Activity Set: Motivators and Human Needs

Activity Set: Motivators and Human Needs

Motivators Assessments: Quick Overview (Note: This Activity Set is a combination of list review (Parts 1 and 2) and online (Part 3) assessments for these activities; read the information below for more detailed instructions and information to complete the activities.)

Part 1: Personal Motivators

  • Identify what motivates you on a personal level.
  • Lifework Activity: Identify your Top 5 to 7 Personal Motivators.

Part 2: Workplace Motivators and Identity

  • Identify what motivates you on a personal level.
  • Lifework Activity: Identify your Top 5 Workplace Motivators, as well as your 1 Workplace Identity.

Part 3: Human Needs Assessment

  • Take the FREE Driving Force Human Needs Assessment:
  • Lifework Activity: List your #1 Driving Force/Human Need (if you have a chance, make sure to read and/or write down the description of your “Powers.”)

The results from these activities will be part of your Character Resume.

Need Example of results? Click on Bill’s Character Resume to see his Strengths Assessment results: character resume-bill johnson example, 6-15-22.

Introduction to Motivators

You’re half-way through the Character Resume Challenge! Yeah!

What drives your life? What truly motivates you? What fuels your fire? What matters most to you? What gets you energized and excited? Both personally and professionally? Your Motivators help determine the choices you make; in most instances, your motivators are tied to your values. There are two types of motivators that guide the choices that people make – internal and external motivators; below are the definitions for each type (from “Different types of motivation” –

  • Internal motivators – deciding to do something because you’re interested in it and enjoy doing it; your reasons come from within you and are not driven by other people or by an end result or outcome.
  • External motivators – deciding to do something because you are told you have to do it by someone else; doing something because of outside factors, such as needing to achieve a goal, wanting to get a reward, or seeking to avoid a disadvantage.

There are no right or wrong answers; it’s definitely acceptable to have a combination of both types of motivators. Research has shown, however, that people driven by internal motivators are more likely to successful than those driven by mostly external motivators.

This week, you’ll be engaged in two different motivators assessments: (1) Personal Motivators, and (2) Workplace Motivators/Workplace Identity. Both assessments are useful in that they’ll provide more detailed information on how you focus your time and energy.

If you’d like to learn more about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, check out this web site: (scroll down for section on extrinsic motivation).

Think about this question as you come up with your list of motivators: “What gets YOU out of bed in the morning?”

Enjoy the activities!

P.S. Feel free to share any thoughts/comments about these activities in the comments box below.

Part 1: Personal Motivators

The Personal Motivators activity will have you identify things that motivate you towards engagement, empowerment, and fulfillment in your life.  One thing to realize about your Personal Motivators – they will most likely change as your life changes.  What motivates you today was most likely different 10 years ago – and will most likely be different 10 years in the future.

For this activity, you will need to choose BETWEEN FIVE (5) AND SEVEN (7) Personal Motivators that drive the choices in your life RIGHT NOW. There are no right or wrong answers; it’s definitely acceptable to have a combination of both types of motivation. As you review the list below, if there’s something that motivates you but is not listed, make sure to add that to your list.  Your results from this activity will help shape what you do, how you live, and the choices you make – now and in the future.

