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    Motivation – how to talk about it?

    Successful firms have a reputation based on doing one thing exceedingly well. That usually means they have made a huge effort to achieving targets and strategic goals. Often these quantitative targets skirt around the fundamental element which makes these things happen. The people.

    Motivation is the next frontier of understanding in the engagement and leadership of people. Firms and their people don’t want a “wage slave” environment where the minimum is the norm. Traditional extrinsic incentives – sticks and carrots – are not the only, or often the most effective way, to engage. Motivation which comes from within, which is intrinsic to the person can be more powerful and lead to accomplishments which are more fulfilling.

    Business culture has been built around command and control. If you are in charge you are supposed to know the answers and direct the firm. Research suggests this is not as effective in modern firms, requiring a mindset shift to leaders to become coaches. At root, for the team to achieve its stated goals, leaders need to get know their people.

    We are used to companies asking us to complete psychometric tests to understand our personality. Motivation is new. We don’t have context. It can be loaded and feel invasive. “I need my job. If they think I’m not motivated then I might lose my job!”. Moreover, no two individuals are the same. To take a money as a motivator, each person’s relationship to money will be idiosyncratic and subjective. It can be surprising how much pay is a psychological symbol. Individuals will have marked differences in how they think or worry about money eg for power, freedom, security or love. Leaders need to understand what their employees really value. How to start this conversation is a challenge for leadership. This is where communication is key. Our first aim is to have a common language.

    Motivational Maps are a way to start the conversation that is validated professionally and by extensive use.  This means we can speak objectively without accusation, use the same language and explore this important facet in each of us.

    We are Licenced Practitioners and Certified for Coaching using Motivational Maps.