Do you think you can motivate others? How do we know when a person is motivated? If we think of examples, we are likely to identify different visible signs. Truly motivated people we would identify as those who show: GOAL DIRECTION effort focused upon appropriate goals and activities displaying energy or enthusiasm about tasks staying power and continuing energy
Motivation goes much wider than the individual, which is why managers can find it hard to motivate those around them. There may be organisational constraints, which can lead to de-motivation. Does the person have the correct resources to do the job? The individual may need training to gain ...view middle of the document...
Process analysis implies that the most critical aspects of motivation, and the most powerful motivators, are clear objectives, perceived fairness and feedback on performance. It may be easier to understand this in reverse: if no-one tells me what I am supposed to be doing, or whether how I subsequently chose to spend my time was of any use, I can become de-motivated.
The second theory about motivation is called content analysis and relates directly to the sorts of rewards the individual may value. Content analysis says that people have different needs or goals and that it is only by satisfying these goals that people become motivated. Psychologists used to talk of a hierarchy of needs (eg Maslow), assuming a neat progression from one to the next as the inferior need was satisfied. An individual would strive first to satisfy inferior needs, such as the physical needs of hunger and thirst and the emotional needs for security and love, before moving on to satisfy the higher order needs of self-respect and achieving one’s full potential. This theory was developed by others, such as McGregor, Argyris, Likert, McClelland and Alderfer. Today, psychologists talk of contingency theory, which means that our needs or goals may differ according to upbringing, current social circumstances and age. For example, the child of a policeman and a civil servant, who has chosen to work in a large bureaucracy, will probably always have a high need for security, a socalled lower order need. In addition, this need might only become apparent if the individual had to leave their structured work environment, to work, say, in an advertising agency. The most common needs are held to be; physical and mental comfort and lack of stress structure or certainty relationships power recognition autonomy and challenge. Intuitively, we can see that motivating someone with a high desire for relationships would require a different approach from motivating someone with a high need for recognition. The former would probably be happiest in a good team, the latter needs to be a "star".
Using Listening and Questions to Understand Motivation
Both questioning, but also listening, skills can be used to work out what motivates someone. Working out another person’s goals, and thus establishing how they might be better motivated, can be done if we look for patterns of behaviour (or inertia) over time. For example, chairing the squash club at home is only one indicator of having the goal to achieve power. Better evidence would couple this with having run several clubs or committees over time and with talking about getting another promotion at work. While deep-seated and meaningful, goals both change over time and can directly conflict with each other. For example, my need for security may marginally outweigh my still important need for autonomy, so I may talk with regret about how, if I didn’t have to keep up my mortgage repayments, I would definitely set up my own business. Using the...