Have you ever wondered how people see you - Stop guessing, use Total SDI instead

In these Mastermind interviews, we invite professional coaches to share their journey, what they do and their tips and tricks to help you to be At Your Best

Chunk Shek introduces the Total SDI, a tool that can help you to understand yourself better and appreciate how the other see you.


In this article you will learn:

  • What is Total SDI

  • How it defines your Motivation Value System

  • What is a conflict sequence



Chun Shek Chan is a life coach and a corporate trainer. He focuses on developing the knowledge, the skills, the mindset and the attitudes for leadership and management and modern-day workers. A large part of his time is focus on young professional who just started their career and who are stepping from individual contributor to team manager level finding themselves struggling to make that transition from being just working on their own tasks to managing the task of a whole team.


Chun Shek Chan


Total SDI - A tool to help you to understand yourself and how people see you


Chun Shek is a certified Total SDI facilitator. Total SDI or Strength Deployment Inventory is a set of tools that help people to understand the way they behave, how they see themselves and the way other people see them. Everything you do starts with your own motives, which then leads to your different intentions depending on the situation. What we show to other people is our behavior. When they look at you, they don't really know what your intentions or your motives are, because they're hidden as the core of who you are and they don't see it. This is often where a conflict sometimes happens.

Total SDI is a tool to help demystify why these conflicts happen. They help everyone understand where our motives are coming from, because all our behaviors are ultimately driven by those motives. If there's a common language by which these motives can be described, then the behaviors can be explained, and we can resolve the conflicts through that.


Like MBTI (Myers & Briggs Type Indicator) , DISC or a Big Five Ocean, it starts with a survey. It's a very short survey, with only 20 questions. For each of the questions is a scenario and three different options, three different reactions that one might take, what you do is you just rate yourself in terms of how frequently you think, in this particular situation, you would behave in a certain way. You need to estimate the result from zero out of 10. It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Once that's done, it will be processed by the PSP, which is the company that administers it and a certified Total SDI facilitator can help you to walk through your result.


Total SDI stands for Strength Deployment Inventory. It's presented in a triangle. There are three different corners in this triangle.

  • The blue corner represents how you are motivated by concerns for people,

  • The red corner tells you about how you're motivated by performance,

  • The green represents motivations driven by process.


None of us really fit into any particular box. We're all a mixture of these three concerns. All of us are at different blend or different mix of these three main motivations or concerns. That's what makes us human.


Total SDI is different from DISC. DISC stands for a Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Contentiousness; these are all descriptors of behavior. Whereas this could display how you tend to behave, this doesn’t tell, as for the Total SDI, why you behave in such a way.



There's a second part to the SDI results. That's the conflict sequence. It indicates from where your Motivation Value System or MVS is to where it goes in case of conflict. It is not so much a mix, but an order of how you would behave according to the level of conflict.

Total SDI is a tool that will help you understand how other people would see you. Understanding how motivations and values work could help us becoming better at navigating our interpersonal relationships with our family and our colleagues because knowing how you behave, and people perceive your behavior can help you to tune your message.

With a certified Total SDI coach that helps you navigate through the assessment; it can help you becoming better at relating with other people in your lives


"Each behavior that we do is a strength until we overdo it" - Chun Shek Chan

Total SDI is a three parts assessment. The two other parts are known as the Strengths Portrait and the Overdone Strengths Portrait. We don't call overdone strengths weakness in the language of SDI. Because helpfulness can turn into smothering, analytical can turn into somebody who's a little bit anal. Each behavior that we do is a strength until we overdo it. It's like when you have music turn up to volume setting 11, when the maximum is 10, when you turn up to 11, it starts becoming very, very jarring to your ears. But if you tune it to six or seven or even eight, it's quite enjoyable.

We tend to use a little bit less some behavior because you don't like them, but it doesn't mean that other people don't like them? Total SDI can help you to learn to make use of those behavior, and to identify what are the behaviors that you overdo and those that other find very disagreeable. This can also help to understand that every bad behavior of other people that we perceive, most likely start from a good motivation or a good intention that we just don't instinctively understand.


Chun Shek Chan interview was recorded on March 28st 2020 and is available in replay HERE


If you want to get in touch with Chun Shek to go through the Total SDI assessment, you can contact him through his Linkedin account - HERE