You may not realize how many types of motivation techniques are available for motivating coworkers, employees, children, yourself-even life partners-to make changes or to get things done. Before you reach for the old stick and carrot, try out a few of these motivation techniques.
One of the primary factors in motivating someone to change or to do something is to get them to be emotionally, financially and physically invested in the outcome or the process required. The more a person is invested in a cause or task, the more likely they will be to do the job well and to complete the task at hand. For example, if you have invested $100,000 in a new business, you are more likely to work hard to make that business succeed-even if it costs you late nights and little sleep and a lot of discomfort-than if you inherited the business from a distant relative you barely know who has passed away. Likewise, if you are emotionally invested-let's say this new business is a high end chocolate boutique and you have always wanted to work for yourself as a chef and you've had to slave away at an unsatisfying job for the past ten years-you will also by highly motivated to make the business succeed.
If you believe the task at hand will improve your character, appearance or financial condition and these self-improvements are highly desirable to you, you will experience significant motivation to perform even unpleasant parts of the process necessary to reach the goal. How desirable the end improvements are to you will determine the level of motivation you will experience. For example, if you really want to look good for that 20-year high school reunion because your ex is recently divorced and you're still single, you will be much more motivated to diet and exercise than if you were simply going to a family reunion and wanted to look fit. By accentuating the desirability of self improvement end goals, you can increase motivation levels.
Moral or internal compasses can serve as powerful motivators. For example, if you were brought up to respect those who follow the golden rule and to disparage those who act selfishly, you will be motivated to go out of your way to do an act of kindness that requires great sacrifice, whereas another person might have passed right by. All human beings try to behave in manners that allow their actions and their internal morals to remain in alignment, or consistent, so that they are not bothered by a guilty conscience. If you'd like to motivate your children to help with chores, for example, you may wish to point out how everyone in the family needs to work together for the situation to be fair, and leverage your child's desire for equality or fairness, showing them how unfair it would be if he or she did not help out.
This is the traditional stick and carrot, punishment and rewards system of motivating yourself or others. This method of motivation theory provides punishments for failing to perform and rewards for succeeding, regardless of internal desire to perform for the sake of the cause or task. This works well when there is no emotional attachment to the goal at hand or when the goal at hand is difficult.
Reactive/Free Will Motivation
It is important when applying extrinsic motivation pressure on individuals not to push too hard, because a very powerful motivator is that of desiring free will. If extrinsic pressure becomes too great, an even stronger form of motivation-the desire to make up your own mind and do your own thing-may kick in. This is a motivation rooted in rebellion and a desire for liberty.
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