  • Accomplish goals
  • Achieve great things
  • Avoid judgment/looking bad
  • Become a better me
  • Become my best self
  • Be a great/inspiring leader
  • Be a role model
  • Be a team player
  • Be able to contribute ideas
  • Be able to travel/explore new places
  • Become an expert in something
  • Be around like-minded people
  • Be challenged
  • Be creative/do creative projects
  • Be curious
  • Be daring
  • Be empathetic
  • Be full of life/full of energy
  • Be great at something
  • Be the best at something
  • Be happy
  • Be in control of my life
  • Be in love
  • Be independent
  • Be optimistic
  • Be popular
  • Be productive
  • Be recognized as a valuable resource
  • Be recognized/known for something
  • Be responsible
  • Be rich and famous
  • Be safe and secure
  • Be social
  • Be successful
  • Be the center of attention
  • Be wealthy
  • Be worthy of love
  • Change the world
  • Compete against others
  • Complete tasks
  • Connect with a community
  • Do more of what I love to do
  • Do something for someone else
  • Do work that’s significant
  • Expectation of others
  • Feel great
  • Feel worthy
  • Focus on health and well-being
  • Follow my faith/religion
  • Fulfill commitments
  • Go on adventures
  • Have a certain lifestyle
  • Have a sense of purpose
  • Have a sense of self-worth
  • Have confidence in myself
  • Have financial security/financial stability
  • Have fun
  • Have freedom
  • Have greater responsibilities
  • Have hope for a better future
  • Have pleasurable feelings
  • Have power/control over others
  • Have high status
  • Have meaningful relationships
  • Have people being proud of me
  • Have thoughtful conversations
  • Have lots of money
  • Have variety
  • Help/serve others
  • Learn new things
  • Leave a legacy/be remembered
  • Live a long life
  • Live life to the fullest
  • Live according to my values
  • Make a difference in the world
  • Make an impact on others
  • Make an impact on the world
  • Make deadlines
  • Make my own decisions
  • Make wise choices
  • Obtain advanced skills/knowledge
  • Obtain professional credentials
  • Peace for self and/or for world
  • Pressure from __________
  • Prove others wrong
  • Receive praise/awards
  • Seek opportunities for growth
  • Serve something bigger than myself
  • Spend time with family and/or friends
  • Stand out in a crowd
  • Take pride in doing good work
What was it like for you to identify your Personal Motivators? Are they things that you think about often, things that you think about every now and then, or things you don’t think about at all?

Part 2: Workplace Motivators: What Motivates Me in the Workplace (From the book, “What Motivates Me: Put Your Passions to Work” by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton)

Imagine if you could understand what drives your work on a daily basis. What are the things that engage you best? This activity will help you identify the answer to that question. Research has found that meaningful work is work that provides a sense of fulfillment and empowerment, work that is energizing and satisfying, work that provides a great sense of joy and pride. When you are more fulfilled in your job, you produce higher quality work, you generate more output, generally earn higher income, and are generally happier in your life. On the flipside, those who are disengaged at work, or their work is out of alignment, are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and have damaged relationships in their personal lives.

To get a glimpse of the book, download the first two chapters of the book, “What Motivates Me: Put Your Passions to Work” (Sample: Chapters 1 and 2):

This Motivators activity consists of two parts:

  • Part 1 is a list of 23 Workplace Motivators. Read through the descriptions and choose FIVE (5) Workplace Motivators that describe how you are at your best when at work.
  • Part 2 is a list of 5 Workplace Identities. Read through the descriptions and choose ONE (1) that seems to describe your workplace identity best. It may also help to identify look at your top FIVE (5) Workplace Motivators; if you see that there are more Workplace Motivators in one category than others, it’s probably a Workplace Identity for you.

Know that there are right or wrong answers in this self-assessment. Also know that these motivators change over time as your life changes. What motivates you in your 20’s will most likely be different in your 50’s – but it’s important to know what motivates you, especially in the workplace.

Workplace Motivators (Choose and write down your top FIVE (5) Workplace Motivators)

