Our FAQ is grouped into four sections:




    What makes the SDI unique? What differentiates the SDI from other assessments?

    The SDI is unique because it is a motivational assessment tool as opposed to being a behavioural assessment. The SDI goes below the surface of the behaviours into the motivations and the values that underlie and influence those behaviours. By understanding what motivates us in our lives to do the things we do, we can better manage our behaviours, and in turn, our relationships with others. Additionally, the SDI integrates going-well and conflict motivations into one easy-to-administer tool that has immediate and lasting results. For more about the benefits of SDI…

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    What makes a motivational assessment more powerful than a behavioural assessment?

    By understanding what motivates us in our lives to do the things we do, we can better manage our behaviours, and thus our relationships with others. Therefore we are not simply changing our behaviours without knowing why. Once we understand what it is that we truly value in life, that is, what motivates us, we are better able to choose actions that will support and satisfy those motives. Additionally, we come to understand what motivates others, allowing us to be sensitive to the needs of their motives and values.

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    What is the SDI used for?

    As a relationship building tool the SDI is used in a great variety of settings with a number of different groups of people. The SDI has been used in corporate settings for team building, conflict management, leadership development, change management, organisational development, and communication enhancement. It has also been used successfully with welfare-to-work populations, in workforce development, and with at-risk youth. It can be used in one-on-one counselling, with teams or groups, or even across the entire organisation. More information on applications of the SDI here…

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    Can the SDI, or any of the Relationship Awareness Tools, be used as selection tools? Does Personal Strengths Publishing offer any selection tools?

    The SDI is NOT a selection tool and should not be used as one. Personal Strengths Publishing does not offer a selection tool. Because of the nature of Relationship Awareness theory and tools, Personal Strengths Publishing does not foresee offering any selection tools in the near future. It would be too easy for participants to “fix” their totals so that they appeared as they believed the position or job required them to be. Furthermore, there is really no statistical correlation between one’s Motivational Value System and the type of work that they enjoy or are effective at. For example, we often find that a person with high “Red” totals may be very effective and very happy with a “Green,” “Blue,” or “Hub” position. For more on this topic…

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    How should the SDI and it’s supplemental inventories be utilised in performance appraisals and promotions?

    We know that people do use the SDI Expectations Edition® as part of performance appraisal systems when the systems include looking forward and talking about how people will relate during the upcoming performance cycle.

    We also know that people are aware of individual’s SDI results when they make decisions about positions within the organisation. It is important to document the basis of the decisions – and be sure that the basis is not inappropriate. The SDI and all other inventories we publish are inappropriate basis for personnel decision because they do not meet the criteria for selection instruments. (criteria include such things as: non-loading questions, lie-detector questions, etc.)

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    What is meant by a Motivational Value System?

    A Motivational Value System, or MVS, is the Relationship Awareness Theory term for the motives and values that underlie our behaviours. Relationship Awareness theory holds that we all do what we do in order to feel good about ourselves, that is, we act in order to satisfy the needs of our MVS. In Relationship Awareness it is implied that all people value logic (green) and people (blue) and results (red), to some degree and with differing priorities. By taking every possible combination of prioritising these three values (some people value one most, others value two of these equally, and still others value all three equally), one can derive the 7 MVSs. In completing the SDI we come to know exactly how we, and others who have taken the instrument, prioritise logic, people, and action. In knowing what we value most, we know what motivates us to behave the way we do, and we are thus better able to choose our actions so that they bring about the results we desire while being congruent with our MVS. For more on MVS and the Theory…

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    What is a Valued Relating Style?

    A Valued Relating Style, or VRS, is the set of behaviours that we choose. These behaviors need to satisfy the priorities set by our MVS. We all act in accommodating and assertive and analytic ways, just with differing frequencies and intensities and often depending on the situation. One’s VRS does not have to exactly match one’s MVS. For example, a person with an Altruistic-Nurturing MVS may frequently choose an assertive VRS, if they felt that that way of relating is what would help the other person(s) the most. In many cases, however, each MVS has a VRS that is characteristic of it. For instance, Assertive-Directing people may be more likely to speak in short, direct sentences, whereas Analytic-Autonomizing people might speak more slowly, thinking about the perfect phrasing for each thought. Altruistic-Nurturing people may tend to listen with an empathetic ear and when speaking may speak in a supportive tone. These of course are broad generalities; each individual uses his or her own unique VRS to represent their own MVS. Relationship Awareness theory allows for all people to choose their VRS based on what they feel would be best in meeting the needs of their own MVS in any situation.

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    Why are there three stages of conflict? What is a conflict sequence?

    In the first stage of conflict, an individual focuses on three factors-the other person, the problem, and their self. In the second stage, the other person is no longer of concern to the person experiencing the conflict. In this stage only the problem and their own self worth are of concern to the person experiencing the conflict. (Note that the other person need not be experiencing any conflict in order to no longer matter to the one who is!) In the third stage of conflict, the person experiencing the conflict no longer cares about the other person or the problem. All that is of concern to a person in the third stage of conflict is their own self-preservation. Stage three is thus a “do whatever is necessary to save myself” phenomenon.

    In developing Relationship Awareness theory, Dr. Porter noticed that time and again people progressed through what appeared to be a distinct sequence of stages when faced with conflict or opposition. Therefore, unlike the MVSs, the stages of conflict were thus deduced from the data available during the development of the theory.

