JS Tip 283: Motivating Others

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

** From the Leadership Workshops: Motivating Others

“Motivate”—from its Latin roots—means “causing action.”

Moving. Impelling. Inspiring.

But how do we do that? How do we motivate others?

We align goals with values. The goals we want to accomplish and the values the other person respects.

Consider this example:

The young mother wants her son Charlie to go to bed. It’s well after his bedtime. “Young man, if you’re not in bed in five minutes, I’m going to take away your vegetables!”



That probably won’t work. Vegetables aren’t a value for Charlie. Especially peas.

But what does Charlie value? His Xbox. Bingo.

“Young man, if you’re not in bed in five minutes, say good-bye to the Xbox!”

Zoom. Charlie’s off to bed. To Charlie, the Xbox has greater value than staying up.

But how do we identify the values of those we hope to motivate?

Some values are universal: Happiness. Success. The respect of others.

Some values are personal: Peace. Quiet. Learning.

We determine the other person’s values by observing and engaging. By getting to know the other person.

“Ramona, think of what we’ll learn if we tackle this project!” “Andy, think of the bonus we’ll get if we tackle this project!”

A critical caution: Respect the line between motivation and manipulation.

Let us know your thoughts. We love this stuff. More next week.

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