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Motivating People is critical for managers

As you reflect back your work environment, colleagues, customers or partners you may have faced challenges in people who are always thinking in a negative way. Some cases you may be suffering to building relationship with your staff. Although you are a talented Manager, one of the challenges that managers face is to motivate people to do what they are supposed to do. Even to a greater extent that you want them to have a better career, being promoted or simply enjoying the work can be difficult. You might be thinking the needs to gain skills to motivate people not only at work but also in life.

Two Forces Control All Behaviour

When I first listened to Anthony Robbin’s “Personal Power” I learned about the two forces that control all behaviour. It made sense of how we behave and why we do things and why we don’t do things. There are only two forces that drive our behaviours. The two forces are “Pain” and “Pleasure”. What this means is that we do things because we want to either avoid the pain or to gain pleasure. Why do some people still eat chocolates when they want to get healthy? It is to increase the pleasure by eating chocolate. Why do some people want to ask to go out for dinner but they end up not doing it? It is because they attach more pain to the potential of rejection. You can see from this that we link the “Pain” or “Pleasure” to what we do in our lives.

Two Patterns of Motivation

When you think about how to motivate people, basically it is the same concept with the two forces of behaviour. There are many ways to motivate people, but if I group them into two patterns, it will be the “Motivation for Pleasure” and “Motivation to Avoid Pain”. Therefore as a manager, you need to understand what are these two models of motivation and how you can use them to apply to your life. Learning about how to motivate people starts from what triggers them to behave in this way. People act based on how on their emotion. Therefore, if you can understand the approach of the behaviour, then you will be the master of motivating people.

Motivation For Pleasure

In what kind of situations will you feel motivated for pleasure? The motivation for pleasure is based on the image that you want to put yourself in an ideal situation. When we feel pleasure, it relates to the production of Dopamine in our brain. The brain produces Dopamine when we achieve our goals or when someone praises us. There is a scientific fact that our memory and learning effect improves based on Dopamine. Therefore whenever we feel the pleasure, and our brain learns the feeling, then our mind takes same behaviour to feel the same joy again. This is why when we achieve a goal, and you feel the sense of accomplishment, you want more. Then you will set higher goals and work even harder to reach them. The feeling of pleasure motivates us in a way to take the challenge and endure difficulties in life.

What Happens If We Lose Pleasure?

When we achieve our goals and we cannot find the next goal, people will lose pleasure and may not be able to push yourself. Michael Jordan, greatest basketball player of all time, retired after winning three consecutive NBA championships. Being on the top and maintaining the motivation is tough. There is Olympic gold medalist who cannot retain the motivation after they been on the top and working even harder to continue or even get better at what you do. As a result, it is important whether you can build the ongoing cycle of achieving your goals and feeling the pleasure. When you recognise this pattern of feeling the joy, you can observe carefully who in your organisation is in this cycle. You will need to show leadership to bring out the motivation for pleasure so that your team can maximise the performance.

Motivation To Avoid Pain

Motivation to avoid pain comes from the fear that you do not want to put yourself into an individual situation. Our brain produces noradrenalin when we feel stress based on fear or insecure. When the brain produces noradrenalin, our heart rate increases and our focus improves. This comes from our experience that we must concentrate and focus on how to eliminate the fear and secure yourself. Unfortunately, there are many cases in our life that we want to avoid the pain. Rejection from boss or customer is one of the critical pain we want to avoid. Some people do not start the work until the due date is close. Just like our homework when we were studying. Your concentration increases to achieve this based on the fact that you don’t want to disappoint your boss that you could not deliver your work on time. People tend to avoid the pain rather than to feel the pleasure. Sometimes we need to understand that people might be motivated based on the fact that they seriously want to avoid the pain.

How Should We Approach To Motivate People?

Considering that we have this two approach of motivating people, how should we apply it to our daily communication with employees? It does depend on the people you are dealing. We need to listen carefully to the words and body language they are using when they communicate to yourself. If you don’t have enough rapport and trust with that person, then either approach may not seem to work. The best way is to utilise motivation for pleasure because there is also the fact that high-performance team uses six times more of active communication, which leads to the motivation for pleasure rather than negative words. There can be cases that you need to strategically use motivation for pain to have them see and feel the painful situation to trigger the motivation. Once they are moving towards the goal, use motivation for pleasure to lead them to the cycle of pleasure.

What You Can Do From Today To Motivate People

As we learned that we have two forces which trigger our behaviour, let’s think about what you can do from today. You can ask questions to your co-workers about how they are working towards their goals and observe their reaction to your question. You can praise them for the effort that they have put in and also to show that practice and effort are the keys to success. They may not see immediate results, and that is always the positive feedback you get from what you do in life. If they have achieved something, then evaluate the results and think about what we can accomplish as the next goal. Make it specific and list up the actions that they can work on from today. Encourage that it is the process of think and take action. Then reflect on the feedback. These types of communication will help you to build your team stronger, and your leadership will certainly improve as a manager.

What We Learned Today

  • Two force of behaviour
  • Motivation for pleasure is essential to achieve higher goals
  • People takes greater attention to motivation to avoid pain
  • Maximum use motivation for pleasure to lead and grow your organisation to higher performance

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