  • Autonomy: This motivator leads people to want to be their own boss (inside or outside a corporate setting) and have a degree of freedom in their work. Those for whom autonomy is high on the list tend to prefer working alone to working on a team; nine times out of ten they’d opt to work by themselves because they feel they just get more done that way. For the autonomous who work in corporation, red tape and rules can drive them crazy.
  • Challenge: This motivator leads people to thrive when tackling difficult issues and overcoming obstacles or roadblocks. When things get really hard, those motivated by challenge feel they’re at their best. They will usually keep going no matter what they face, and they revel taking on the perplexing, difficult, or even seemingly impossible.
  • Creativity: People driven to be creative want to be able to take time to explore, experiment, and discover new things. They enjoy facing the unknown and want to make things work in their own distinct way, not by following prescribed models.
  • Developing Others: This motivator leads people to enjoy bringing out the best in those around them and helping others reach their full potential. That may mean mentoring, coaching, managing, or just guiding those who are closest to them. Sometimes they challenge people with stretch goals, other times they offer constructive criticism.
  • Empathy: People for whom this is a strong motivator relish getting to understand others and seeing things from their perspective – all so they can help those people through their problems or offer them a level of comfort. The empathetic listen to others and get in tune with their emotions so they can relate on a deeper level. It’s highly rewarding when others tell the empathetic that they really “get” things.
  • Excelling: This motivator leads people to crave the feeling of successfully completing a task, especially when the bar is set high. They want to feel they’re doing the highest quality work and are meeting or exceeding expectations. They want to get things done on time and will do pretty much whatever it takes to do so; in fact, they probably can’t remember the last time they missed a deadline. They sometimes admit they feel guilty if they aren’t giving their all. They enjoy having ambitious goals and having a plan to reach them.
  • Excitement: Those strongly driven by this motivator want some sense of adventure and at least a little risk in their work. No one ever accused them of being boring or shirking opportunities to put themselves out there, and they get frustrated quickly by stale routines.
  • Family: People motivated by family want their loves ones to be proud of them and to know they’ll always be there for them. They to make family a high priority, which means balancing home and work time. Their greatest goal is to leave a legacy of love.
  • Friendship: Those strongly driven by the desire for quality friendships put great emphasis on developing close relationships both in their personal life and at work. Their network of connections is important to them, and they feel good knowing people rely on them to help out and keep confidences. Being trusted is highly rewarding, and it’s important for them to feel this is mutual and that they can trust their colleague.
  • Fun: This motivator leads people to seek to lighten things up at work and make others smile. They enjoy the humor of others, might share a wisecrack now and then, but almost always bring a sense of levity, lightheartedness, and optimism to the workplace. They tend to believe that we learn more and do more when we are enjoying those around us, and so they make an effort to set everyone at ease.
  • Impact: Those who are highly impact-driven want to know they are doing work that is important. They often feel a sense of destiny, that they are supposed to do something that will create positive change in the world, and they are usually willing to least out and can become frustrated if they don’t see the positive outcome of their efforts.
  • Learning: Those for whom this is a major driver thrive on trying new things and growing. For some, the pursuit of knowledge is its own goal, while for others the emphasis is on making themselves better at what they do. They understand they might appear a little nerdy at times, but the stimulation of making new discoveries and seeking out new information outweighs any hesitation to be seem as a bit egg-headed.
  • Money: For those strongly driven to earn a good deal of money, it’s too simple to say that they’re just materialistic or greedy. For these people, how much they earn is often a way to keep score with the world and a confirmation of their personal value and their contributions. For some, they see compensation as a source of validation, safety, and a responsibility to fulfill their potential; for others, money may be a source of freedom and empowerment.
  • Ownership: This motivator leads people to want to be the person in charge, not only having the ability to control their own destiny, but to also directly influence the behavior of others. It gives them great satisfaction when people ask for their buy-in, and they have little problem making a final decision. They also tend to feel a great sense of personal accountability – which means they own up to their mistakes as well as success.
  • Pressure: Those highly motivated by pressure tend to believe that stressful situations bring out the best in them; that they do some of their best work when deadlines are looming, or they are asked to multitask. Some might admit that they do require a push now and then from supervisors to get started – that kind of external pressure helps them focus and they get satisfaction from the adrenaline rush of having to put the pedal to the metal.
  • Prestige: Those for who prestige is important highly value the respect of those in their inner circle but also the larger community around them. Job titles are important, as is the type of office, vehicle, or other perks they have. Their reputation means a good deal, as well. They would usually prefer to work for an organization that is considered among the best rather than one that’s up-and-coming, and they don’t mind at all when people ask the common cocktail-party questions, “What do you do?” In fact, it can be more annoying if people don’t ask it.
  • Problem Solving: When this is a leading motivator, people tend to get a great deal of satisfaction from finding solutions, especially in a crisis, and from resolving conflicts. They also enjoy helping others to come up with ways to solve their own problems – not just listening and being supportive but digging in to come up with a realistic plan. They relish the mental exercise of looking at challenges from multiple angles; and trite as it may sound, they really do see problems as opportunities.
  • Purpose: Those driven strongly by purpose long to be part of something bigger than themselves; they like being an integral part of a group or organization they admire; and they want to get behind a cause they believe in. Not only do they long for deeper meaning in their work, but they also want to be aligned with a strong vision and mission, and to feel that they are significantly contributing to it.
  • Recognition: Those strongly motivated by receiving acknowledgement for their good work highly value the respect and admiration of those around them. Philosophically, they think it’s important that people’s efforts are cheered for, they tend to be strong believers in meritocracy, and they enjoy proving their value. These people think it’s important that others know about their victories, and the lack of such demonstrated appreciation seems to them a sign of disrespect, something that’s fundamentally unfair.
  • Service: Those driven to serve tend to believe it’s a moral obligation to help those around them. That means they put the spotlight on others’ needs, and helping others takes precedence over helping oneself. Don’t expect them to blow their own horn, and they often don’t respond very well to suggestions that they should focus more on their own goals, such as getting a promotion or winning an award. They take great satisfaction from being willing to sacrifice of themselves, giving their time and talents to others.
  • Social responsibility: Those driven by this motivator feel that it’s important to speak out on issues that are vital to the word, whether political, social, economic, or rights related. They are strongly guided by moral compass, and often an ethical or political school of thought. They tend to believe that it’s a person’s responsibility to influence others to understand important social problems, and they can be greatly satisfied when they can see that they’ve had an effect in moving the needle of that awareness.
  • Teamwork: Those who are especially driven by working in teams believe that we tend to do our best work when we pool our talents, and they enjoy being a central bonding agent and figuring out how people can complement one another. They typically enjoy the sense that they’re collaborating, and dislike it when anyone on a team tried to take too much credit or grab the spotlight. A key driver of their performance is that they don’t want to let their teammates down, and they tend to feel very strongly that it’s important to keep promises, respect others’ ideas, and be dependable.
  • Variety: For those highly motivated by variety, routines are deadly; in fact, they can drive them batty. They like to change responsibilities frequently to keep things interesting. Trying new work tasks, being given new assignments, or working on a cross-functional team can give them a terrific change.

