Let’s suppose that you were told that Vengeance was one of your motivators. People often frame this in a more personal way as “I am vengeful.” Would you have a reaction to this in your profile?

When you are working with personality assessments, you need to make sure that everyone understands the meaning of the terminology being used in this particular circumstance. As a general rule the terms used to describe personality types or traits are neutral and imply no preferred value.

According to the Reiss Motivation Profile “Vengeance” is the desire to get even with others, the need to strike back. Aggression in animals is an example of the evolutionary basis of vengeance. The emotions associated with vengeance are anger and hate. At a primal level high desire for vengeance is and “eye for an eye” view of life. Another way of looking at this is that these high vengeance people believe that “it’s up to you” and the best way to do things is to simply take charge and get things done. A word that could also be used to describe vengeance that is more palatable is competitive. This motivation can propel sports teams to victory or turn around a failing organization. However, we all know people who love to argue just for the sake of it. There is pleasure for them in pushing back, sparring and defending their position. They love to prove other people wrong. On the downside this is the territory of dictators and despots.

On the other side of the scale, at the low end of the scale, people who score low in “Vengeance” are agreeable and will turn the other cheek. There are some people who wouldn’t strike back even if their life was in danger. This type of person may find that others take advantage of them.

These traits do not go away. If we don’t find a positive, constructive way to get these needs met they will raise their heads in possibly ugly ways. Rather than judging a desire such as “Vengeance” as negative or troublesome design a way to to get this need met such as regular athletic competition. If this is a trait you recognize in others, can you see the positive contribution?

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As a sidebar: This painting was part of a show of paintings that I did based on the Reiss. A man came into the gallery and as he was reading the list of 16 core motivators on the Reiss profile, he came to argue with me about Vengeance. He said that he didn’t believe in it as it wasn’t necessary. If anyone got in his way he just “dealt” with them. As he turned to see the artwork hanging in the show, this painting caught his eye and without knowing that it that represented “Vengeance”, he told me that he liked THIS one.

Each letter is made from quotes that capture the energy of “Vengeance” such as “If you aren’t the lead dog the scenery never changes.” I resisted the urge to say “Gotcha” (barely ).

Category: Other Assessments
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