We have likely all heard of the ‘carrot and stick’ idiom that uses either rewards or sufferance to elicit the right behaviour. Two things repel me when I hear this. A stick to induce good behaviour – no thank you. I also do not like carrots. ?
How do we replace the carrot and stick mentality with self-belief, internal will power and the desire to succeed.
Unwelcome behaviour is the obstacle that needs to be solved
If we suddenly changed paths and look at any unwelcome behaviour, the obstacle, as an opportunity as opposed to a problem, then the scenario changes completely.
Instead of telling the racing driver to go faster or else they will lose the race and be dropped from the team. Ask the driver what could make them push the car a bit more so they can safely overtake the car in front and win? An approach that could elicit solutions not yet dreamed of.
Discovering purpose will drive motivation
Contemplate what you are most enthusiastic about in your own life. You will not count the hours or effort involved because you are so passionate about the purpose, your values simply align, and the outcomes provide a sense of real accomplishment.
When we unlock our passion and purpose...
At school, there was only one way to learn English. It did not motivate me because my dyslexia went unnoticed and it made lessons difficult. I remember my school report stating, ‘could do better, is disruptive’. The message and outcomes were simple. If I did not improve I would be sent to the back of the class or dropped a year.
Was the problem me or the system which only had one education pathway? The pathway provided no internal motivation for me to good at English. There was no way to drive any passion. Neither the carrot not the stick registered with me.
Unblocking the Motivation
I like to keep things simple. I tend not to write a lot because of my dyslexia. It also makes it easy to remember. I know today that I’m only motivated to do something if I’m passionate about something that has real purpose and outcomes that add value to others not me.
If we want individuals to be more motivated then we need to help them realise what that entails:
Step 1: Do not simply reach out and ask why someone always seems to have a lack of interest, as apathy may just be the outcome, not the actual root problem.
Step 2: Find out what uniquely drives each individual. What roadblocks are appearing? What would the journey look like if the roadblocks were removed?
Step 3: What does passion look like? How have past experiences led to the present? How can you bring back passion today?
Understanding your purpose and passion will drive your motivation. Commitment to tasks (accountability), driving results, often via new creative initiatives becomes the norm.
Now think what happens when we take this individual pathway and align it with others who have similar passions, purpose and values. Within the group the motivation (reward) will be different – in fact it could look like a bowl of fruit - Individuals treading their own path but on the same journey. Your Path. Our Journey™.
I like apples.?
Regardless of whether it’s apples or carrots, understanding what motivates individuals and acting accordingly will have favourable outcomes. Take the first steps down this motivational path today.
Turn unwelcome behaviour into an opportunity to learn what really motivates
Support individuals to discover their intrinsic motivators
Recognise that fixing what demotivates is not the answer to motivation
Unblock motivation by asking the right questions
Offer a fruit bowl of rewards
The Visible Guy’s ‘Your Path. Our Journey™.’ philosophy, motivation and application enables change to deliver some remarkable outcomes.