Kahler's Drivers

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A tool designed to help teams understand individuals behaviour and build relationships more effectively.

What is it?

Kahlers (1975) identified five common drivers that motivate us, and which when overdone can be at the root of dysfunctional behaviours.  The questionnaire tool helps people to identify which driver(s) they exhibit most. The results are then used to facilitate conversations about team relationships and ways of working..

What does this tool look like?
Icons of Kahler's 5 Drivers
Why use this tool?

Improvement within any given system will require a team approach.   When a team is initially formed, building mutual understanding and trust is key to ensuring good working relationships .  Increasing self-awareness and recognition of individual drivers and motives gives us an insight into people‚Äôs behaviour and helps us to build relationships more effectively by learning to accept and appreciate each other.

Where does this tool fit in the improvement journey?


This tool is relevant at this stage of the Quality Improvement Journey


It is also relevant to the three themes that support your journey.


How to use it

It takes around 15-20 minutes to complete the questionnaire and it is best to answer each question based on initial reaction and instinct. For each question:

  1. Select the statement that is most true for you and give it a number between 7 and 10.
  2. Select the statement that is least true for you and give it a number between 0 and 3.
  3. Then arrange the other three statements, giving them a mark, which is between your lowest and highest score, ensuring that one statement is given a mark of 5.

If the tool is completed electronically then the scores will automatically update at the bottom of the spreadsheet. 

Scores usually range between 40 and 80.  Anything over 80 is high.  Only 2% have scores of over 100 or under 30. Often, two drivers show up strongly as many people favour a combination of drivers rather than a single one.  One of the drivers is often particularly low, which can be explored during the session. 

Bring the team together to discuss the results in a 30-minute facilitated session. , Place the five signs (of each driver) around the room and ask people to move to the sign that represents their highest scored driver. Share the relevant key attributes with each group, ask if the group recognises these and ask someone from each group to share with the wider room any examples of when this has been the case.  Another exercise as part of the discussion is to ask groups to discuss when they are most engaged and most disengaged related to the driver as this provides others with some appreciation around behaviours and drivers . They can then consider actions to take to enhance good working relationships and mutual understanding.