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Exercise: Backward Mapping Values and Needs from Behavior

Exercise: Backward Mapping Values and Needs from Behavior
Now you have a deep understanding of the importance of extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, the values and needs that really drive people to perform, to go above and beyond. With that understanding, I’d now like to take a step back and do an exercise. It’s an exercise I call Backward Mapping Values and Needs from Observed Behavior. What I’d like you to do is take the framework here. I want you to list out all of the members of your team. Could be a small team, could be a large team. And I want you to think about first, in that first column, what behaviors do you observe these individuals engaging in? And write down the behaviors for each of these individuals that you observe.
And for each of them, I want you to provide evidence or examples. You’re the only person that’s going to see this, but this is a very useful exercise for learning how to apply this concept of intrinsic-extrinsic motivation to be able to motivate and engage your team. So really the first step, each of your team members, what behaviors are you observing? Think over the last, say, month to three months maybe, and provide evidence or examples of those behaviors. Take a few minutes and do that.
Then what I would like you to do is, based on those observed behaviors, I want you to list out your assumptions about what you think those people value. So in that second column, based on the behaviors you’re observing and the evidence you’ve provided for that, what can you conclude about what they value? Because we don’t wanna make erroneous assumptions about what people value and then try to motivate them. But behaviors speak louder than anything, and so take what behaviors you’re observing, and do the best you can to make some conclusions about, what do you think of each of these individuals, John Doe, Jane Smith, etc., actually value? The behaviors are gonna be different across people, thus so will the values.
And then in the third column, I would like you to think about, based on those observed behaviors, based on those values, what do you think this person needs in order to increase their engagement or motivation? So what are they not getting today that they need from you or the organization that’s going to increase their motivation? So here what we’re doing is we’re starting with the behaviors that we can observe, we’re making, albeit assumptions but some conclusions, based on those observed behaviors, as to what people value.
And then we’re doing, if you will, almost a gap analysis that would say, here’s what I think those individuals are getting from the organization today, some of those values are being met, some of those values are not. And so what does each of these individuals need from me or the organization, from management in order to increase their level of motivation and engagement? This tool can be a really effective way for assessing in your team which individuals have their needs satisfied, which individuals need a little bit more of focus from management or the organization to satisfy those needs, and which individuals in your team are really at risk for not having their values and their needs met by the organization.
My assumption would be that those individuals in that latter category are also the same individuals that you mapped when we mapped out who’s actively disengaged, who’s not engaged, and who’s really engaged. I bet if you compare this assessment and this exercise with where we started in mapping out who’s engaged and who’s not, I bet you’ll see a lot of common themes across those individuals.
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