inner and outer world.  Making the project too important may cause conflicts with others and unrest within himself, so he takes it easy.

Recognizing and accepting their personal (and unconscious) reasons for delaying things, of course was quite a process and eye opener. As they realized that this inner motivation was affecting many if not all aspects of their management style.  But now, with this knowledge, they were really motivated to change and adapt their behavior in function of the team goals.

How to uncover your unconscious inner motivations?

What motivates a professional to postpone things, to avoid conflicts, to be too stuck on principles or the opposite, be too flexible? In her book “The best version of Yourself!”, Dutch psychologist, Monique Schouten, clearly explains how inner motivation drives human behavior.  – An English translation of this Dutch language book is in preparation -.  To reveal people’s unconscious inner motivations and beliefs, she developed the so called A-circle model. The A-circle consists of four psychological drivers; the Attraction, telling you what psychological ideal your behavior must under all circumstances serve;  Avoidance, defining what you definitely want to stay away from in your behavior; Anticipation, which helps you to deal with the avoidance should you not be able to avoid it;  and Addiction, which is the most unconscious driver motivating you to go for your Attraction, 24 hours a day. Your personal  A-circle determines yourpersonality, and reveals your favorite management style.

As soon as you become aware of your personal A-circle and how it operates, you realize what your ‘perfect world’ looks like, what ideals you chase and how you  create your own frustrations and issues day after day. You then become really motivated to adjust your limiting believes and get most out of yourself and life.

You want to know what your personal A-circle is and how it impacts your life and work? Contact us for coaching possibilities or a personality scan. People speaking Dutch, can also follow a 2-day A-circle workshop at the V-cirkel Academie.