What Makes You You? 7: Check out What Makes you Tick!

Are you ready to begin to unpick what makes you tick?

To answer those questions to check out your personality preferences/psychological type that I promised in my last blog? The answers will give you all you need to understand how to cut right through those stresses and strains that always seem to be getting in the way just when you thought you had it all sorted! The first set of questions help you answer the question – what energises you and keeps you motivated?

If you have been following my blogs on What Makes You You? you’ll be ready for those questions to check out your personality preferences/psychological type – to ponder on what makes you tick. Knowing your preferences in 4 key areas will give you all the information you need to achieve what you want in your life easily and effortlessly and build great relationships with other people. Is it really that simple? Yes – my clients will tell you it is. As long as you put that knowledge into practice!

The questions checking out your first preference focus on what ‘floats your boat’! What energises you and enables you to complete a task easily and effortlessly or to become so interested and absorbed in what you are doing that you lose all sense of time?

Why does this matter?

If you understand what keeps you motivated and feeds your energy levels then you can make a positive decision to work in that way whenever you can. You will find you achieve tasks faster, get a better result for far less effort and, most importantly have fun and be a great person to be around.

When you ask yourself the questions you may want to answer ‘yes’ to both – that won’t be surprising. You have ‘learnt’ to work outside your preferences as you’ve gone through life because we need to in order to survive. Over time, and with practice, you become really proficient at working outside some of your preferences. This sometimes makes it difficult to work out what is ‘learned’ and what is ‘more natural’.

Clues that you are working outside your preferences include . . .

  • that it takes up more of your time and energy
  • it is more stressful or you find yourself leaving a task to the last minute even though you know you can do it if you set your mind to it
  • you switch off and follow your own thoughts

Try to answer the questions as quickly as possible rather than spend a lot of time pondering on them – this taps you into your unconscious preferences rather than your ‘learned behaviour’. If you still find it hard to answer ‘yes’ to one of the two questions then ask yourself what you would do first.

Question 1 – What energises you?

Some people are more energized, more motivated, by talking things through and exploring options with other people before spending time thinking it through on their own. Others find it more energizing or motivating to spend time thinking things through on their own before testing it out with others.

a) Do you prefer to be around people, discussing what you are thinking and feeling before you

go away and think it through on your own?

or . . .

b) Do you prefer to spend spending time thinking things through on your own and working out what

you feel before you go and talk to other people about it?

If you answer positively to the first question

. . . then to keep your energy levels up it is really important that you build in time to talk to other people at regular intervals. If you answer positively to the second then it is vital you build in space for yourself to think things through regularly.

For example . . . if you are more energised by being around other people avoid shutting yourself away when you have an important task to do or decision to make. If you feel more comfortable and motivated by spending time on your own reflecting and exploring before getting on with that important task or deciding what to do, then build in some private time where you will not be disturbed.


When two senior managers I was asked to coach worked with each other sparks would fly. Not only did this affect them badly but it lowered the morale of the rest of the team who dreaded the days when they had to go to a meeting with them. After the very first meeting I thought that there might be some different preferences around. We used an MBTI assessment to check it out and surprise, surprise, not only did they have different preferences the preferences were almost at opposite ends of the spectrum! One liked to think things through before talking about them and the other wanted to chat about it before spending time on her own. When X wants to talk, Y needs to think and vice versa. Understanding what motivates and energises each of them has helped radically change the way they worked together. With great results for them and for everybody they work with.

We’ll look at the next 2 preference areas in my next blog – What Makes You You? 8.

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