Feb 23, 2004

The Eight Life Interests

According to the Harvard psychologists, there are eight life interests that they have been able to identify, with each person having from one to three of them that would qualify as motivators in a work environment. They say that these are better motivators than innate abilities or values in leading to total job satisfaction. Here they are:

Application of Technology....How many times have I heard software companies tell me that they can’t keep technicians unless they regularly have new toys to play with? These people love the inner workings of things.

Quantitative Analysis....These people gravitate toward the numbers and use them creatively to analyze data. They excel at analyzing ratios, customer research data, etc.

Theory Development and Conceptual Thinking....These people love nothing better than relating concepts to pursue higher levels of understanding. I should know.

Creative Production....These imaginative, out-of-the-box thinkers love to start things when there are lots of unknowns and they can make something out of nothing. They thrive on newness, whether it’s a product or a process.

Counseling and Mentoring....For some, nothing is more enjoyable than teaching. Whether they do it because they enjoy watching others succeed, or because they want to be appreciated, they see social value in their cause.

Managing People and Relationships....Wanting to manage people is different than wanting to counsel and mentor. The focus here is on outcomes, and these people enjoy working day-to-day with others. They like to motivate, organize and direct.

Enterprise Control....These are the go-to people who love being responsible for the direction of a team or project. They specifically like being in charge, although they may not like managing people. Their main thrill is in "owning" the transaction (i.e. being accountable).

Influence Through Language and Ideas....These people enjoy storytelling, negotiating and persuading just for the sake of it. They are most fulfilled when they are communicating (speaking or writing). Even if no one is listening, they are practicing their skills through self-talk.

So what do you think is your life interest???