Motivation. Drive. They’re powerful pathways to grit, resilience and getting stuff done.
Anyone who’s tried to dress a reluctant 2 year old knows the importance of motivation. The task can be easy breezy beautiful if the motivators are pointing in the same direction. Or the task can be a hair-pulling-out, frenetic nightmare with things flying everywhere if the motivators aren’t aligned. Same task. Very different results.
If you and your team have got it; if you’re all motivated, it’s smooth(er) sailing, with bigger impact and more social change.
If you’ve not got it, if you and/or your team aren’t motivated like, it’s well, like trying to put pants on a two year old that’s kicking and screaming. Not much is getting done, everyone’s miserable and everything feels like it’s flying around with no focus.
So how do you amp up you and your team’s motivation?
By knowing which of the 6 different types of motivators get you going. Take this quick 4 question survey and you’ll get your results instantly. I designed it based on ‘Your personality explained, exploring the science of identity,’ National Geographic.
Take the survey and then come back to read more about your results.
If you’re motivated by one type and your colleague, boss, client, partner, kiddo etc. is motivated by another type it’s a recipe for uh oh. Enter bald patches from pulling your hair out or in my case sweat.
Sweat was threatening to drip down my back between my shoulder blades.
I was in Uganda leading a TOT for UN environment and it was getting hard to focus because of the heat.
The AC was on but it was severely hampered by the door constantly being left open. We’d just done the motivation survey with the group so I decided to use it to see how we could help keep the door open.
Spoiler alert: Take the survey now before you see the extended explanation and examples below, where I use the AC example to demonstrate how to use your results.
Mostly 1’s mean you’re motivated by achievement
This means you want to master challenging tasks; you are motivated by a high standard you set for yourself. You like to win, get results and succeed visibly. You are curious, interested and like to explore. You don’t like to fail.
How would I motivate an achiever to keep the door closed for the AC to work? I’d say something like: Take pride in keeping the door closed, and feel good about being responsible.
Mostly 2’s = motivated by power
This means you strive for power. You want to have an impact on other people – to be the leader. You are persuasive and assertive.
Using the AC example, to motivate someone motivated by power I might put that person in charge of making sure the door was kept shut or I’d make it a competition. If you leave the door open you get fined 25 cents.
Mostly 3’s = motivated by affiliation
This means you are motivated by your social circle and you’re likely friendly and warm. You defer to other’s wishes. You probably have close friends (because you like intimacy / a feeling of closeness) and avoid conflict and disagreements.
Using our AC example again, I’d suggest we work in pairs or small groups to remind each other to close the door.
Mostly 4’s = motivated by autonomy
This means you are motivated by goals you’ve set for yourself, things that you really, truly want to do. Your goals are your own.
One example for using the autonomy type of motivation to keep the door closed for the AC to work is I might post a sign on the door saying: Close the door!
Mostly 5’s = motivated by external
This means you are motivated by what will please other people or things that will make you feel better and not ashamed or guilty.
For our AC example I might reinforce how happy I’d be if everyone kept the door closed so the AC could work properly.
Mostly 6’s = motivated by the future
This means you’re motivated by things that are bigger than yourself. You may seek a close relationship with God/ Spirit or a way to improve society through values such as justice, social change and forgiveness.
Finally for those motivated by the future I’d stress how leaving the door open makes the AC work harder, and likely to breakdown, thereby wasting power which is hard on the environment
From achievement, power, affiliation, autonomy, external and the future, we all have different things that motivate us and those around us.
Next time you need to put those pants on a two-year-old, aka motivate a reluctant boss, colleague, partner, kiddo, friend etc. think about switching gears based on what specifically motivates them.