LAB Profile® Patterns

The LAB Profile® Patterns describe how a person triggers and maintains their interest level in a given situation, and conversely, what will de-motivate them. If a person prefers to take the initiative in their work but finds themself having to wait a long time, they will soon become frustrated and demotivated. Similarly, if someone is motivated to get something now, but they are made to wait, they are likely to become angry.

If you can quickly identify what you, your colleagues and your customers need and can meet their needs, you are much more likely to have a motivated team member or regain a happy customer by resolving their issues in the way that suits them.

The Context is King

The LAB Profile® Patterns describe a person’s preferences in a given situation. This is about someone’s motivation and behavior and is not a personality profile, so just as people’s behavior and motivation change from context to context, so will their LAB Profile® Patterns.

A person’s LAB Profile® Patterns are very likely to be different when they are at work, or when buying toilet paper, as opposed to when they are on vacation.

There are two kinds of LAB Profile® Patterns:

1. The Motivation Triggers™:  these describe how people get motivated and what they need to be interested in something.

2. The Productivity Patterns:  these describe internal mental processes, what they need to be productive and how a person becomes convinced of something.

Motivation Triggers™
Categories and Patterns

Criteria are the words, phrases and images that people use to indicate that something has a particular importance for them, in a given context.

Criteria can be positive or negative. They are a person’s labels for their values in a given Context. Because these phrases and images have a special importance, when a person sees or hears their own Criteria, they will have a positive emotional and physical reaction.

Does the person prefer to take the initiative (Proactive) or wait, think and consider (Reactive)?

Many people are right in the middle with this category and so seem to be neither very Proactive nor very Reactive. If someone is mainly Proactive in a context (they want what they want right now!!) or mainly Reactive (it can sometimes be hard to get them to stop thinking to get up and do something).

Proactive:  Acts with little or no consideration. Motivated by doing.
Reactive:   Motivated to wait, analyze, consider and react.

What Direction is a person moving in, for a given context?

Are they heading Towards something they want or trying to move Away From a problem or negative consequence of some kind?

Toward: Are motivated to attain goals, gain a benefit. They have trouble recognizing problems. They are good at managing priorities.
Away From: Focus on what may be and is going wrong. They are motivated to solve problems and may have trouble keeping focused on goals.

Is the person more motivated by external influences or by judging for themselves using their own internal standards? 

Sometimes people are influenced to make a decision by others they respect, or by facts and figures, and sometimes they prefer to decide for themselves. When you know the Source of someone’s decision-making, you can tailor what you say to give them the right input or to take them on a journey where they can discover things for themselves.

Internal:  They decide based on their own internal standards.
External: They need outside feedback to know how well they are doing.

Does a person prefer having choices and alternatives or are they more interested in following a step-by-step process in their work?

This category describes how a person reasons: preferring to have lots of choices (and may have trouble picking only one option) or by having a straightforward step by step process to complete.

Options: Wants many choices and alternative. Has difficulty following set procedures.
Procedures: Prefers to follow a step by step process. Can get stuck when they have no procedure to follow.

How does a person react to change and what frequency of change do they need? 

What kind of change is motivating in each context? Is the motivation about seeking sameness, evolution or change?

Sameness: Motivated when things are the same. Provoke change every 15 to 25 years.
Sameness with Exception: Prefer situations to evolve over time. Major change every 5 to 7 years.
Difference: Want change to be constant and drastic.  Major change every 1 to 2 years.
Difference and Sameness with Exception: They like evolution and revolution.  Major change averages every 3 years.

Productivity Patterns

These explain how people go about processing information, how they handle stress, the environments in which they are the most productive, and how they go about becoming convinced.

These are the internal processing habits rather than what will trigger a person’s motivation.

Remember, as with the Motivation Triggers™, these may change based on the context or situation that the person is in. For example, some people prefer to know all the details when they are purchasing a new hi-tech camera, but then just want an overview of features and benefits for the purchase of a dishwasher. Similarly, someone may be very Thing-oriented when they are writing a document at work but want to speak to a person when thinking about investing.

How much information does a person need at work? 

Do they prefer just the general overview, would they rather have all the detailed information or somewhere in between?

Specific:   Details and sequences. Difficulty seeing the overview.
General:  Overview, big picture. Can handle details for short periods.

Does a person notice the non-verbal behavior of others?

Do they display non-verbal behavior, such as varied facial expressions and tone or do they miss the non-verbal component of communication by focusing on the content alone?

Self: Attends to own experience. Doesn’t notice others’ behavior or voice tone.
Other: Has automatic reflex responses to non-verbal behaviour.

This category describes how people respond to stressful situations in a context. 

It doesn’t measure a person’s response to a catastrophe, rather how they react to the “normal” levels of stressful events in the workplace for example.

Feelings: emotional responses to normal levels of stress. Stays in feelings. Not suited for high-stress work.
Choice: can move in and out of feelings voluntarily. Good at empathy.
Thinking: do not go into feelings at normal levels of stress.  Keeps cool but can be poor at establishing rapport or showing empathy.

What kind of human working environment allows a person to be most productive and effective?

Alone, working in conjunction with others in clearly defined roles or all together working with others?

Independent:  alone with sole responsibility
Proximity:       in control of own territory with others around
Co-operative:  together with others in a team, sharing responsibility

This category whether a person pays attention to people, relationships, thoughts and feelings, or rather to tasks, ideas, systems or tools – things.

This is an important LAB Profile® category to pay attention to, both when hiring employees to work with customers and when helping your customers. When people have a Thing pattern at work, they may not be as adept at establishing rapport since they focus on the tools or activities of the work rather than the person.  Conversely, when someone has a mainly Person pattern at work, they will prefer that the work be about people and relationships.

Person: centered on feelings and thoughts. They become the “task”.
Thing: centered on tasks, systems, ideas, tools.  Getting the job done is the most important thing.

Does a person have rules for themselves and others?

This category looks at whether people at work are likely to clearly state their expectations of others, if they know what they need to do themselves (or not), if they are likely to do what they want without much thought about others or if they are able to understand that there is more than one side to a story.

My/My: My rules for me.  My rules for you. Able to tell others what they expect.
My/.: My rules for me.  I don’t care about you.
No/My: Don’t know rules for me.  My rules for you. Middle management pattern.
My/Your: My rules for me.  Your rules for you.  Sees more than one perspective but hesitant to tell others what to do.

The type of information people need to start getting convinced about something.

When people are going through the process of becoming convinced about someone or something at work, they generally go through two phases. First, they need to gather some information to inform their decision. The convincer channel describes the type of information people need in a situation to start the process of getting convinced about something.

The patterns for this category are: See, Hear, Read, Do. Many people will need more than one of the patterns.

See:     see evidence
Hear:  oral presentation or hear something
Read:  read a report
Do:     do something

What has to happen to the information previously gathered to make a person become “convinced” of something. 

The second phase in becoming convinced has to do with what has to happen to the information or evidence previously gathered to make a person become “convinced” of something. Each person has their own way of knowing how much information is enough. The patterns are: Number of Examples, Automatic, Consistent and Period of Time. A person may have more than one of the patterns.

Number of examples: need to have the data a certain number of times to be convinced.
Automatic: take a small amount of information and get convinced immediately based on what they extrapolate.  Hardly ever change their minds.
Consistent: never completely convinced.  Every day is a new day and they need to get re-convinced.
Period of time: need to gather information for a certain duration to be convinced.

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