Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

SDI 2.0 Methodology and Meaning

Improving Relationship Intelligence with the Strength Deployment Inventory

Tim Scudder, PhD

Tim Scudder, PhD

20-page report

The Strength Deployment Inventory 2.0

The Strength Deployment Inventory 2.0 (SDI 2.0) is an assessment of human motives and strengths. It stands on the foundation of practical application, scholarship, and research that began with Elias Porter’s introduction of the SDI in 1971 and publication of Relationship Awareness Theory (Porter, 1976). The theory has roots in psychoanalysis (Fromm, 1947) and client-centered therapy (Porter, 1950; Rogers, 1951, 1961).

Today the SDI 2.0 offers four views of a person: a Motivational Value System, a Conflict Sequence, a Strengths Portrait, and an Overdone Strengths Portrait. These four views form a systems view of personality and productiveness at work. When personality is considered in the context of relationships, and viewed as a dynamic system, greater explanatory power is available than when personality is viewed as independent variables or dichotomies (Lewin, 1935; Piers, 2000; Sullivan, 1953). In a systems view, the conscious interaction of emotional states, behavior, and motives is an advancement from classic psychoanalytic theory, which holds that motives and drives are largely relegated to the unconscious (Meissner, 2009).


To fully understand the methodology and meaning of the SDI 2.0 assessment, the purpose of the assessment must be considered. The SDI 2.0 is based on foundational concepts that lead to specific types of measurement (data collection), scoring, reporting, validity and reliability testing, and the application of assessment results.

The purpose of the SDI 2.0 is to improve the quality of working relationships. People have relationships within themselves, with each other, and with their work. Relationships are psychological connections over time; they have history, the present moment, and expectations for the future (Figure 1). Improving relationships requires beginning with self-awareness. Increased self-awareness results from greater conscious understanding of the true self, and the reduction or removal of defenses against self-understanding. Greater self-awareness enables more clear and accurate understanding of others.

Relationship Intelligence is the application of knowledge in specific settings or contexts to produce results that are meaningful to people in relationships.

Relationship Intelligence helps people to:

  • better understand past interactions, enabling a deeper understanding and appreciation of self and others
  • manage choices and perceptions in the present moment, enabling more effective behavior and communication in relationships
  • anticipate the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others, giving them greater control over the future outcomes of their relationships

These skills are essential to creating collaborative communities that foster learning, development, and authentic connections to others and to work.

(This is an excerpt from our SDI 2.0 Methodology and Meaning paper.)

Download the full 20-page report

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

When relationships work, there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved.