Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

Elliott Avenue
United States


Leading By Understanding Different Motivations

Alan Andersen

You know those people who are SO different from you? Who go on-and-on about things that make no sense to you? Put simply, different things matter to different people.

This month’s look at communication styles (as defined by the DISC/Motivators Assessment) invites you to consider which of the six motivators gets your motor running. Once you know that, you can figure out how to communicate effectively with those other people.

The six motivators:

1 – Theoretical. Seeks knowledge.

2 – Utilitarian. Seeks return on investment in everything.

3 – Aesthetic. Seeks harmony and beauty.

4 – Social. Seeks to help others reach their potential.

5 – Individualistic. Seeks leadership in order to advance their cause.

6 – Traditional. Seeks a system of order and structure.

Motivators Wheel

Leadership skill: Communicate effectively with those who are driven by different motivators.

Imagine that you are planning to run a half marathon (or take a trip, or go for dinner at your favorite restaurant) and you want a friend to do it with you. Consider what you would say to your friend based on what motivates them:

1 – Theoretical. The Rock and Roll Half Marathon is on June 13, at 7:30 AM. The route starts at the Space Needle, goes through downtown to Columbia City, back north to I-90, through SODO, and back through downtown to the Space Needle. There are live bands all along the route. The price is $110, and that includes a T-shirt.

2 – Utilitarian. When you sign up, you know you will ratchet up your training program to be ready. You could set a personal best this year. You will be moving toward your goal of running a marathon. And you will be able to choose a charity to support that you know will use your money wisely.

3 – Aesthetic. The beautiful course takes you through vibrant Seattle, along the Sound where you will see the ferries gliding to the islands, and the Lake Washington coastline with glimpses of snowcapped mountains. The cacophony of music from live bands all along the way will be awesome. How cool to do it together.

4 – Social. It has been hard for me to find time to train for this race. We would be a great support to one another if we both committed to it.  And you will have an opportunity to contribute to a charity that you choose.

5 – Individualistic. I would like you to be the point person for the company sign-ups for this race. Our North Seattle division has challenged us to a competition. We need a leader who will encourage everyone to sign-up, focus on training, and bring in an average time that will trounce them.

6 – Traditional. This race, started in 1998, is now run in cities throughout the world. The Rock and Roll series is the most run in the United States. In Seattle last year, 12,000 runners crossed the finish line in the half marathon alone. The events include a Health and Fitness Expo and a spectacular concert that afternoon. What a support system they must have to pull this off.

How are you doing, 0 – 10, communicating with people with different motivators?

I am about a 5. I, along with the rest of the world, tend to lead my conversation from what motivates me. I invite all of us, especially when we are not seeing eye-to-eye, to consider what motivates each other. That most likely is the root of our differences, and a powerful key to understanding each other.

- Mary Beth King

This article was featured in Blue City Monthly

Subscribe to our leadership blog today!

* indicates required