Listen to Your Heart, It's Your Core Driver

Listen to Your Heart Think of those a part of your business for a second.  Can you imagine what it would be like to know what truly drives your employees?  I will tell you a secret…it is not money.  If they were to answer with “money,” I would encourage you to dig a bit further and ask, “What does money represent to you?”  Then listen carefully.  You are close to hearing what the true driver is.  Look for the principle.  Look for something that applies, not just at work, but across the board; something that drives most of their decisions.

You will probably also discover that this core driver at times is used appropriately and at other times it is used inappropriately.  If your employee has an over-desire to a core driver, they will be a slave to it.  It will truly master them and unfortunately will lead to destructive ends.

If they have this core driver in proper balance, then you will find an employee who is in a healthier place and gives gifts in keeping with that core driver.

The Six Categories of Core Drivers

Over the years, I have found that the true drivers can be broken down into six categories.  The acronym for remembering these true drivers is S.L.A.V.E.S.

S.L.A.V.E.S. stands for:

  1. S ecurity
  2. L ove
  3. A cceptance
  4. V alue
  5. E njoyment
  6. S ignificance

Find ways to motivate them according to the core driver they value.  For example, if they have an over-desire toward acceptance, you can still motivate them through showing them acceptance, but be sure to point them toward the balance of it.  You can say something to the effect of, “I am so glad you are here.  You are one of us.  I want you to feel at ease and rest and know that you belong.”

If you sense they are over-working to maintain that level of acceptance, then reassure them by saying, “I am concerned about how much you are working.  I wonder how long you can keep this pace up.  I would hate for you to burn out or to be less effective when you really need to be at your best.”

Discover what the core driver is by asking them or yourself:

  • What does X represent to them/me? (Above it was “money”)
  • When have I seen an inordinate emotion from them/myself?  Which of the six core drivers was at play when that happened?
  • What do they repeatedly talk about?  What does that represent to them?
  • When they/I make a mistake or screw up somehow, what do they/I most fear losing?

Chew On This: What is your core driver?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.