Aligning Work to Employees’ Inner Motives

April 4, 2024

We all live through a variety of experiences – some positive, some negative; some are enjoyable while others cause discomfort or pain. Each experience we live through has an impact (small or great) on our thoughts and feelings and leads us to some form of response or action.  

Experiences also serve as a reflection of who we are, what we think and believe, how we respond to the world around us, and the choices we pursue. Over the course of our lives, we engage in these experiences – whether they be with our families, at school, in our neighborhoods, or at work – either in a passive, spectator mode or in an active, achieving mode.

Peak experiences, as defined in tru® Strength Realization, are highly positive events when an individual is in an active, achieving role and enjoys a high energy level and natural ability, together with a strong sense of personal satisfaction as they work to accomplish something. The word “peak” is used because the levels of positive energy flow, excitement, personal satisfaction, and fulfillment are extremely high during the experience.  

Peak experiences occur repeatedly throughout life and contain the elements of a person’s unique strengths. During these notable times, a person is so engrossed in what they are doing that little, if anything, could distract their attention from the action. When a person’s actions align with their deepest desires and strengths, they experience great natural harmony and fulfillment – they fully express their truSelf.  

However, some people operate in a manner that seeks others’ approval instead of pursuing self-expression for internal motives. Individuals who were not encouraged to (or were not allowed to) test out their personal beliefs at some point in their lives may find themselves devaluing peak experiences because they learned to respond to events from someone else’s frame of reference. Instead of expressing their truSelf, they consistently operate in their False Self in response to external input and perceptions they received from their parents, other family members, friends, teachers, and/or supervisors.  These external pressures can lead to approval-seeking behaviors which overshadow natural, internal motives in pursuing achievements. As a result, they may pursue work that pleases others or that meets external or superficial expectations. These individuals often feel more stress and can burn out more quickly.  

Today’s business leaders struggle to attract and retain top talent in a highly competitive marketplace in which technology shifts are revolutionizing work. Skills-based hiring and deployment captures headlines, but little attention is paid to aligning work with the natural inner motives of employees. Empowering people with deep personal insights about their truSelf, creating a supportive environment in which they can pursue inner-directed behaviors, and investing in their ongoing learning and growth can unlock unforeseen levels of productivity, creativity, and fulfillment.  

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