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February 2015

Finding your Real Friends

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New Year is a good time to reflect on the important things in life, things like friendship. Indeed, friendship is up there with love and having children as being one of the greatest experiences of being human and alive. Friendship can produce such joy, laughter, intimacy and wonder when it is at its best; and similarly, and surely, we have all had that experience where we come to feel that the friend we have is not really a friend at all; they are not a bad person necessarily, but they are not our friend, our special (in a non-exclusive sense) friend. The trouble is that these non-friendships can continue for years; they drain our energy, our time, our resources; and either duty or guilt means we somehow never quit them, and so end up a martyr to friendship. A sad condition, especially when you consider that the essence of friendship, unlike our families, is choice: we are supposed to choose our friends, but we cannot choose who our mother or brother is.

What, then, are the key characteristics of true friendship? I think there are three. First, and most importantly, is equality. Friendship is always based on equality. That means that if you think you are superior to others, or if you feel inferior, then you will have a real problem sustaining friendships. Equality is essential because in the first instance it enables ease of communication: there is no ‘boss’, no need for deference or degree; there is instead the glorious freedom of equality where we can speak to another as we would speak to our self! That is wonderful. And less people think to diminish the importance of this point, we need to bear in mind the insidious way that certain people develop self-images of themselves which invariably predicate self-importance and so superiority. Nobody, except a social climber or a snob, wants truly to be with a friend who is manifestly superior.

Second is reciprocity. Friendship is not about accounting: I have done this for you so that you should do this for me, a sort of one-to-one exchange, a commoditisation in other words of true friendship. But the reality is that true friendship always involves the exchange of benefits, and benefits are mutually shared and this is apparent. Sometimes we have so-called friends who never do anything for us; we haven’t been counting but over time, consciously or sub-consciously, we notice and feel empty. All the giving has been from us. Sometimes we have so-called friends who ‘give’ but what they give is not what we want, but what they want, and thus is always misdirected because the benefit accrues to them. And that’s an important word in friendship (as it is in sales): benefits. We can spend a lot of time with friends enjoying the ‘features’ of friendship – a weekly meeting in the restaurant or down the bar – but the benefits never emerge: for example, the conversation is always about them, or it’s always about how much alcohol can be consumed and little else; and this over time proves empty too.

And this leads on to the third key characteristic: namely, empathy, or the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and feel life as they feel it. For if we can do that there will be no or few misdirected benefits for we will really know what our friends want and eagerly seek to help them get it. This is no different from how we might consider our children at Christmas. Sure, we can buy presents for our kids, but the loving parent knows – knows – what their kid really wants because they empathise completely with them. And you see the difference in the results: the kids who have parents who bought them ‘everything’ but, who gives a damn, and those who may have only bought their child one present, but it’s the right one and their joy and pleasure go on and on beyond the twelve days of Christmas. So it is with true friendship: when we empathise with our friends then our reciprocations become more and more valid and telling.

 


Motivational Differences that Make a Difference

Recently one of my colleagues asked me to review a couple of Motivational Maps with them. They were coaching a couple of international European footballers nearing the end of their careers; and the Maps of course are ideal for helping understand the direction in which one might go, for to be satisfied and happy with a new career the motivators must be aligned and satisfied.

The two footballers were from the same European country and probably knew of each other, as they are top players in the top division, but they played at different clubs. Neither was aware that they were being coached by the same person. So there it was: two Maps in front of me and what did I think? What did I see in the Maps? And strangely what I saw initially surprised me. Both maps seemed so similar. For example, both players had money and control well done their list of motivators, although both scored their money satisfaction very high, meaning that money was no issue for them. Both had the Star motivator bottom of the pile, which surprised me as being an international player inevitably leads to a certain degree of fame as well as fortune. But presumably this was something they accepted and did not actively seek.

But it was when we got to the top three motivators that things got really interesting. Again, they both seemed so similar. Player A had Belonging, Security and Making a Difference as his top three, and Player B had Belonging, Creativity and Making a Difference as his. In other words, these two entirely separate players shared their top and third motivators, and only the second motivator was different: Security versus Creativity. Given as well how similar the rest of the profile was, then one can easily conclude that the same career formulae could apply to both. One could assume that but one would be dead wrong!

For as I probed with my colleague – the coach – into what these two profiles meant an astonishing fact emerged, which the Maps themselves were revealing. I said that Player B had a much higher risk and change profile than player A. Indeed Player A’s profile with two Relationship motivators as first and second was going to be a lot trickier to develop into a new career because the whole thrust of the profile was defensive (we call Security orientation the Defender in our system) whereas Player B had two Growth motivators in the top three that would offset the need to belong (belonging of course resists change). So Player B would more actively seek to create opportunities for themselves and move on.

My colleague, the coach, at this point sounded quite amazed. ‘That’s interesting,’ she said, and what followed I could not know, ‘because Player A plays as a defender in his team, whereas Player B is an attacker’! In short, Player A has to block other’s initiatives whereas Player B has to create openings – that’s what they do in football, and presumably have been doing since they started playing at six years’ old!