Workplace Identities (Choose and write down ONE (1) Workplace Identity that describes you best)

Identity #1: The Achievers (Motivators: Challenge, Excelling, Ownership, Pressure, and Problem-Solving)

Chances are we all know our share of Achievers. These go-getters often do well under pressure, enjoy rising to the challenge, and love to solve problems. They are known for setting plenty of goals to strive for, and in the pursuit of a goal can appear hell-bent to not let anything get in their way. Achievers are valuable to any organizations, primarily because so many are “attainment-oriented,” which means they are motivated to finish tasks on time and to high standards. Achievers are usually action-oriented and determined, high-energy people who are disciplined and focused.

  • They love a good challenge
  • They are driven to excel.
  • They thrive under pressure.
  • Completing tasks is crucial to them.
  • They feel guilty if they aren’t giving it their all.
  • They are highly accountable.
  • They like to be in control.
  • They have a strong belief in their own talents.
  • They set ambitious goals for themselves.

Identity #2: The Builders (Motivators: Developing Others, Friendship, Purpose, Service, Social Responsibility, and Teamwork)

Builders tend to be ideal-oriented with a strong desire to be part of something bigger than themselves, to align with a greater purpose. They are often the glue that keeps a team working together and believe it’s important to serve others and develop those around them – which is why many in this identity make good leaders. Builders often tend to measure success not by their paychecks, but by the difference they are making on the word around them.

