Modelling Behaviours & Actions from Values and Motivations

With any team endeavor, we must first consider the individuals within the team. Beginning with the values of each individual, you are able to map and understand common beliefs and non-negotiables that come from the individuals in your team.

We have developed a model in which we intersect values with motivations and drive some behaviours and actions as the outcomes.

To use the tool, we will develop a set of questions that help you explore what each of these elements mean to you and to your team. This article is a high level overview of the model for now.

  1. Values

Values are the individual level non-negotiables that a particular human being feels compelled to internalize. They are founded in our beliefs, our priorities, the contributions we would like to make to society and the desired characteristics of a good human being. Often times our values can be discovered by asking a few simple questions such as, how would I like to be remembered? What is a good person and how would I be that? What are the most important characteristics I would like to display?

Our values underpin everything we are as a human. Unfortunately, unless we draw attention to these values, they are often lost and we live our lives without really considering them. Many key decisions we have in our lives could be aided by simply recognizing what is truly most important to us.

This is the most important part of the model because it provides a foundation for not only the rest of the model but for lives. It can be an enlightening practice to consider what your non-negotiables are, and to analyze if you are truly living within the scope of those.

2. Motivations

From our values, we are able to discern why we choose to do what we do. This leads us to the motivations portion of the model. Motivations are sometimes not obvious, or sometimes they are difficult for us to admit. Not all motivations are pure and for the betterment of humankind or our teams. Capitalism is a prime example of a motivation for money, however often times it does not serve a grander purpose and the motivation does not receive clamour and plaudits from similar minded individuals.

Within the motivation section, we can ask ourselves questions such as, why do I embody the values listed? Why do I live like I do? Why do I prioritize these tasks over others?

These are a few low-level questions to help unearth some of the reasons behind why you do what you do. This portion of the model is really important and will take a large amount of honesty, self-awareness and bravery as we are commonly swayed into social norms instead of the truth.

3. Behaviours

Behaviours are those individual level projections we send into society. Behaviours are the what to our values. Behaviours again require a large amount of self-awareness and honesty because they are the many small mannerisms and outward facing functions that we display within a community. Behaviours are small and generally hugely cumulative often making up a grander image of the human being. Imagine it as compound interest accumulated throughout your life. You will always have behaviors, and they will accumulate to form an image of you as an individual within society.

Recognizing your own behaviours is a full time job. You must increase your self awareness to understand how you are outwardly projecting yourself into society.

4. Actions

Actions are very similar to behaviours with a few key differences. Actions are the what to motivations. Actions are taken as a result of a defined objective, need or want. Behaviours are more innate in nature versus actions which are usually a response to a particular motivation. Where behaviours are viewed at the individual level, actions can be considered at a team level too.

Actions confirm the basis for a pretty comprehensive action plan for individuals on teams. Given that actions convey the what of motivations, you can generally focus actions around a certain goal. A common practice in action planning is to identify the goal, and work backwards understanding what you need to do to achieve your goal.

The intent of this model is to drive you closer to understanding why you do what you do and how you can get to an outcome without compromising who you are as a person. Look for a follow-up to build this model further.

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