Have you ever wondered why the projects that excite you don’t seem to appeal to other people? Why some people love certain elements of their job that other people hate? Why ‘motivational’ talks inspire some people and turn off others?...
The key is in that we are all motivated differently and this is an essential element of psychology to understand if you manage a team, run a project or lead a business.
Harvard Psychologist David McLelland talks about three primary motivations that we have as human beings; the need for power, the need to achievement and the need for affiliation. We all have one which is the strongest driver for us and one which just turns us off completely. The key to using this in the workplace is to identify which is the key driver for individuals you work with and then tailor your communication to appeal to their way of being motivated.
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Motivated by Power?
People who are motivated by power are either driven to win or not to lose. They want to be the best, second place is not good enough and they are likely to be interested in activities and projects that will increase their profile and status. They may react strongly to environments where they feel controlled by others or by rules. Whilst power people often get a bad press; they can step on other's toes to get what they want, they can also be strong, driven leaders who want their business to be the best too. You can motivate power people by giving them tasks where they have competition and can win or stand out in some way. They thrive in sales and business development roles and work best without too many constraints or rules. When talking to a power person, tell them how what they are doing will put them in a standing above others, give them freedoms they don’t currently have or how it will increase their career prospects.
If you are a manager who is not driven by power, you will find this hard to do. You might find the thought of being motivated by power wrong in some way or you might find it a bit false to talk in this way. That’s because it is unfamiliar to you, with practice though you can get familiar with it, start with small things and work from there. Power people can be a great asset to your team, giving it drive and forward motion, just by harnessing their motivation appropriately you can make all the difference to their ability to be their best and that will benefit you and your business.
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Blog post photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash
Founder of Monkey Puzzle and an INLPTA NLP Master Trainer, Karen is also a UKCP registered Psychotherapist and author of the award winning book Real Leaders for the Real World. Her new book Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever is out now.
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