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Relationship Cluster - Motivational Maps


What is the Relationship Cluster?

Motivational Maps is a self-perception inventory which helps individuals identify the key motivators which drive them and the extent to which they are currently feeling motivated.  The Map is made up of nine motivators which are formed into three clusters; Relationship, Achievement and Growth.

In this blog we will take a deep dive into the Relationship cluster and explore what motivates and demotivates individuals who are driven by Defender, Friend and Star…




The Defender motivator is all about security, predictability and stability.  Those with Defender as a dominant motivator are motivated by clear roles and responsibilities and high levels of job security.  They crave order, clarity and continuity, knowing what is coming next and having time to prepare.  They can feel demotivated by uncertainty, ambiguity or unexpected change and are often negatively impacted when things feel unstable or if they don’t have clear and accurate information.

Help to keep the Defender motivator ‘topped up’ try these strategies:

  • Provide clear, accurate and regular communications (especially of good news!)
  • Offer support through periods of change with regular reassurance.
  • Do what you can to reduce ambiguity and surprises.
  • Link goal achievement to security (and break goals down in to short, medium and long term to maintain momentum)




The Friend motivator is focused on belonging, friendship and fulfilling relationships.  Individuals who are driven by Friend, value a collaborative environment filled with nourishing relationships and loyalty.  They are motivated by being listened to, liked and supported.  The feeling of belonging and community is important because they can be demotivated by isolation or separation, when they don’t feel a part of things or when there is a lack of teamwork.

To keep the Friend motivator ‘topped up’ try these strategies:

  • Keep them involved and consult with them.
  • Provide opportunities for collaboration.
  • Involve them in staff committees and in organising staff social events.
  • Focus on teamwork and creating a strong team ethos.




The Star motivator is all about recognition, respect and social esteem.  This motivator is driven by social and public recognition, being noticed and held in high esteem.  They are motivated by receiving physical tokens of achievement (awards, certificates etc) and thrive in competitive environments and when given positive feedback.  They are demotivated by a lack of recognition, being overlooked or by not being given opportunities to shine.

Try keeping the Star motivator ‘topped up’ with these strategies:

  • Provide some (healthy) competition for them to get their teeth into.
  • Create a clear career journey and opportunities for promotion.
  • Give them opportunities for prestige, awards or medals.
  • Involve them in projects and work outside of their usual working teams.


If you are interested in finding out more about Motivational Maps, look out for our other blogs about the Achievement and Growth clusters.