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How a level of independence in a role impacts motivation

Independence Preference
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Professional preferences

This preference refers to the desire for independence vs. teamwork in the workplace. If needs are not met in this preference it can be incredibly debilitating. Those high in independence require autonomy, the need for work and results they can achieve alone and not depend on others. If they are forced into team dynamics with open workplaces, this can be enough motivation to leave a company. Often independence preference is strong in introverts, people who prefer their own company and to work individually. For those low on independence they need team members to feel motivated and to accomplish their tasks. They thrive in open cultures and offices where they can be interacting regularly throughout the day.

Understanding your propensity for independence enables you to strive for work that fulfills this intrinsic desire. Or if you are currently in a role, you can share this knowledge with your manager, to help them understand the type of work that would suit your personality, enabling your manager to design your role to suit your professional preference.

How people higher on the scale are motivated

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You are a driven person with a view to your own capabilities, achievements, and goals. You are comfortable in your own company and do not worry about how others perceive you, preferring to keep your own counsel and not needing validation from others. If you know that there is a defined reward for your hard work this can be highly motivating.

Actions for people higher on the scale to improve

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Ensure you have the ability to work independently, not only in terms of tasks but also in terms of private physical space, even if this means one desk you can come back to that is yours alone, this will help deliver productivity and job happiness. Remember sometimes the need to be by yourself can be perceived negatively by a collaborative team, who may misinterpret your isolation as not being a team player. Ensure you communicate regularly and have check-ins so that they are confident that you will deliver your task as assigned, so they know you are working for the good of the team. Asking for their input may create feelings of team collaboration, and you can then take that input back to your desk to implement. You need to complete your work on your own terms, so ensure you share your need for autonomy with your manager.

Improvement checklist for people higher on the scale

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  • Do you have autonomy in your role?
  • Do you have a team that understands your need for independence in tasks?
  • Is there a private physical space you can work from?
  • Do you ask for input from your team?
  • Are you scheduling regular check-ins so they know what you are up to?

How people lower on the scale are motivated

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You love to be active in a team, to deliver for a team, and to have accountability in your team. You like to be around other people and form attachments easily, often perceived as caring and friendly. Because you prefer the company of others and can be prone to judge yourself harshly, it is crucial you do not work independently and have the opportunity to validate ideas and work with others. You find stress difficult and it eases your feeling of pressure when you can share it with a team.

Actions for people lower on the scale to improve

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Engage with your team regularly and integrate yourself into team-oriented tasks and meetings. Find opportunities to use your relationship building skills to your advantage and build your network and collaboration within your team and beyond. Sometimes it is easy to socialize more than work so be sure tasks are designed in such a way to balance both needs! Prone to self-deprecation, he sure to give yourself time for reflection and self-awareness, ask for positive validation and constructive feedback from your teammates.

Improvement checklist for people lower on the scale

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  • Do you have regular team interactions at work?
  • Are you able to work on tasks and projects with a teammate?
  • Do you receive positive feedback and reinforcement when you succeed?
  • Are you finding you are work too much alone?


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What is your Self-awareness score?
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I often reflect on my thoughts

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I do not often think about the way I am feeling

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I enjoy exploring my “inner self"

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I often reflect on my feelings

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Others would benefit from reflecting more on their thoughts

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I am interested in analysing the behaviour of others

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I value opportunities to evaluate my behaviour

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It is important to understand why people behave in the way they do

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When I’m feeling uncomfortable, I can easily name these feelings

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I usually know why I am feeling the way I do

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I am often on auto-pilot and do not pay much attention to what I am doing

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Sometimes I am careless because I am preoccupied, with many things on my mind

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I often dwell on the past or the future, rather than the present

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My mind often wanders when I am trying to concentrate

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I often find myself thinking about how to solve past negative events

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When things go wrong, I often think about them constructively for long periods of time

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I tend not to look back and think about how I could have done things better

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