Article : I Get A Kick Out Of You
How do you motivate some of the hard cases and awkward people in your work life to change their ways? If you want to make a difference, you have to be prepared to stretch your imagination, take some risks, and experiment a little.
People Like Us
We know it in a very deep-felt and immediate way, because we know it from the inside out. The probability is that what works for us works much the same way for other people. Many experts' views harmonise with our own experience. It is a safe bet that everyone we work with has a share of these three fundamental motivations:
What this gives us is, in effect, a technology of motivation which will work most of the time for most people – because most people are like that. It isn't hard to figure out what turns them on and what turns them off, and to arrange things accordingly. It is our good fortune that most of the time we have willing collaborators – people who see the world our way, and are inclined to give us the benefit of the doubt. Because most people are reasonable and predictable in their responses we lose sight of the complexity of what is actually happening when two minds meet. It is only when they stop being reasonable and predictable that we realise how much we take for granted.
People Who Need People
The second point to realise is that, in the long run, we are all motivated by the responses we elicit from other people, rather than by tasks, goals, pride in workmanship, being creative, and all the other intrinsic rewards of work. We can keep going on these for a while, however sooner or later they will lose their power if they are not reinforced by some human recognition. Somewhere, somehow, another person has to give us approval, tell us we got it right, acknowledge our good intentions even if we got it wrong. Our self-image is pieced together from these encounters. Without them we literally don't know who we are, or what is important to us.
Supposing that you do really do want to reach them, and to make a difference, you could try doing more of what you are already doing, in the hope of eventually making a breakthrough – it may not have worked in the past, however it just might work this time!
Killing With Kindness
The trick is to take the behaviour that you don't like and love it to bits, kill it with kindness, and smother it in your embrace. It's a lot easier than it sounds. Here is how:
In practice the risk of this technique is not great. If it fails you are left with a slightly aggravated version of the status quo. If it works it is totally painless, and usually quite good fun.
Person always arrives late to meetings.
Person is always criticising and finding faults in colleagues.
It tends to sound a bit bland when written – it still takes some ingenuity and confidence to carry it off in real life.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Recognition
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Published: Monday, April 7, 2003