Today I want to share 5 practical approaches to help you dig into your expresso data on a regular basis.

Whether you’re a thinker, doer, communicator or analyser - there should be something for everyone. And if none of these sound quite right, just use them as a starting point and come up with an approach that works for you!


1. Notebook

First up (simply because it’s the one that jumps to my own writing-focused mind!) is keeping a dedicated expresso notebook.

  • Once a week take 5 mins / 15 mins / half an hour - however long you need! - to sit down and write.

  • Start with a general summary of how things have been going so far that week: do you feel good about where you’re at, or are you feeling overwhelmed or aggravated? Are you feeling positive about the upcoming week, or struggling to see how things will work out?

  • Think about the way you’ve been communicating with others, and approaching your own work - does it align with your Usual behaviour or are you seeing more of your Stress behaviours showing up? If the latter, are you aware what might be triggering those reactions? (It’s helpful to have the expresso platform open on your phone or tablet for this, so that you can check back over your Usual and Stress descriptors.)

  • Reflect on what you can do in the upcoming week to ensure you are creating an environment that meets your Needs, and allows you to be living out your positive Usual behaviours. If this isn’t possible in your job, make sure that you are creating that environment outside of work. (You can check your Needs on the platform too.)

  • And then focus in on any areas where you are looking to develop yourself, and make notes on how you can leverage your expresso data and self-understanding to keep yourself engaged, motivated and moving forwards.

  • As you repeat this process each week you’ll start to develop your own set of questions or prompts that help you to unpack your thoughts and observations. You might decide to follow a set structure, or it may be a little different every time! The important thing is that the process helps you to clarify your thoughts and analyse your experiences from that week, so that you can learn from what you’re seeing.

Bullet Points

2. Bullet Points

Not one for writing long pages of notes and reflection? Here’s an approach for those who want to “get it done and get going”.

  • Go to the Printable Summary page of the platform and read back over the key sections of data. (Especially the descriptions to the right of the Grid.)

  • Based on the things that stood out to you as you read, make bullet point notes of the 3 most important things you want to do in the next week (or couple of weeks) to ensure you’re performing at your best.

  • Keep these bullet points somewhere visible on your desk, workspace or at home, where you’ll see them each day.

  • Repeat this process on a regular basis - weekly, fortnightly, monthly… whatever works for you! Some points may crop up regularly, others may change depending on what you feel is most important at that time.

Pair Up

3. Pair Up

Prefer talking to writing? It can be great to pair up with someone else who is also using expresso, and act as ‘self-development partners’ - to encourage one another and ensure you are each progressing in your chosen areas of development.

  • Find a friend, colleague or family member who has expresso and wants to make it part of their own self-development. Agree on a regular catch-up - whether weekly, fortnightly, or whatever works best with your schedules.

  • At the first meeting take time to lay out the areas you are each wanting to work on, or develop yourselves in. (It’s a good idea to have prepared this beforehand.) Set specific goals and checkpoints, and discuss how you plan to use expresso to help you stay on track, and to recognise potential blindspots or areas where you may trip yourself up.

  • At each meeting take it in turns to share how things have been going. What areas are you each progressing in? And what areas have you struggled with or come up against roadblocks?

  • Look through your expresso data (the Printable Summary Report can be a great option for this) and discuss any scores that may factor into the things you’re struggling with. How might you use your own mix of motivations, perspectives and behaviours to navigate difficult situations and achieve positive outcomes?

  • Having someone to talk through these issues with can sometimes help you look at the problem from a different perspective and see how you might approach it differently in future.

  • Check off any checkpoints you have each achieved and highlight the things you want to focus on going forward.

  • Again, its up to you whether you want to go through this process in a very structured, or a more responsive, way. But it helps if you’re both agreed on which of these will work best for you!

Words & Pictures

4. Words & Pictures

Need something more visual to keep you engaged? Use a cork board or magnetic surface as a place for collecting visual reminders of the things that are going to keep you working at your best!

  • Look at both your Interests and Focus for the kinds of tasks and activities that are going to help you stay energised, and find images or phrases that represent those things for you.

  • Go through the description of your Needs too. Make note of those, and find ways to remind yourself of the kind of environment you will thrive in.

  • You may end up with a board full of words, or images, or some mix of the two - it’s entirely up to you what you want this to be, but remember to update it on a regular basis as you find certain things become more or less important for you over time.

Mind Map

5. Mind Map

Looking for a more structured visual approach? How about taking time each week to map out how things are going, and what you want to focus on, or do differently, in the week ahead.

  • You could start by mapping out ‘things that went well’ and ‘things that didn’t go well’ this week…

  • How do these different groups relate to your expresso data? Can you see correlations between the ‘things that went well’ and your high Interest scores, Focus scores, or Needs being met? Do the ‘things that didn’t go well’ relate to low Interest scores or Needs not being met? Draw out any connections that begin to emerge.

  • Can you see ways to leverage your strong motivations to navigate the things that you’re struggling with? Map that out too!

  • If you’re struggling at work, what aspects of your life outside the office could help you get your motivational Needs met, so that you have greater resilience when it comes to dealing with difficult situations?

  • By the end of the process you’ll have a map that helps you to see potential cause and effect for the different outcomes you’re experiencing, and possible options for attempting to solve or mitigate any issues.

  • You can repeat the process as often as you choose, and go into as much detail as you like! You can even combine it with other approaches such as using images, or as a method of documenting conversations with your self-development partner…

These methods are just a few examples of practical ways you can engage with your expresso data, but there are probably endless variations for different activities or approaches you could use.

Play around and find something that works for you - or mix it up and do a bit of everything!

However you do it, keep coming back to your expresso scores, and you will keep getting value as you apply them to your understanding of the different situations, environments and relationships you encounter.