David McClelland believed that everyone is motivated by affiliation, achievement and power. Find out which one is your primary motivating need with this quiz designed by Dr Lim Boon Leng from the Centre of Psychological Wellness.

Score 1-5 for each statement if you:
1- Rarely feel or behave this way
5- Always feel or behave this way

  1. I work well with people.
  2. I enjoy dealing with difficult challenges at work.
  3. I believe everyone should keep to schedules and plans.
  4. I like to share how I feel with my colleagues.
  5. I set out to be a role model for others.
  6. I try to exceed the targets set for me at work.
  7. I always try to be friends with my colleagues.
  8. I come up with new ideas and suggestions.
  9. I like to innovate and try new ways to solve problems.
  10. I know when my colleagues are experiencing difficulties and will respond to them.
  11. It is important for me to put across my point in any discussion.
  12. I seek feedback from colleagues to understand how I can improve.
  13. Status symbols, such as the size of my office, are important to me.
  14. I work well under the pressure of deadlines.
  15. I am concerned about the personal lives of my colleagues.


  • Achievement: Add up the points for statements 2, 6, 9, 12, 14
  • Affiliation: Add up the points for statements 1, 4, 7, 10, 15
  • Power: Add up the points for statements 3, 5, 8, 11, 13

The style for which you score highest is your predominant motivational style.


You like to set targets and have a strong need to achieve them. You like challenges at work and will take calculated risks in completing your tasks. You are open to regular feedback so you can improve your performance. However, you prefer to work alone or get things done by yourself.


You want to be liked by your fellow colleagues and want to belong in a group. You prefer to cooperate rather than to compete with your colleagues. You often go along with what the rest of the group decides on and may be averse to high risk and uncertainty.


You want to influence others and are conscious of status and recognition at work. You enjoy competition and like to win. You have a need to be heard and to win arguments. This motivator can be divided into personal and institutional power. People with an institutional power drive like to influence teams to further an organisation’s goals, whereas those with a personal power drive want to have control over others – and may not be good team members.

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