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    What is the difference between a “Borrowed” and a “Masked” Relating Style?

    A borrowed relating style is chosen by the person in order to meet the needs of their own MVS. It is a conscious choice on the part of the individual to use a style of relating that they are not normally comfortable with in order to create a desirable outcome. Thus a person who is very Analytic-Autonomizing may choose to be very accommodating or very assertive or very flexible if they felt that doing so would bring about the most fair and logical outcome. A Mask, on the other hand, is used by the individual to merely get that person through a situation without generating a desirable outcome. For example, a very Analytic-Autonomizing person who works in a high-paced, demanding environment, where decisions need to be made on the fly without time to consider the fairness, or the logical consequences of those actions, may over time develop a mask, whereby he or she begins to take on the behavioural traits necessary to succeed in that environment. Even though they may be “successful” in terms of performing the functions of their job, they will also experience stress or a type of cognitive dissonance that, over time, may wear them out because they are constantly acting in opposition to the needs of their own MVS.

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    Why does the SDI use a triangle to chart the scores?

    SDI scores are charted on a triangle because there are three scales that comprise the SDI. A triangle is needed to depict the intersection of those three scales, and thus provide a visual representation of an individual’s MVS and conflict sequence.

    Some benefits of using the triangle include being able to visualise individuals and teams, graphical depiction of changes in going-well and conflict states, and the ability to analyse group dynamics.

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    What does the arrow symbolise?

    The arrow is a graphical depiction of three key points in the theory. First, it shows where the individual is “at” when things are going well, second, where that same individual “goes” when he or she experiences conflict or opposition, and finally the magnitude of the change in that person when they go from their well state to their conflict state.

    The starting point of the arrow, the dot, shows what that person’s MVS is when things are going well.

    The head of the arrow shows that person’s conflict sequence.

    The length of the arrow shows the difference between that person’s going-well state (MVS) and Stage 1 conflict. The longer the arrow, the more noticeable will be that person’s change when a conflict occurs.

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    What is “Qualification?”

    “Qualification” is the previous name given to what is now Level 1 Certification, the first step in our Certification Process and a requirement to becoming authorised to administer and purchase our SDI self-assessment instruments.

    The most popular route to Certification is to attend one of Personal Strengths’s two-day workshops offered throughout the world. In addition to becoming Level 1 Certified, attendees gain useful insights into how to get the most out of Relationship Awareness tools, learn which tools to use in what situations, explore in-depth theory information, make new contacts and friends, and enjoy a competitive advantage.

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    What is “Certification?”

    “Certification” is our two-step process for learning to facilitate the full suite of SDI assessments. Level 1 Certification provides access to our self-assessment instruments. Level 2 Certification is an advanced 2-day course that dives deeper into Relationship Awareness and gives you access to our SDI feedback and expectations instruments.

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    What is your certification policy?

    To help ensure the complete, accurate and ethical use of the Strength Deployment Inventory and other Relationship Awareness tools, Personal Strengths Publishing requires that facilitators be certified.  Certain products are restricted for purchase based on level of certification.

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    What is the correct way to identify the SDI in my own sales efforts?

    Many of our products and concepts are registered trademarks and require markings when used in typewritten form. Both Strength Deployment Inventory® and SDI® are registered and must include the symbol.

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    Can I use the Personal Strengths logo in my own sales efforts?

    We reserve exclusive right to the three-color triangle logo and do not give other people permission to market their services under our logo. You may use SDI® and indicate that it is a registered trademark of Personal Strengths Publishing. And you can say that you are a certified Relationship Awareness® Facilitator or certified to administer the Strength Deployment Inventory®.

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    The following questions pertain to OnlineSDI.com

    What are the technology requirements to use OnlineSDI.com?

    The OnlineSDI.com site is a hosted, web-based system. The only thing you need in order to use the system is a compatable web browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox for Windows and MAC). The site has been designed at 1024×768 resolution to create the best possible experience for the facilitator.  It will function on a lower resolution, but it is recommended that your desktop resolution be changed.

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    How will I be billed for online assessments?

    Online assessments are billed per use at the end of each month.  A usage report is generated showing each assessment that was completed for every session. 

    You can also pre pay for inventories and take advantage of the volume discounts available…see price list for more info

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    Are there any ongoing fees associated with using the OnlineSDI.com system?


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    How can I send a report electronically?

    To send a report electronically using the local software you are required to purchase third-party software allowing you to generate .pdf files. You can find many resources, both free and for a fee on the website, do a search for “pdf” to find yours.

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    Copyright and Trademark Policies

     What are your copyright and trademark policies?

    Publications, trademarks and trade names are the intellectual property of Personal Strengths Publishing®, Inc. and may not be reproduced or adapted in any way without the express written consent of Personal Strengths Publishing.  Each of our publications is protected by international copyright law with all rights reserved.  Trademarks and trade names are registered internationally and may not be used without the express written consent of Personal Strengths Publishing, Inc.  We offer a reward for any information leading to recovery of damages due to copyright violation.  For ease of reading, the copyright symbol ©, registration symbol ® and marketing symbol ™ sometimes are omitted.

    If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us.