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What's Your Dominant Motivational Focus: Promotion Vs. Prevention?


How we perform in each of the facets of our life may have much to do about our differing motivations in the various aspects of our lives: professionally, as a parent, and as a life partner.

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School.   In a recent post on HBR, Heidi writes about the difference between Promotion Focus vs. Prevention Focus.

In the separate spheres of your life, what is your dominant focus in each?  How best to match your goals and choices with your dominant focus in each life sphere?

Heidi provides answers to these questions and invites you to use her on-line focus diagnostic tool.

To tickle your curiosity, see the excerpts below.   Better yet, read Heidi’s full post and access the assessment tool. 


HBR Blog Network

The Key to Choosing the Right Career

by Heidi Grant Halvorson | 1:00 PM April 8, 2013


... choose an occupation that provides a good motivational fit for you as well.

Some of us tend to see our goals (at work and in life) as opportunities for advancement, achievement and rewards. We think about what we might gain if we are successful in reaching them. If you are someone who sees your goals this way, you have what's called a promotion focus.

The rest of us see our goals as being about security — about not losing everything we've worked so hard for. When you are prevention-focused, you want to avoid danger, fulfill your responsibilities, and be someone people can count on. You want to keep things running smoothly.

… we also tend to have a dominant motivational focus in particular domains of life, like work, love, and parenting. What's essential to understand is that promotion and prevention-focused people have — because of their different motivations — distinct strengths and weaknesses....

Knowing your dominant focus, you can now evaluate how well-suited you are motivationally to different kinds of careers, or different positions in your organization. More than a decade of research shows that when people experience a fit between their own motivation and the way they work, they are not only more effective, but they also find their work more interesting and engaging, and value it more.


Access Full Article, Heidi's Assessment Tool, And Other Great Stuff At HBR:


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