How incredible: the Motivational Map had picked out not just some aspect of advising them in future and the relative ease or difficultly therein, but had identified a core component and difference in their current roles. Both footballers, yes, but one plays defence and one plays attack – and the Maps can see the difference in the desire and the want. As a profiling tool for recruitment, therefore, I think Motivational Maps is pre-eminent and the recruitment world is slowly going to catch up with the potential of this incredible tool.

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Why You Should Use Motivational Maps in Your Recruitment Process

Motivational Maps can make a very big difference when it comes down to the the final selection interview, and there are, say, only 2 or 3 candidates left in the field. Often, because of the rigorous process organisations have gone through to pare the short list down to such a small number, the quality of the candidates is high, and it is difficult to differentiate between them. Who, in fact, will be the best fit?

It is at this point Motivational Maps can make a profound difference. Unlike personality and psychometric profiling tools, which really establish ‘traits’ – fixed characteristics of the person – Maps measure energy, which is fluid and changing: what the person really wants, and how much energy they have at that moment in time when they do the Map. In short, Maps make visible what is normally invisible – namely, a person’s actual desires. This has several profound advantages.

First, it enables us to establish whether the role of the job and the motivators actually match each other. To take a simple example: what if you wish to appoint a sales person on a low salary but high commission. This is invariably a ‘high risk’ type of role. The person applying may have a great CV, excellent qualifications, even an impressive track-record, but what if we find their motivators indicate risk-aversion and a high desire for stability (one of the motivators)? A-ha! More research needed into this candidate – all might not be what it seems.

Second, Maps can reveal underlying internal conflicts within the person or potential conflicts with the team members they are applying to join. For example, their number one motivator is for power and control, but so is their boss’s – how is that going to work, then? This needs unpicking before the appointment!

Third, Maps are a relatively new and unknown tool – candidates have no idea what they are revealing, and there are no books at the airport bookshops instructing you on how to fake your psychometric test and get the ‘right’ answer. The Maps are 99.9% accurate and practitioners of Maps are trained to spot ‘false’ results (which are extremely rare). Thus the information provided tends to be highly accurate, highly relevant and highly useful.

There are nine motivators at work and for any one person, three tend to be dominant. This means the Maps are not simplistic, just focusing on one 'trait'; on the contrary, the motivators interact dynamically with each other, which both knowledge, insight and subtlety must be used in its application. The key is to understand the requirements of the role and then see how appropriate the motivators are in relationship to that role.

It is important to stress that Motivational Maps are no substitute for the normal recruitment and HR processes for selection. Its value occurs in the final stages where for a small investment tens of thousands of pounds – or more - can be saved in making the right choice.

SOUTHEND 1207 JAMES SURPRISED
We hope you will want to use Motivational Maps in your selection process!

 

 


Why You Should Use Motivational Maps in Your Recruitment Process

Motivational Maps can make a very big difference when it comes down to the the final selection interview, and there are, say, only 2 or 3 candidates left in the field. Often, because of the rigorous process organisations have gone through to pare the short list down to such a small number, the quality of the candidates is high, and it is difficult to differentiate between them. Who, in fact, will be the best fit?

It is at this point Motivational Maps can make a profound difference. Unlike personality and psychometric profiling tools, which really establish ‘traits’ – fixed characteristics of the person – Maps measure energy, which is fluid and changing: what the person really wants, and how much energy they have at that moment in time when they do the Map. In short, Maps make visible what is normally invisible – namely, a person’s actual desires. This has several profound advantages.

First, it enables us to establish whether the role of the job and the motivators actually match each other. To take a simple example: what if you wish to appoint a sales person on a low salary but high commission. This is invariably a ‘high risk’ type of role. The person applying may have a great CV, excellent qualifications, even an impressive track-record, but what if we find their motivators indicate risk-aversion and a high desire for stability (one of the motivators)? A-ha! More research needed into this candidate – all might not be what it seems.

Second, Maps can reveal underlying internal conflicts within the person or potential conflicts with the team members they are applying to join. For example, their number one motivator is for power and control, but so is their boss’s – how is that going to work, then? This needs unpicking before the appointment!

Third, Maps are a relatively new and unknown tool – candidates have no idea what they are revealing, and there are no books at the airport bookshops instructing you on how to fake your psychometric test and get the ‘right’ answer. The Maps are 99.9% accurate and practitioners of Maps are trained to spot ‘false’ results (which are extremely rare). Thus the information provided tends to be highly accurate, highly relevant and highly useful.

There are nine motivators at work and for any one person, three tend to be dominant. This means the Maps are not simplistic, just focusing on one 'trait'; on the contrary, the motivators interact dynamically with each other, which both knowledge, insight and subtlety must be used in its application. The key is to understand the requirements of the role and then see how appropriate the motivators are in relationship to that role.

It is important to stress that Motivational Maps are no substitute for the normal recruitment and HR processes for selection. Its value occurs in the final stages where for a small investment tens of thousands of pounds – or more - can be saved in making the right choice.

SOUTHEND 1207 JAMES SURPRISED
We hope you will want to use Motivational Maps in your selection process!