In my first blog post about motivation, I posed ten statements as part of a motivation survey. I have found that questions are one of the most powerful tools that we have for discovery and learning. The statements in the survey require you to ask questions of yourself and think more deeply about this important topic.
Now let’s review the statements one at a time and see what we can learn about motivation.
- I would rather be living in 1850, and I wish that I were an indentured servant.
I’ve never had anyone answer “Yes” to this. The fact is, people who have spread their wings personally and professionally want to feel useful intellectually as well as physically. Certainly being “just a servant” isn’t appealing to them.
- I enjoy achieving goals and having recognition for my achievements.
Virtually everybody agrees with this. That’s why they play golf, why Little Leaguers want to get base hits, and why kids smile proudly when they’ve aced a test.
- I would rather be asked to do something instead of being ordered to do it.
Sure. Most people feel better when they are treated considerately. And, of course, when ordered to do something we feel more like a servant, and we’re back into the situation of question number one.
- I enjoy having someone ask me for my opinion or advice, and I feel good when others listen to me. I also appreciate not being interrupted.
Most of us enjoy being considered worthy of having potentially useful opinions. When we’re interrupted, the other person is demonstrating that our opinions aren’t very worthwhile.
It’s easy to conclude that if our opinions aren’t worthwhile then we, as individuals, aren’t worthwhile – and that certainly doesn’t help us feel good about ourselves!
- I can get frustrated trying to explain something to someone who has already made up his or her mind, and who won’t even try to understand the additional information or point of view I am presenting.
This is what happens when we’re talking with someone who already has made up his or her mind – as is the case when something has already been decided and the advocate is hoping to get “buy-in”. In these situations we feel as if we’re talking to a brick wall – and who among us would be happy wasting time that way?
So, most people agree with this statement. However, we should note that some people have pointed out that even though we may not feel good about being ignored, we should be mature enough that we would not allow ourselves to become frustrated over it – so they answer “No”.
- I am likely to feel better (more interested, less frustrated, etc.) if I have at least some input and influence about matters concerning me.
Most people answer “Yes” to this one. For example, most janitors would appreciate being asked about what brand of buffing compound they’d like to use.
If an aloof purchasing agent buys the compound without asking the janitor about it, the agent can be viewed as considering the janitor to be just a janitor – and nobody wants to be seen as just anything!
Well, we have learned a lot about motivation.
Let’s pause until my next blog post to continue reviewing these statements. This will allow you time to think into your answers and how they can help you develop a great TEAM.
Have you gained any insight as to how you can lead your people better?