I’ve spent this weekend looking at Kindles. My mother has just bought one and it’s a great little gadget – inexpensive, light and incredibly easy to use. I’m fascinated as it gives me the possibility to carry around over 1000 books, which in turn gives me the possibility to read a crime book, a bit of romance, some psychology, a little business or whatever book I fancy when the mood takes me. That’s an Everest-size pile of possibilities.
If you want to communicate effectively with those around you, be that your family members, your work colleagues, your boss or even your clients, then you’ll want to find out what makes people tick. What makes them think and behave the way they do? I’ve written about How to Measure a Personality and Meta Programs more than a few times now – just as a reminder these are deeply rooted mental programs that filter our experiences and guide and direct our thoughts and our behaviour. Meta Programs could be called the conversational personality profiling tool if you wish. As you’ve gathered some people, like me, are motivated by the power of possibility, while others are motivated by necessity and obligations.
When it comes to possibilities and obligations it’s the Meta Program Reason Filter tells you why somebody does something or is doing something. It’s a strong motivational filter and will indicate if the person is motivated by possibilities in life or by obligations. It will also give you a good idea of whether a person acts as if they have a choice in life.
As with the other Meta Programs you just ask a simple question….
The Question: Why are you choosing to do what you’re doing?
Now listen to what the person replies and particularly to the modal operators that they use. Modal operators are little words that we tend to throw in before a verb that can tell us how you think – I can deliver your report, I should go home for dinner…
A POSSIBILITIES person will use words that also suggest possibility like – can, will, may or possible.
Possibilities people do what they want. They look for new opportunities and potential. They believe they are in control of their lives and are unlikely to be motivated by obligations and responsibility.
A NECESSITY person will use words that suggest obligation and necessity like – should, must, need to, have to, or it’s necessary.
Necessity people feel that life is a routine, they can get stuck as they believe their actions are determined by obligations. It is rare to find a 100% necessity person, motivated only by obligations, as would mean that others have to always choose for them.
And be warned – in these times of positive thinking you may need to smoke out necessity people. Many people will give you positive possibility answers simply because our society these days expects positive thinking.
Some people may use BOTH types of words so listen if they have a preference to use one more than the other or if they’re really a balanced ‘both’ person.
People motivated by possibility and necessity will fulfill their obligations and also search for new possibilities.
As a Manager this is a great way to better understand and manage your team or as a therapist to understand your client.
How could you use this to understand the people around you better?
And now my possibilities have won and I’m off to buy my Kindle…
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