  • They want to help others grow.
  • They’ve long felt a sense of destiny to help others.
  • They want to be surrounded by a passionate team.
  • They believe everyone is a leader.
  • They are loyal friends.
  • Doing good is more important than making money.
  • They connect well with others – especially those with the same beliefs.

Identity #3: The Caregivers (Motivators: Empathy, Family, and Fun)

Caregivers are often people-people – those who prefer working with clients and bonding with teammates to working independently, those who think it’s important to be light-hearted and fun at work. They also tend to have rich lives outside of the office, spending plenty of time with family. This group of individuals can be great with customers but is also important in building team morale as Caregivers may enhance collaboration and appreciation among team members.

  • They are good at empathizing with those around them.
  • They are natural communicators and good listeners.
  • They are dependable.
  • They respect people no matter their level.
  • They try hard to balance work and home.
  • They are genuine.
  • They are positive and lighthearted.
  • They typically don’t want to be in charge.

Identity #4: The Reward-Driven (Motivators: Money, Prestige, and Recognition)

Whether it’s vying for money, marbles, gold starts, or simple bragging rights, those who are strongly Reward-Driven tend to be highly competitive and have been since childhood. Their determined natures can help them accomplish great things for their organizations. Some in this identify are most motivated by momentary rewards, while for some the prestige of their job is paramount, and still others want to be regularly recognized for their great work. We’re all driven to some extent by these types of extrinsic rewards; it’s just that for this type, they are much more important.

  • They are doers.
  • They like regular indications of recognition.
  • Their identities are strongly tied to their work success.
  • They believe they should get a piece of what they create.
  • They are good stewards of their time.
  • They do their best work when incentivized.
  • They believe in meritocracy.

Identity #5: The Thinkers (Workplace Motivators: Autonomy, Creativity, Excitement, Impact, Learning, and Variety)

Some people believe that being allowed to exercise their imagination at work is a key to their success. They tend to prefer autonomous work, want to be free to take risks, and like to follow their own interests now and then. These people are the Thinkers, those who tend to challenge the status quo, who crave opportunities to explore and discover and make a big impact, those who can grow bored and frustrated if their work becomes routine. As a group, Thinkers are resourceful and artistic, and are happiest when they are constantly putting new stuff out into the world. As such, they can be the lifeblood or innovation in an organization.

  • They dislike bureaucracy.
  • They want to know they “why.”
  • They value novelty and variety.
  • They like to see the impact of their innovations.
  • They think before they act.
  • They draw on a wide range of experiences.
  • They don’t like being told how to do their work.

Again, your goal is to identify FIVE (5) Workplace Motivators and ONE (1) Workplace Identity.

(NEW) Part 3: Human Needs Assessment

This is the newest activity we’ve included in our assessments portfolio.

We all have needs, not just for basic survival, but profound needs that must be fulfilled for a quality life. At different points in our lives, our Human Needs change. This assessment will have you identify the Human Need that’s driving you and your relationships today.

The needs are:

  • Love/Connection
  • Variety
  • Significance
  • Certainty
  • Growth
  • Contribution

The first four needs are necessary for survival and a successful life. The last two needs (growth and contribution), are necessary to experience a fulfilled life. For this activity, you will take the Driving Force (Human Needs) Assessment to identify your most prevalent Human Need right now.

Once you get your results, make sure to read over your results. The “Powers” section will be extremely useful for next week’s activities, where you’ll identify your Superpowers; your list of Superpowers may start with a list of your Powers in this activity.

Check out these resources to learn more about the importance of understanding your Human Needs:

The Human Needs Assessment is our newest self-assessment in this course, so please share your thoughts about this, as well as the other Motivators Assessments, in the Comments box at the bottom of the page.

Have fun as you complete these activities!

Again, if you have any comments you’d like to share, please feel free to post them in the “Comments” section on the bottom of the page; you can also send me an email at


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