JS Tip 285: Motivating Others II

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

** From the Leadership Workshops: Motivating Others II

Two weeks ago, we began a discussion about motivation.

We suggested motivation aligns goals and values. The goals we want to accomplish, and the values the other person respects.

Motivation can be positive or negative.

Last week’s example about Charlie losing his Xbox if he didn’t go to bed was an example of negative motivation. If he didn’t go to bed, bad things would happen. (He’d lose his Xbox.) Negative examples may work, but they estrange. They damage the relationship.

Last week’s example about how much Ramona would learn if she’d tackle the project was an example of positive motivation. If she tackled the project, good things would happen.

The research is mixed as to which approach is best, but it’s impossible to deny the power of the marathon chute. The crowds at the end of the marathon cheer the exhausted runners. The cheers motivate. Impel. Inspire. “You can do this!” “Keep going!” “You’re lookin’ good!”

Seldom does anyone shout, “Go ahead! Quit!” No. It doesn’t work that way.

Sometimes negative feedback is necessary: “If you don’t use a grounding strap, you’ll fry the circuits.” But more-than-balance the negative with the positive. We’re thinking ratios of—at least—two to one. Three to one. Maybe more.

A critical caution: The feedback has to be sincere. Honest. Caring. Otherwise, it becomes manipulation.

Let us know your thoughts. We love this stuff.

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