Driving Forces: What Motivates You?

The PNP People Not Process Program I’ve created is grounded in five comprehensive phases, also known as the five sciences. Together, these sciences are devoted to evaluating behaviors and driving forces, and how they intersect. In my previous post we discussed phase one, Dynamic Communications. Phase two is Driving Forces, or Motivators.

Driving Forces describe what motivates and engages people, in life and work. Pioneering researcher Eduard Spranger distilled six motivators. Each of these is expressed by two polarities, and all people tend toward one or the other end of the spectrum. For example, we all have a relationship with knowledge or power, but the nature of that relationship varies along a spectrum.



Instinctive: you seek knowledge relevant and useful to your current situation

Intellectual: you seek to expand your understanding and knowledge in all endeavors


• Selfless: you tend to be unrestrained in the application of resources

• Resourceful: you tend to utilize and apply your resources to maximize return


• Objective: you seek function in your surroundings

• Harmonious: you seek to fully experience your surroundings


• Intentional: you tend to be selective in who you help and serve

• Altruistic: you tend to serve, help and eliminate the suffering of others indiscriminately


• Collaborative: you seek to share power, recognition and control

• Commanding: you seek to be recognized and control your own destiny


• Receptive: you tend to remain open and flexible in your methodologies and approach to life

• Structured: you tend to live within defined systems and traditional approaches


By taking a simple assessment, you can develop a conscious, objective perspective of why you do what you do, and how that impacts your decision making. When all the members of a team take this assessment, then share and compare the results, the impact increases exponentially.

As members understand their own motivations, they have more clarity about their decisions and actions. As they increasingly understand others’ motivations, they’re able to communicate and work better as a team. Lastly, when team members’ roles and responsibilities are customized to capitalize on these strengths and tendencies–that’s when the magic happens.


The ultimate success story: A team of people playing the roles that express their innate style and reflect their inherent motivation, who also benefit from a detailed awareness of the motivations driving their co-workers.

Driving Forces, the second of the five sciences, is essential to the simple goal of “understand yourself, understand others” to maximize harmonious communication and effort, and minimize stress and conflict. Whether applied to existing teams, or used as a hiring mechanism, assessing these universal tendencies is a powerful tool to bring the best out of a group.

Written by Julie Soderlund
on August 30, 2017

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