This post was originally titled: My Top 2 Tips for a Healthier Marriage: Part 2. You can read Part 1 here.
My top 2 tips for a healthier marriage are to find ways to be a team, and to discover your motivational gift, and your spouse’s.
One of the single most helpful things I learned about myself and my husband when we were dating and then engaged was understanding our motivational gifts. If you haven’t heard of them before, they are based on a passage in scripture, and are backed up by science and decades of live time workshops with thousands of people.
The pioneering work on this idea was led by Don and Katie Fortune and is explained in their book, Discover Your God-Given Gifts.
There are seven motivational gifts: Perceiver, Server, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Administrator, and Compassion. Everyone has one of these as their primary motivation, and then usually a strong second. Your top two motivational types are your gift mix and they are part your wiring as an individual. They are called gifts because they were given to us by God as part of who we are.
Your gift mix strongly affects your motivations and how you view life and interact with people, and it is incredibly consistent and predictable. You make assumptions out of your motivational gift that seem natural to you but will be viewed differently by others whose motivational type gives them a different perspective on decisions and situations.
The only thing that was more exciting to me than understanding my motivation mix (Administrator, then Teacher/Exhorter) was understanding my husband’s (Server, then Perceiver). This gave me a boost early in our marriage in understanding how he and I each make decisions, feel empowered, and communicate best.
That’s the preface, now for the fun part. There is a great free quiz you can take at gifttest.org. It uses slightly different names for a few of the gifts but the idea is the same. This quiz is shorter than the one in the book, but still very good.
Comment below with your top 2 results and ask your spouse to take the quiz too. Once you have both of your results, read the descriptions below and find time to journal and reflect about what insight this might give you into how you each communicate with the other, and what assumptions you each have about life. And comment below with any questions you have.
Here are the motivations in a nutshell:
Perceiver – very perceptive, tends to see the world in black and white, right and wrong; they function out of their will; they are direct and intuitive and often right; they can have a tendency to be negative
Server – very practical and present-oriented, enjoy meeting needs; function out of will and emotion; prefer to do rather than delegate; appreciates clear instructions and verbal appreciation
Teacher – inquisitive and analytical, enjoy research and problem solving; function out of the mind; put less emphasis on practical application; love sharing knowledge
Exhorter – very relational and encouraging, see the cup as half full; function out of mind and emotion; more interested in personal growth than that something is done ‘right’
Giver – very generous and hardworking; sees how to make good use of resources; functions out of mind, will and emotion; enjoys seeing results and being part of a bigger mission
Administrator – very organized and goal-oriented; can articulate a vision and organize long term projects; functions out of mind and will; appreciates clear boundaries and autonomy
Compassion – very empathetic and thoughtful; believe the best in others, and are honest and trusting; function out of emotion, appreciate low pressure environment, a positive approach and contact with people
Note: I also got the books by the Fortunes about Discovering Your Children’s Gifts and Discovering Your Spouse’s Gifts and they are on my list to read, and post about.