Why am I talking about “desire” on a blog that claims to be dedicated to the MBTI?

Personality assessments are tools. The way I like to use them – they are tools to use as a lens to open a conversation or inquiry. The purpose of the exploration being gaining knowledge of self or others. And as the old adage goes a “Woman is only as good as her tools.” If she has only one tool she is limited in what gets built. To continue with the cliches “if you only have a hammer everything becomes a nail.”

Hence, my passion for knowing multiple assessment tools. When I have multiple lenses the look through I see aspects that aren’t illuminates by just one facet of the prism. I have picked three tools to focus on that work for me: the MBTI for understanding how we process information and make decisions, the Enneagram for a deeper look at worlview and the resulting dynamics and the Reiss Desire Profile for exploring core motivation. Some of the others that I am familiar with and recomment for different circumstances include the Kolbe, the DISC, the PIAV and of course other type and tempaerament tools such as Insights, True Colors and the Kiersey Temperament Sorter.

What is the Reiss?
The Reiss Profile is a comprehensive, standardized, objectively validated instrument that assesses 16 basic psychological needs. This knowledge build on work by Maslow and Allport but one differentiator is that Reiss’s work is testable. Dr. Steven Reiss research included over 10,000 surveys with ordinary people across a wide spectrum of life situations. He mathematically reduced hundreds of wants, needs and desires down to be captured by these 16 desires.

Every individual has some proportion of all 16 basic needs. Dr. Reiss was looking to understand values based happiness. What he discovered is that how a person prioritizes the 16 needs can predict their behaviour…whether the person will be an organ donor, how they will respond in school, in romantic situations or with regard to religion.

This profile is a trait based model so that rather than discovering your type, you being to see a constellation of which traits apply to you and which do not.

The 16 basic psychological needs are:
Power, the need for influence of will
Independence, the need for individuality
Curiosity, the need to think
Acceptance, the need for approval
Order, the need for organized, stable, predictable environments
Saving, the need to collect
Honour, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of one’s clan
Idealism, the need for social justice
Social Contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)
Family, the need to raise children
Status, the need for social standing/importance
Vengeance, the need to strike back
Romance, the need for sex
Eating, the need for food
Physical Activity, the need for exercise
Tranquility, the need to be safe

In the next post I will look at a few of these desires in more detail to see how this profile might apply to you and your business. If you have any specific questions, please leave them and/or any observations you may have in the comments.

In the meantime you can learn more by buying:
1. Dr Reiss’s book “Who am I?”
2.A digital download of my first Inner Landscapes show and guide that has an explanation of the Reiss Desires plus 24 paintings that illustrate these traits and a sample Reiss Profile. Email to order
3. The Reiss Profile online. Email for price

Category: Other Assessments
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One Response to “Desire (aka core motivation) gets you out of bed and going all day”

Stephen April 22, 2009

Hi Sandy
As usual there is something interesting and thought-provoking here. Thanks hey. I did not know about this classification. My interest in models of this nature would probably mean I have a high need for Order (o: – I wonder if there isn’t a need for a spiritual dimension or a faith dimension – the need to believe in something transcendent…