A language from drive to competence

What is a human drive? It is an inner motivation that guides our behavior, actions, and decisions. It is what propels and inspires us to pursue certain goals or fulfill specific needs. In a work context, we often discuss competencies when aiming to make someone successful in a particular role. To transition from drive to competence, we assess a person’s talents and preferred behavior.

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The stronger the drive, the greater the talent

To satisfy a need, you require personal strength that assists you. And that’s where talents emerge. You can describe a talent as the positive behavior you employ to achieve what you desire. Furthermore, the stronger the drive, the greater the talent. For instance, a strong need for order and structure naturally leads to the talent for precision, accuracy, and neatness. Through this talent, you create order and structure, obtaining what you truly want. Another example: a strong desire for variety and new experiences results in the talents of versatility, curiosity, and adaptability. By utilizing this talent, the likelihood of obtaining variety and new experiences in your life increases, satisfying this need.

"A competency is an observable behavioural combination of knowledge, skills, attitude and/or personal characteristics that achieves certain goals in an employment situation."

Drives, talents, preferred behaviour and competences

With TMA modules, talents and competencies are seamlessly connected. To illustrate how drives, talents, preferred behavior, and competencies relate to each other, we have outlined them in an overview.

What is a motivation?

  • An inner force that guides your behaviour, actions and decisions
  • Something that ‘drives’ you to do what you do
  • Building blocks of personality
  • A pillar on which we measure

What is preferred behaviour?

  • The behaviour you prefer to show from your drives and talents
  • This behaviour suits how you are
  • Behaviour you show when no one is looking

What are talents?

  • Natural strength arising from a strong present drive
  • Comes from strong intrinsic desire to satisfy need
  • Positive behaviour that you naturally show very easily
  • This is just how you are

What are competencies?

  • Behavioural skill that a person can stably deploy through knowledge and experience
  • Skill
  • Is most easily developed if you have a talent for it

The match between talent and work

Talents are therefore important building blocks that allow you to achieve things in your own way. When combined, all talents contribute to shaping your personality and result in unique behavior that only you exhibit because it aligns with who you are. It’s logical that you can do your best work when it aligns with your talents. The ‘match’ between work and talent makes it easier to achieve goals, learn faster, and feel at ease in your role.

To be successful in your professional life, the alignment between talent and work is a good starting point. However, that’s not enough. Talent needs to be developed so that you can consistently perform your work with the right attitude, knowledge, and skills. In work situations, we often refer to these as competencies—describing the behavior someone must exhibit to successfully carry out their own work.

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The basics: Murray's needs theory

Henry Alexander Murray (1893–1988) was an American psychologist who played a significant role in the development of personality theories. He is particularly known for his theory on needs and motives. According to this theory, human behavior is driven by individual needs.

Murray’s theories form the foundation for our TMA philosophy. TMA is based on the assumption that each individual has unique talents and motivations. Optimally utilizing these talents leads to better performance and greater job satisfaction.

Although Murray was not directly involved in the development of the TMA model, his theory on human needs and motives has had an impact. His theories laid the groundwork for the idea that people perform best and are happiest when they can work in a way that aligns with their individual talents and motivations.

Murray’s theory has also contributed to the role of feedback in learning and development. In the TMA approach, we use feedback to help individuals gain better insight into their own talents and motivations, as well as to support them in creating personal development plans. Murray’s theories form the foundation for our TMA philosophy. TMA is based on the assumption that each individual has unique talents and motivations. Optimally utilizing these talents leads to better performance and greater job satisfaction.

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