Research for the Motivating Values instrument stems back to 1975 and still continues today.  It was originally developed to assist executives, general managers, sales managers, and others to understand and apply properly the motivational force of an of personal values for productive results, but now it is used more widely.

Motivating Values are the primary influences in a person’s life, which initiate and stimulate behavior. Some values are assigned great worth and are sought diligently. Others are not considered important and may be ignored or even disclaimed. Values are fundamental incentives to motivation. An individual’s primary values will cause the where and why a person behaves the way they do, but not the how.


At Cloverleaf, we have split the Motivating Values into 6 categories:

THEORETICAL: INTELLECTUAL VS. INSTINCTIVE

  • INTELLECTUAL: Interested in a logical, sequential process of reasoning. Intellectualizes, arranges and interrelates everything into a logical system. Objective, critical, and seeks the facts. Prefers ideas and things to people.
  • INSTINCTIVE: Forms opinions on subjects or situations quickly. Feels that instincts are right and not a great deal of investigation is required. Tends to accept things at face value. Deals with feelings and opinions instead of facts.

ECONOMIC: RESOURCEFUL VS. SELFLESS

  • RESOURCEFUL: Interested in economic gain. Sees all objects, things, and ideas in their environment as a part of materialist structure. Practical, looks for utility and investment potential. 
  • SELFLESS: Reveals a disregard for material things, prefers more intangible concepts of personal service and spiritual relationships. Wants to help the underdog.

AESTHETIC: HARMONIOUS VS. OBJECTIVE

  • HARMONIOUS: Seeks artistic beauty or creativity in cultural areas of expression.Seeks form and harmony, grace, and symmetry, wants freedom to create “their own thing”. Can be a perfectionist about design, color, and detail. 
  • OBJECTIVE: Not concerned with aesthetic beauty or taste. Tends to be practical and pragmatic. Judges objects, things, or programs by their usefulness or production of financial return.

SOCIAL: ALTRUISTIC VS. INTENTIONAL

  • ALTRUISTIC: Has altruistic feelings for all people. Represents their end product rather than a means to the end. Seeks selflessly to improve the welfare of others by serving them. Actions impelled by social justice. 
  • INTENTIONAL: Tends to be unconcerned with underprivileged people who have less material goods and wealth. Believes each person gets what they deserve. Lacks compassion for strangers.

POLITICAL: COMMANDING VS. COLLABORATIVE

  • COMMANDING: Seeks power and status. Seeks to be places above others in the organization hierarchy structure. Enjoys being influential and are excited by personal recognition. 
  • COLLABORATIVE: Conscious of the risk of the drive for power and shun the required contacts with "undesirable" people or situations. Power is not worth the adversities one must face to gain it. May exhibit leadership behind the scenes to champion a cause.

REGULATORY: STRUCTURED VS. RECEPTIVE

  • STRUCTURED: Seeks to identify with a recognized force for good or to govern their lives by a code of conduct. “Right” or “Wrong” is important to them. Tends to be corporative and self-controlled. 
  • RECEPTIVE: Independent, individualistic. Wants to make decisions independent of established codes or customs. Can interpret the law for their own needs and rationalize to justify their individualistic actions.


The Nature of Values

Behaviors can be misunderstood without knowing the underlying values.  These are what motivate action, or performance.

Behind performance are reason, approach, and implementation, which parallel values, mental agility, and behavior:

  • Values – Why the individual initiates behavior (Reason)
  • Mental Agility – Determination of how to achieve the purpose (Approach)
  • Behavior – How the individual performs (Implementation)

With values initiating behavior, they are a unique motivating force for each individual. Individuals cannot fully explain why certain values have priority, particularly when there is emotional force behind the values. This often explains why behavior flares.

***Cleaver is our assessment partner and has provided the content for this help page. This content was adapted from a Cleaver-original Motivating Values article.



For more help with Cloverleaf, view related help articles:
Learn about Culture Pulse
Learn about DISC
Learn about StrengthsFinder

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