Have you ever stopped to think about what motivates you? Are you motivated by punishment or reward? Does your motivation come internally or externally? Maybe it’s a combination or depends on the situation.
I don’t think that one way is better than the others. Like anything, they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Our freedom comes from understanding how we are motivated and creating an environment that nurtures our natural tendencies.Freedom comes from understanding how we are motivated and creating an environment that nurtures our natural tendencies. Click To Tweet
I was thinking about motivation one Saturday as part of a project I’m working on. The following Monday my husband, Jer, and I attended a meetup with Pat Flynn, the king of online business. While we were talking Pat mentioned an activity he did with his mastermind group. They took one full day and went around the room giving each person a chance to share how they’re motivated.
Understanding how we’re motivated gives us the power to create environments where we thrive. In the case of a mastermind group, it’s crucial that our peers know what it takes to nudge us forward. Since I was reflecting on what motivates me just two days earlier, I nodded in agreement as he explained this.In the case of a mastermind, it’s crucial that our peers understand how to nudge us forward. Click To Tweet
We continued our conversation, going around the room, discussing our challenges. An older gentleman spoke up with a tone of desperation. In his eyes, his business seemed stuck and he didn’t know what to do next. Pat asked him a few questions about his subscribers and conversion rate. The whole room gasped when he answered that he had 10,000 engaged subscribers. It was clear to everyone that this guy was sitting on a gold mine. Everyone could see it but him.
As he spoke, I began to suspect that his problem was motivation. After the meeting, I took the opportunity to chat with him one on one. I complimented him on his success and asked a few questions about his business. I asked a few more questions about how he’s motivated and he said, “I just need someone to tell me what to do.”
Ah hah, just as I suspected. This online entrepreneur who spends five days a week, alone, in front of a computer is extrinsically motivated. Neither of these are bad, they just don’t work well together. He’s not doing anything wrong, he just lacks an environment that pushes him to do his best work.
This is a great example of the power of coaching. Coaches can see what we are often blind to and can communicate these things honestly. If that gentleman had not come to that meetup, I suspect he would be in the exact same predicament twelve months from now. Instead, a quick ten-minute conversation revealed a tiny tweak that could reap huge rewards.Coaches can see what we are often blind to and can communicate these things honestly. Click To Tweet
What Motivates You?
Are you more likely to finish a task out of fear of what will happen if you don’t? For example, being reprimanded by your boss?
Or are you more likely to complete a project for a reward, like a bonus?
Are you motivated extrinsically, receiving recognition from others?
Or are you motivated intrinsically because you enjoy the challenge and take pride in your work?
In her book, Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin reveals “The Four Tendencies” we use when responding to expectations. There are Upholders who respond to all inner and outer expectations. Questioners only meet expectations if they think it makes sense. Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations. And Obligers do great with outer expectations but struggle to meet their inner ones.
I fall somewhere in between Questioner and Upholder. When I worked in the corporate world under leadership with questionable values, I was a Questioner all the way. But I can be an Upholder when working with people I respect. I also know that I do not respond well to threats and punishment. Knowing these things, help me create an environment where I can thrive.
Where do you think you fall? You can find out by taking this short quiz. I would love to hear what you find out in the comments below.
This information is only as good as the action that follows. Think about how you could use this information to create an environment that gives you the freedom to prosper. Write down three things you can do to make the most of how you’re motivated.This information is only as good as the action that follows. Click To Tweet
If you are extrinsically motivated, you might want to hire a coach or an accountability partner. If you’re more motivated by the stick rather than the carrot, consider setting up a consequence for not meeting your goal. Maybe you’ll send a generous contribution to that politician you can’t stand. If you are intrinsically motivated, try arranging your daily task so that each time you complete a task you don’t like, you are rewarded with a task that’s fulfilling and challenging. If you want to be free, understand how you work then use how you work to work for you.If you want to be free, understand how you work then use how you work to work for you. Click To Tweet
How are you motivated? How could you use this information to create more freedom in your life?
Share in the comments below.