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Education

What Motivates You?

Sometimes it’s just difficult to keep focused or on task. And sometimes those around us need to be encouraged or pushed a bit to get the job, whatever that may be, done. So how do you motivate yourself or others? Do you support and encourage? Or, do you nag and punish? Are you someone who is intrinsically motivated, you do things for the joy of completing the task or for how you feel when the job is done; or externally motivated, you like the public attention and/or rewards that come with a job well done? What about those around you, what do the need to push themselves forward?

We are all different and need different kinds of motivation for different tasks and at different moments in time. I learned early on that rewarding and reinforcing with praise and enthusiasm went a long way to keep my children focused.  But on occasion a punishment or the removal of a favorite thing also worked; but had to be used judiciously!  In the work place I find that the positive reinforcement goes further than any negative action or words.

Once we have all our basic needs met, money is not always the best motivator. Even as our needs change, what motivates us can also change. And as someone who depends on others at work, knowing what motivates those around us is very helpful.

As I have gotten older I find that challenging work is motivating; figuring out how to solve a particular problem or complete a complex task makes time fly. I don’t like to be bored so when I am the busiest, I am also the most productive and happiest. I also like flexibility and opportunities that allow me to decide on my own schedule or time line.  But that is just me, other people may find that they are more comfortable with less challenges at work and are motivated by extrinsic rewards like additional money or public acknowledgement.

Recognizing what motivates us and those around us helps us keep our workplaces, and our lives, moving forward. Acknowledging what we need to stay productive and active is an important part of our commitment to lifelong learning.  Take a moment and figure out what motivates you and make sure you find whatever that is in your day.


Resources:

How to motivate others

How to motivate yourself and others

Whose job is it to motivate?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs