The Five Drivers by Taibi Kahler

Back in 1975 the American psychologist Taibi Kahler identified five common drivers that motivate us. These drivers are born in our unconsciousness and can lead to some very positive, as well as destructive behaviours. By identifying which drivers an individual displays most, it becomes possible to recognise and develop the potential of these positive behaviours. And to respond constructively to the negative.

The 5 Drivers are:

  1. Please Others
  2. Be Strong
  3. Hurry Up
  4. Try Hard
  5. Be Perfect

What are Drivers?

Drivers can be characterised in five different ways according to Kahler. They result in the behaviour that we exhibit to the wider world and find their roots in our unconscious. In other words, drivers are messages we receive from our parents and incorporate as dysfunctional problem-solving strategies during childhood. We activate them when we feel challenged as to our basic OK-ness in order to regain our balance, but the result can lead to problems in the short or long term.

By identifying and overcoming Drivers, people can significantly improve their wellbeing as well as their effectiveness, creativity, communication and relationships. The concept of Drivers is a powerful tool that can help achieve personal growth and change.

As with any form of emotional intelligence, self-awareness or self-development, the better we understand what is going on in our minds, the better we can recognise it and choose a different reaction. If I know I have a tendency to please others, then when I recognise I’m doing that and holding back from saying what I think, I could challenge myself and be more honest about my views.

What are your strongest Drivers? Find it out by answering the questions in this questionnaire. It will help you identify which of the five drivers you naturally have a preference for.