How can I motivate you?


What kind of reward makes you more willing to put in extra time and effort? What makes you tick in an employment situation?

Ok, I agree with Adrian Savage that 'motivation' is a bad word (= buzz word) as it is far to generic to have any kind of real meaning. But let's for now just use it as a generic term to cover all kinds of 'reasons to go the extra mile'.

So, what is it that makes you willing, that can push you further, that makes hard work enjoyable? A common answer seems to be: money. But is it really? Does money motivate? Do material rewards?

I think not. I might be judging from my own perspective, but I would always choose an enjoyable job over the one paying better. So what is it then?

One word: Ego.

Ultimately all motivation is about ego. Anything that will boost our egos will be 'rewarding'. Respect, valuation, recognition.

It's a pity that in our times 'Ego' is so often equaled with 'Selfishness'. Being loved (respected) by ones peers is an egoboost without question. But it can be achieved by being completely unselfish!

And now to get back to that question in the title: I know how to motivate you. By putting YOU into the focus of things. "This is about you!"

[update:] I just found this quote that fits so very nicely into what I'm trying to say:

“[I] am talented. I am needed. I am valued. I am recognized. I am growing. I am learning. I am rewarded. I am really enjoying this!” (found on Talking Story with Say Leadership Coaching)

That's the kind of self-talk you want to create.


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Martin Spernau
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