There are many myths around motivation and many misuses of the term, which can be very confusing when we feel we’re a bit lacking in that area and would like to give ourselves a boost. One definition we use is that motivation is the drive to do your job willingly and well, over and over again. Using that as our basis let’s examine some of the myths then look at the reality.
Myth one – other people motivate you
Motivation comes from within, it can’t be plugged in. One human being cannot motivate another human being no matter how hard they try or how many carrots and sticks they employ. If someone doesn’t want to be motivated there is nothing anyone can do about it except the person themselves. It’s like someone eating a meal for you when you’re hungry – they may be satiated but you still feel hungry.
Want to know how to be motivated without carrots and sticks? Contact us.
Myth two – good manners motivate
We’re huge fans of good manners in the work place. Greeting everyone with a smile, saying please and thank you, recognising a great piece of work and giving credit where credit is due. The end of year letter to all employees from the CEO spreads a warm feeling and sense that all the hard work you have done has been noticed. There are a few seconds of that nice warm feeling and then….it wears off because it’s not enough to sustain you through the next year’s hard slog. If only motivation were that easy.
We can show you how motivating yourself is more than a nice warm feeling.
Myth three – motivational speeches are motivational
Henry IV was fantastic at these, in their time and place they enabled soldiers to gird their loins and go forth into battle. A good old stirring speech never did anyone any harm in times of worry or disappointment and they certainly have their place in the realms of inspiring you to go forth and conquer a problem, a challenge or a difficult client. However, come the morning after when the dust has settled the sparkle will have faded from the rhetoric and the effects will not carry you through the whole year.
We coach people to discover what really motivates them.
If those are the myths what’s the reality?
We are motivated broadly by three factors – people, achievement and enjoyment. We like interacting with others, working with people who are professional and engaged and who pull their weight. We like a sense of achievement, of making a difference or ticking off the “to do” list. Interesting, stimulating work motivates us too, the kind that stretches us and develops us personally and professionally.
The key to your motivation is to work in an environment where you can pick and choose what will motivate you today. Organisations need to be good caterers, they need to provide you with a really awesome buffet and not be tempted to do you a packed lunch. Your organisation can’t do this by guess work though. You need to communicate with your manager about what really motivates you and ask them to work with you to make sure it’s on the menu most of the time, and then you can get the fix you need. This means you can heal yourself, your manager doesn’t have to spoon feed you and you can be responsible for your own levels of motivation.
So there you have it, the myths have been challenged and the serving dishes have been warmed. Go forth and influence your own motivational environment.
To do more than inspire contact us.