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Motivation – Internal or External?

The true motivation that causes individuals to excel comes from within. It is inner motivation that distinguishes the top 20% in any profession, according to significant scientific studies within the workplace.

Companies spend a lot of money on ways to motivate their people–bringing in motivational speakers, incentive plans, contests, team-building exercises, etc. In most companies there is an endless stream of “carrot & stick” programs designed to motivate. These are all examples of external motivation, and they are about as effective as pep rallies for high school sports teams. These activities get people pumped up and enthusiastic for a short time, but in the long run, they have minimal effects on performance or reaching goals at work.

Psychologists inform us about how to better spend our money to get people and teams to be high-performing goal achievers. According to the science, your dollars are better spent on understanding and fostering your employees’ (and your own) inner motivations. There is nothing more important in determining the effectiveness of an individual in a job than to understand his or her basic inner motivations, and to gear the job placement, training, compensation, and coaching to those motivations.

As examples, two key inner motivators that you will find in people are: the inner drive to persuade and the inner drive to serve. Those with an ego that is driven to persuade make excellent sales people or business developers. They are continually driven to get people to say yes to them, to agree with them, to sign the deal, to bring closure to a problem or challenge. Those who are driven by an inner motivation to serve, gain gratification from receiving approval and appreciation. They have a strong inner motivation to come through, to get the job done well, to be thanked.

Although is is more difficult to uncover, it is the inner motivation that determines how well an individual will do in a specific job. These inner motivations are more difficult to deal with because you have to delve below the surface to uncover and understand them. Interviewing, conducting psychological testing, and checking resumes and references are all focused on uncovering some of these motivations. Time spent learning how to hire people who are driven by inner motivators, is worth the time and money investment.

Once you already have a team in place, you can learn to coach individuals based on their unique inner motivators. There are specific psychological drives that come into play in the workplace, and if you understand them, you will lead yourself into the top 20% of leaders who get results with people.

It takes less time than you might imagine to get in touch with what motivates you or another person internally, and it will make you more successful as a leader. If you would like some coaching to improve how you identify and nurture people’s internal motivations, get in touch any time to learn how we can help you make a difference.

#LeadershipCoaching #PersonalCoaching #GrowthGoals #BeYourBest #LeadChange


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