The ODAPHISp4 index focuses on the factors which are the most likely to determine people’s behavior depending on the context. In other words, it identifies what is important to people and likely to spur them into action: pleasure, security, altruism etc.

Knowing and understanding your own motivations is an important step towards self-analysis. At the same time, identifying your contacts’ motivations helps you adapt your own expectations and orient the discussion with an eye to attaining a genuine, tangible result.

Motivational analysis and the ODAPHISp4 index build on the work of Spranger, Maslow and Herzberg. This powerful tool works perfectly in tandem with the DISCp4 model, which it enriches and qualifies, within both a personal and professional framework.

Our motivations in 7 letters

ODAPHIS (BRAPHIS in french) is an acronym which stands for Objective, Deliberation, Altruism, Pleasure, Harmony, Influence and Security. Each aspect is scored from 0 to 7. Several letters can be equally well represented in a given profile, but nobody can display maximum motivation on all seven aspects at once.

ODAPHIS index motivations

OBJECTIVE Motivated by a need to push past their limits to feel fulfilled; doesn’t need approval but cares only about their own success.

Strength: always goes the extra mile – Warning: individualistic

DELIBERATION Motivated by a quest for the objective truth as substantiated by fact and a need to understand and analyze things as a whole.

Strength: promotes the truth – Warning: can be inflexible

ALTRUISM Motivated by the desire to help others to develop their potential without any personal gain; wants to contribute to social justice.

Strength: devoted – Warning: slow decision-maker

PLEASURE Motivated by personal pleasure, enjoyment and variety as well as action taken within a casual, upbeat context.

Strength: doesn’t hesitate to act – Warning: struggles with vacuous, temporary things

HARMONY Motivated by the desire for harmony and consistency of all kinds; needs estheticism in their life.

Strength: promotes well-being – Warning: scared of conflicts

INFLUENCE Motivated by the quest for power and control; prioritizes efficiency and return on investment.

Strength: commitment and determination – Warning: insensitive and authoritarian

SECURITY Motivated by a deep-seated need for security and structure; wants to control their surroundings and feel reassured.

Strength: respects the rules – Warning: scared of changes

Adapted vs. Natural profile

Just like the DISCp4 model, the ODAPHISp4 index distinguishes between an adapted and a natural profile. In the specific context of motivation, the adapted profile corresponds to the motivations people want to showcase. The natural profile is more representative of the motivations which really guide their steps.

Adapted and natural profiles can be the same or different, depending on the environment, the context, or a situation experienced as hostile.

Furthermore, people’s profiles are often different in personal and professional contexts. For example, we could imagine a father who shows a natural AHS profile (Altruism, Harmony, Security) with his family, but an adapted ODI profile (Objective, Deliberation, Influence) at work.

It’s important not to caricature people by jumping to hasty conclusions since people’s natural motivations are globally stable. The motivations they show publically are, voluntarily or involuntarily, more changeable.


A Berlin-born psychologist, professor and philosopher and a contemporary of Marston and Jung, Eduard Spranger is famous for his work on our perceptions of the world.

Towards the end of the 1920s, he published the book ‘Types of Men’ in which he defined six hypothetical personality types: Theoretical (wants to discover the truth), Economic (interested in what is useful), Aesthetic (cares about form and harmony), Social (loves people), Political (seeks power) and Religious (focused on unity).

Types og men
Types of men

It is important to note that Marston published ‘Emotions of Normal People’ at the same time. These two books set out the basic tenets behind teaching and behavioral psychology and are still a reference today. The DISCp4 model and the ODAPHISp4 index are inspired by them.

Maslow – Herzberg

An American psychologist, Abraham Harold Maslow is considered to be the father of the humanistic approach. In the world of work-related psychology, he’s known for his research on motivation, often incorrectly summarized as a simple pyramid which must be climbed step by step to achieve full satisfaction.

He is also a figurehead of the transpersonal psychology movement, a branch of psychology which goes beyond the bounds of personality in order to examine the spiritual nature of man and exceptional states of awareness.

Another American psychologist, Frederick Herzberg is famous for his work on job enrichment (the two-factor theory, theories about needs and motivation). He took an interest in working relationships from a humanistic point of view and also examined industrial working conditions.

At the end of the 1970s, he published ‘Work and the Nature of Man’, which backed up the original hypothesis he had put forward in ‘Job Attitudes’ then described fully in ‘Motivation to Work’ twenty years earlier. In his view, industry had satisfied people’s outer needs via the production of consumer goods, but it had forgotten about satisfying their inner needs, which are so vital to the survival of their creativity.


One of the most common mistakes people make is to think others function the same way they do, and to act under the influence of this illusion. In fact, everyone is unique. We all have our own communication preferences and our own complex emotions, and we all derive motivation from different sources.

Making your actions and your communication more relevant.

By identifying people’s main sources of motivation, the ODAPHISp4 index helps you adapt your discourse and methods. There is everything to gain from this: avoiding one-sided conversations, misunderstandings, fruitless negotiations, failed presentations, divisive viewpoints etc.

Case study

Let’s imagine Mark, a project manager with an IO (Influence, Objective) profile presenting a task to John, a team member with an AS (Altruism, Security) profile. This is what their graphs might look like.

ODAPHIS index motivations
Marc (project leader)’s ODAPHIS index
ODAPHIS index motivations
Jean’s ODAPHIS index

Instinctively, Mark might want to present the task in hand by highlighting the points that motivate him, for example, describing the challenges involved and the excellent image the project will give his team.

However, he needs to sell the project to John. John will probably be more receptive if Mark tells him the project will help the company run more smoothly and benefit team members, for example by improving the atmosphere.

In this example, Mark and John’s motivations are very different, which allows us to illustrate the way the ODAPHISp4 index works more easily. In a real-life situation, it would be more logical to point out similarities and shared views. Without taking the argument to extremes, this is essentially the way teamwork functions.