What is your motive in life 1

Successful with the Reiss Profile

What motivates you What are you striving for What drives you
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Then you know how important the answers are for a full life. The better you do justice to your inner motivators in everyday life, the more satisfied you will be.

And that's not all, because for companies, too, the question of the intrinsic motivation of their employees and customers is of essential importance. Only when you are able to understand the deeper motivations of your business partners will you be able to give them exactly what they need. For this reason, I would like to introduce you to the Reiss Profile in this post, which can help you to better understand yourself and others.

Why intrinsic motivators are so important to sales.

For salespeople to be successful in sales, it is essential that they gain the trust of their interlocutors. But this trust does not come by itself. Only when salespeople make a conscious effort to fathom the deeper motives of their customers do they get the chance to offer a tailor-made solution that meets the needs of the customer.

Why does a customer want to buy your product? Because you've been claiming for hours that it's the best on the market? Probably not, because customers usually expect more from a deal than is apparent at first glance. Depending on their motives, they hope for more power, more free time or more sales from an investment - and your product is just a means to an end. What does that mean for you? The more precisely you recognize what really drives your customers, the greater your chance of success.

Let's take another example: Many managers assume that they can use financial incentives to encourage their employees to achieve top performance over the long term. This is a fallacy, because a number of studies have meanwhile proven beyond any doubt that extrinsic motivators such as money lose their effect at a certain point. If managers, on the other hand, use the intrinsic motivators of their employees, they create optimal conditions in order to benefit from a permanently motivated team. That means work, after all, executives have to look carefully and keep asking questions in order to really get to know their people, but the effort pays off. For example, if an employee's family is the most important thing and they don't value status, you will hardly be able to inspire them with a fancy sports car. He certainly won't say no, but in this case it would probably be much more productive if you offered him flexible working hours.


What is the Reiss Profile?

Developed at the beginning of the 1990s by the retired psychology professor Steven Reiss in the USA, the Reiss Profile is based on 16 different life motives that are differently pronounced in each person. They depict what a person strives for and what his needs are. The more pronounced a motive, the more important it is to fulfill it.

Here is a list of the 16 motives for life:

  • Makes
  • independence
  • curiosity
  • recognition
  • order
  • Save / collect
  • honor
  • idealism
  • Relationships
  • family
  • status
  • Vengeance / fight
  • Eros
  • eat
  • Physical activity
  • Emotional calm

How did the development of the motives for life come about? It all started with a hospitalization by the psychology professor and the question of why nurses can be so happy despite being busy with unpleasant chores all day. The more Reiss thought about this fact, the more his conviction grew that joy and pain do not influence human behavior half as much as psychology assumed at the time. If nurses and soldiers were happy with ungrateful tasks, there had to be even stronger drivers for their commitment than their own well-being.

As soon as Reiss was released from the hospital, the then head of the Nisonger Center at Ohio State University set out to substantiate his thesis. Reiss decided to develop a new theory about human needs and motives for life that is based on the creation of meaning rather than on joy and well-being.

After extensive scientific studies with more than 6000 test persons, Steven Reiss came to the conviction that the individual expression of the motives for life is both genetically predetermined and a consequence of our early childhood socialization. Shaped by these two components, the motives for life become an immovable core of the human personality, the formation of which is already completed at a young age. As a result, beliefs emerge that, in contrast to the motives for life, can be modified and determine individual perception. What that means? You perceive stimuli that correspond to your motivators particularly strongly, while opposing stimuli are often faded out. So your life motives determine your personal truth, and you will probably turn to those people who have similar values ​​and drivers as yourself. In addition, the life motives ultimately affect what behavioral preferences you have, what skills you acquire and how you act on a case-by-case basis.

How the motives for life affect your work

Basically, any motive can help you professionally. That means, contrary to popular belief, you can also be successful as a sales representative if you strive for emotional calm, for example. Assuming you sell security systems, this motive expression can even be an advantage, because you will be able to credibly assure your customers how important sensible protective measures are. In principle, the following applies: the better your values ​​match the values ​​of your potential customers, the better. This can also be seen in another example, the pursuit of power.

Salespeople who have a strong motive for power want to take on responsibility and feel most comfortable when they can live out their ambition. For this reason, such salespeople usually try to actively influence the decision of their customers - not because they have to, but because it is an inner need for them. If the power motive is less pronounced, however, they prefer to take on an advisory role because they want to be guided by the wishes of the customer. Depending on what preferences your customer has, both ways can be effective.

With the Reiss Profile for greater understanding

The Reiss Profile is a highly scientific and complex motivational tool, which is why I have only presented it very briefly in this article. If you want to find out more about the characteristics of your life motives, the first step is to fill out a questionnaire with 128 questions, which is then evaluated together with a Reiss Profile Master. In this way you will find out which motifs are important to you and you will learn what the different motif combinations mean. You will also understand why some people think differently than you, which in turn helps you avoid conflicts and create constructive relationships. No wonder then that many companies use the Reiss Profile to secure personnel decisions or to encourage top performers.