Motivation for Purple types
Purple types need to give meaning to their lives. Meaning motivates them.
- When you ask Purple types to do something, the first question they ask is “Why?” As in, “Why do you want me to do that? I need you to explain the meaning behind your request.”
- Purple types are always looking for the reason that will allow them to do something. When they are working on something meaningful, they can keep going for years. The meaning will give them the energy they need.
- Purple types like to have a mission.
- Trust and ethics are important to them.
- Purple types need their opinion to be considered. You can’t force them to do things by simply saying “Do this!”. Purple types need to give their opinion about what you are asking of them. “I agree”, or “I disagree”. If they don’t agree, they need you, their manager, to acknowledge their point of view. This will allow them to move forward.
Example : You ask a Purple type to do something and they don’t agree. Take the time to listen to their opinion and why they don’t agree. Take the time to acknowledge their opinion, not to say that they are right. Rephrase: “So, if I understand clearly, you don’t agree because of X or Y, right? Therefore, you would like it better if …?” The Purple type: “Yes, because…” “Okay! As for me, I’m not in a position to change how we do this. I hear your point of view loud and clear, and I understand (I don’t necessarily agree, but I understand). However, I have to ask you to do this regardless, because I don’t have the choice.” Purple types are perfectly able to get on with the work. Why? Because their opinion was taken into account beforehand.
If, on the other hand, you say “I don’t care what you think”, then they will question you again and again, and they won’t let up, because what they can’t let go of is their motivation. “I can’t agree to do this if you don’t take my opinion into account!” Sometimes confusion arises with Purple types because we think that they always have to be right. But it’s not a question of them being right or wrong. They simply want THEIR OPINION TO BE CONSIDERED.
Purple types greatly appreciate people who are able to argue a point (to have the courage of their convictions)
Here’s an example of a time traveller who arrives in the Middle Ages. He’s walking down a road and sees a man with a hammer and chisel working on a stone. He asks: “What are you doing, good Sir?” “Well, I’m carving a stone.” The traveller continues on his way and sees another man with a hammer and chisel who is doing the same thing. He asks: “What are you doing, good Sir?” “Can’t you see? I’m carving a cathedral.” That is the Purple type. I can hit a stone with a hammer and chisel, but WHY? I want to understand the meaning. Blue types are more fixed on the objective. They will be satisfied if the stone is carved well, and if it corresponds to what was asked of them.