What Is A Motivational Map?

Before outlining the sources of the Motivational Map, it needs to be said that the Motivational Map is not a personality test or psychometric profiling tool. It is a self-perception inventory, which gives an insight into the core motivation of a person and “what makes them tick”. Probably the most well know self perception inventory is the Belbin Team Inventory, developed by Meredith Belbin.


So what is the difference between personality and motivation?

Personality tests deal with traits, which are fixed and stable – Motivational Maps deal with states which are changing and dynamic
Personality tests gives a snapshot of who you are – Motivational Maps gives a video of where your energy is flowing
Personality tests need only be completed once, because you are you and this is invariant -Motivational Maps need to be completed frequently because your energy, like your health, needs monitoring and boosting.

There are 3 primary sources to the Motivational Map: Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors and The Enneagram. You just have Google these on the internet and you will find numerous sources of more information about them, just to give an insight for the maps, here is a brief summary about each them.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs model in 1940-50s in the USA, and the Hierarchy of Needs theory remains valid today for understanding human motivation, management training, and personal development. Abraham Maslow’s book Motivation and Personality, published in 1954 (second edition 1970) introduced the Hierarchy of Needs, and his work has been extended over the years by many experts in the field of motivation.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs works on the understanding that each of us is motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands of years. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs helps to explain how these needs motivate us all.

Maslow states that we must satisfy each need in turn, starting with the first, which deals with the most obvious needs for survival itself. Only when the lower order needs of physical and emotional well-being are satisfied are we concerned with the higher order needs of influence and personal development. Conversely, if the things that satisfy our lower order needs are swept away, we are no longer concerned about the maintenance of our higher order needs.

Maslow’s Link To The Motivational Map

The 9 motivators of the Motivational Map are directly correlated with the hierarchy in an interesting, original and organic way; the motivators are not considered “discrete” objects, but viewed as organically linked to Maslow. There is, then, a progression of motivators as there is of needs. This correlation produces a number of important benefits: first, certain motivators are linked; second, the motivators have interesting properties other than their ”motivational” quality, the two most important of these being speed and resistance to change. The diagram below shows the correlation of the 9 Motivators to the most recent variation of the Maslow concept. A larger version of this image can be found in the reference section of this manual.

Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors

Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors tool of the 1960’s is a very accurate tool which is still used by recruitment agencies today. Its’ primary use is helping people to find the right career path, one which matches what Schein calls their “drives”. Schein identified eight themes, (although later research in Israel found that there were in fact nine drivers), and has shown that people will have prioritised preferences for these in relation to the type of career they choose. Again, the Motivational Map, since it is modelled on career Anchors can also help people find direction, and further assist them in personal development.

The Enneagram

Finally, and very significantly, the Map is based on the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a subtle, deeply complex and spiritual psychometric profiling tool which is based on a 3 by 9 orientation linked to a number of personality traits. The word Enneagram means “nine points”, and whilst it is an astonishing tool to assist with personal development, in our view, it is limited in its use due to its complex nature, (it works on the completion of 180 questions), and its American marketing focus. If you are familiar with the Enneagram’s 3 by 9 orientation you will recognise core components of its structure in the Motivational Map.





Sarah Stones became an accredited Motivational Map® practitioner in 2015 and is one a small number of practitioners also accredited to use Youth Motivational Maps®