When it comes to motivation, are you playing the short game or the long game? Here is a breakdown on the types of motivation and its lasting impact.

TypeDifficultyPermanenceRisk
Coercive:
This is the classic “my way or the highway” approach, based almost entirely on threat and intimidation or, as we talked about earlier, “positional authority.”
Low:
It requires no intellectual, relational or time commitment, and it may get you some short-term results, which is one reason it’s so often overused.
Short:
Human beings are very adaptable and simply go numb to the negative environment. This approach basically requires constant supervision and as soon as the supervision is lifted, they revert.
Reversion:
Because they haven’t bought into your model, as soon as you turn your back, they will revert. Afraid to leave your kids home alone or take a vacation from the office, you might be a coercive motivator.
Expedient:
This is the “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” or the classic incentive-based, contest-driven approach. Basically, you control the rewards and you use them to influence and incentivize behavior. The expedient and coercive models are often used together: The former provides the carrot, while the latter provides the stick.
Medium:
This requires some degree of creativity and relational insight to know what incentives might drive each individual’s behavior.
Medium:
Once again, people are very adaptable. The incentive trips that inspired them early in their career become routine later in their careers and they have plenty of plaques… thank you.
Cost/Benefit:
As they get accustomed to a particular stature and lifestyle, you must continually ramp up your incentives to get their attention. There is no end game here.
Transformational:*
You help the person discover who they are capable of becoming, what they are capable of achieving and a deeper meaning behind why they do what they do. You then help them map out that journey both personally and professionally.
High:
The degree of difficulty is extremely high because it requires a level of knowledge, patience and relationship that is extremely rare in our hyperkinetic and highly reactive industry.
Permanent:
Because the motivation moves from external to internal, from short-term to long-term, and their relation- ship with you shifts from dependence to partnership, as a result the conversion is permanent.
Autonomy:
The risk here is what happens if the people you are attempting to lead actually outgrow you and no longer need or seek your counsel. This is a great fear of many parents, because they always want their kids to be able to turn to them for counsel and insight. So what’s the solution? You must also continue to learn and develop as a practitioner, a manager, a leader and, most importantly, a parent so you always remain relevant to the people you’re hoping to lead, guide and/or inspire. But when this happens a miracle occurs: you will find that inspired people hold themselves to a higher internal standard than you would ever dream of imposing externally.

*For more on motivation, view our video series “Life on Purpose” and have everyone on your team fill out the workbook. Then, meet with each person individually to help them connect their life’s purpose to their practice, their clientele and their team.

 

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