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Sunday, 26 August 2012

What gets them out of bed in a morning?

What gets you out of bed in a morning? What gets those you're wishing to influence out of bed in a morning? or perhaps a better way of asking is what would make you or them listen intently to what is beng said, and what has you zoning out and wishing the meeting/conversation was over. 

In others words what motives you both? What is important enough for you to want to invest your time on it - to want to get out of bed rather than stay in it - to want to say something at the meeting rather than stay quiet - to want to make the changes rather than not.

It's our values that determine the answer to these questions. For example a value of safety might mean I don't want anything in my life to change because it's that lack of change that makes me feel safe. Where as a value of adventure, that desire to seek adventure that might mean I'm constantly seeking change. When you're trying to motivate these 2 people then what you say and how you say it will determine the level of success you have and be very different to reflect their different values.

Our values change dependant on the context - work/ family/ leisure/ health etc. Eliciting values for each of these contexts can take some time but David McClelland gives us an easier way to think about values and that's to define them as being on 1 of 3 categories:

Achievement
Are they motivated by achieving? In which case you will hear them say, and need to use, words such as goals, objectives, outcomes, vision, mission, success and results. Or perhaps it's about not failing, or missing deadlines, or not getting it wrong.

Power/Influence 
Are they motivated by power or influence? In which case you will hear them say, and need to use, words such as control, power, lead, follow, impact, affect, or autonomy. Or perhaps it's about not: being told what to do, or beign weak, defeated, humiliated or losing their independance? Remembering to notice if it is influence over their own life or influence over others that motivates them the most?

Affiliation
Are they motivated by affiliation? In which case you will hear them say, and need to use, words such as connection, recognition, collaboration, harmony, rapport, sharing and giving. Or perhaps it's about not being alone, workin in silos or being ignored, rejected or indifference?

Even writing these lists reminded me of my preferences. I could write list all day for affiliation and power isn't too bad :). Yet for Achievement I could only initially think of one away from achievement word - failing! Late might work -  what about missing deadlines?

How are you values impacting the language you use and what changes do you need to make to ensure you're tapping into the values of your stakeholders to improve the impact of your communications?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds for effective communication in Purchasing

This post is part of a series introducing some NLP tools and techniques that can significantly improve your stakeholder engagement, communication and team working.

Picture source: blog.ncreview.com via Alison on Pinterest

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