Dear Reader

What drives your behaviour? As an Occupational Psychologist I am interested in understanding what drives people’s behaviour (both my own and my clients). For me change is easier when we increase our awareness of ourselves and others. One way of looking at this is to explore the concept of ‘Drivers’ from Transactional Analysis (for more information on Transactional Analysis email me or read ‘Working it Out at Work’ by Julie Hay). I hope that this edition of Inspire will give you some insight into what drives your behaviour and the impact of this on your life, both in and out of work. See the right hand column for how we can help organisations and teams deal with the impact of ‘Drivers’ in the workplace.

Forthcoming events:

  • Saturday 12th May - Mastering Your Inner Critic, Releasing Your Inner Wisdom workshop near Oxford

  • Tuesday 5th June - Managing Challenging Interactions workshop near Oxford

  • June Inspire evening event TBC – following the successful event in October to mark the 15th birthday of my business I will be hosting an evening event

  • Free evening event for women. As part of the Oxford International Women’s Festival I am co running an event on the Oneness of Yourself & Your Environment on Thursday 15th March – email me for more details

  • Gandhi, King, Ikeda free exhibition and the free lectures, plays, entertainment evenings 21st – 30 March visit

Best wishes,

Melanie Greene

What drives your behaviour?

  • What are ‘Drivers’? – This brief introduction to the concept of TA Drivers will hopefully give you some food for thought and enable you to start thinking about your own and other people’s behaviour.

There are five ‘Drivers’ and as you read them you may notice that you fall into one or more categories:

Hurry up – This is about wanting to get through tasks as quickly as possible, and then whizzing onto the next one. It is about often doing 10 things at once. This driver I can personally relate to. In a work context it means that when time is tight and there’s a long meeting agenda I move so fast through items, that some people can be left panting and confused by the end of the meeting! Out of work I will attempt to carry the shopping into the house in the least journey’s possible – hence I frequently look like a bag lady!

Please People – this is about seeking harmony, getting on with others. With this driver your desire is for others to be happy with what you do and how you do it. You fear upsetting others and therefore can avoid conflict. This is something I see within some of my clients who often end up not sticking up for their own rights, being trampled on and taken advantage of. They often end up over worked as they fear saying ‘No’ and upsetting others.

Be strong With this driver you think you need to be the strong one in the team, organisation or family – staying calm under pressure, not allowing others to see how you really feel. With a ‘be strong’ driver it can be difficult to admit when you need support or that you have weaknesses. I’ve seen managers fall foul of this, fearing the consequences of letting others know that they need support.

Be perfect – this is about perfection, getting everything right, never allowing for errors or human frailties. Their aim is to look ahead, plan ahead to avoid any problems from occurring. They are as far from the ‘Hurry up’ driver as can be, they want to take time over things to get them perfect, often seeking a level of perfection that is not achievable.

Try hard – these people are enthusiastic about activities, throwing themselves into tasks. They work hard, will volunteer for things, often saying ‘I will try and do this by …’. They will put a lot in, but if this is not tempered by reason they won’t always be successful.

     What drivers do you recognise in yourself?
  • Benefits & drawbacks of your driver:

    Hurry upBenefits: they get a lot of things done, have a sense of achievement, good in emergencies. Drawbacks: can get impatient with others who are not as quick as them, this can create stress for both them and others. Can lead to mistakes - or injury/breakages when trying to do too many things at once!

Please PeopleBenefits: good team members, help to bring about harmony between people. Drawbacks: they avoid conflict to the detriment of themselves. They can be taken advantage of. Get upset if others are unhappy with what they have done, even if the situation is out of their hands.

Be strongBenefits: calm in the face of adversity, don’t loose their head when everyone else is. Drawbacks: in the extreme the inability to ask for help and acknowledge where they need support or development can lead to burn out. Can appear strong but inside be unconfident or stressed out.

Be perfectBenefits: good at spotting potential problems, methodical. Drawbacks: inability to be themselves, to relax and enjoy. The tyranny of perfectionism can lead to increased stress levels, low levels of satisfaction – because they are never ‘good enough’. Frustration with others ‘sloppiness’, mistakes leading to conflict with others.

Try hardBenefits: enthusiastic, brings a lot of energy to a task, volunteers to do things, so people like to have them around. Drawbacks: they can end up burn out, even frustrated as they expend a lot of energy with little results. Colleagues and managers may become aware that they continue to volunteer for things when they have not completed everything that is on their plate.

What benefits do you gain from your drivers? What drawbacks do you experience?

How do your drivers affect your life?

  • Your working life – how do they impact on your working relationships with clients, team members? How does it affect how you carry out tasks, work on projects, work under stress and to deadlines?

  • Your home life – how do you respond to the people around you – your partner, children, other family members, and friends?

  • Your social life – how does it impact on your enjoyment in social situations? Are you able to switch off and enjoy the moment?

Think about the people around you and what might be their drivers? Are there likely to be any clashes because of differences in what drives your behaviour?

Want more Inspiration? If you want any support in understanding and dealing with the negative affects of your ‘Drivers’ we can offer 1:1 support, consultancy advice and group workshops to assist you in doing this. Just call 01865 377334 or email to arrange a time to speak in confidence. For more information about Grovelands visit our website:

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Dealing with the impact of ‘Drivers’ in the workplace

Having read this edition you might now be aware of problems arising due to different people’s ‘Drivers’ in the workplace.

We have helped people tackle the following kinds of situations:

  • a manager whose ‘Drivers’ were adversely impacting on how they supported and managed their team

  • an individual with a strong ‘be perfect’ and ‘please others’ drivers who was experiencing a lot of unnecessary stress because of their drivers

  • a team wanted to understand how they could enhance their team work to achieve an efficient, effective and enjoyable working environment

If you want to explore these kinds of issues on either a 1:1 or team basis then call us on 01865 377334 or email

Grovelands provides:

  • Consultancy advice
  • 1:1 coaching and mentoring
  • in-house and public workshops

to individuals, partnerships, SMEs and national organisations.

See for more details

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