What I’ve learned from the Strength Development Inventory

Upon the commencement of one’s new position at MetaBank, the Learning & Development department has you take the SDI assessment.

From their website, the Strength Deployment Inventory “helps people understand themselves by helping them understand the motives that drive their behaviors. It also helps them understand the motives that drive the behaviors of others. By increasing self-awareness and interpersonal awareness, it increases personal and interpersonal effectiveness. And by showing the differences in how people are motivated in two different conditions – when things are going well and when things are in conflict – the SDI actually serves as two assessments in one.”

Basically, SDI tells you what motivates you most when times are “good,” and what motivates you in times of conflict.

The assessment is illustrated by an upside down pyramid each point representing a different motivation: people, process, and performance. Each motivation has a color assigned to it:

  • People=blue
  • Process=green
  • Performance=red

If you happen to fall into the middle of the triangle, you are a “hub” equally motivated by all three.

The dot represents your Motivational Value System-motives and values that drive your use of strengths when things are going well. My scores are:

  • Blue, 32
  • Red, 48
  • Green, 20

The final elements are the arrowhead and arrow length. The arrowhead represents your Conflict Sequence– changes in motivation during conflict that drive changes in behavior during conflict. The arrow length suggests the degree of change you experience internally and the degree of change that can be observed by other. Here are my scores:

  • Blue, 21
  • Red, 38
  • Green, 41

So essentially, when things are going well I am motivated by performance. However, when I’m in conflict, I tend to be motivated by process.

The SDI has proven to be an effective tool for helping me understand the motives and values that drive behaviors which has led to clarity and empathy, building a stronger team, and being able to more effectively navigate conflict.

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