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Possibility, What Works Best--Internal or External Motivators?
September 10, 2014


May 19, 2014

This newsletter is titled Possibility. It comes from my favorite saying which is: possibility, probability, predictability. If you think about the words the saying is self-explanatory. My website Motivation and Self Improvement Guide is all about this concept. It is a compilation of articles I have written regarding motivation, leadership and self improvement derived from my experience over the past 20 years. If you follow the concepts that I have outlined here, you too can experience taking your life goals and ambitions from possibility all the way to predictability.

What are the Best Motivators, Internal or External?

Leave it to Dan Pink, one of my favorite authors, to come up with a very simple analysis of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, when it works and when it does not. In this TED talk, he describes various studies that support the fact that internal or intrinsic motivators outperform most external or extrinsic motivation. In other words, the individual must be internally focused on making goals and outside motivators like money or prizes only work in limited situations. He makes the statement that, “There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.”

He further explains how extrinsic motivators used to work but don’t anymore. He says, “How we apply our human resources -- it's built entirely around these extrinsic motivators, around carrots and sticks. That's actually fine for many kinds of 20th century tasks. But for 21st century tasks, that mechanistic, reward-and-punishment approach doesn't work, often doesn't work, and often does harm.”

According to Pink, motivating employees nowadays is all about autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy is an obvious concept, being able to plan one’s own day or activities. Mastery is the satisfaction one receives by accomplishing something. Purpose would be a combination of accomplishment and being a part of something bigger. He gives examples of very successful companies that are using these methods successfully.

It’s a great talk, and definitely worthy of 20 minutes of your time,

The Puzzle of Motivation

Are your Management Skills Cutting Edge?

Are you a good manager? Are you a good coach? As a manager, do you see coaching your employees as one of your key duties? If you are not currently coaching your employees, you may have to start developing this skill set. Many large companies are now looking at their managers as coaches. In fact, the following article from Harvard Business Review states that at least one large company, Wells Fargo, expects their managers to spend up to two thirds of their time coaching.

What is the difference between managing and coaching? A manager generally decides the course of action and directs his or her employees to perform those actions. Coaching involves allowing the employee to have a lot more autonomy in the decisions that are made. Coaching also means that you allow the employee to come up with solutions rather than directing them to the solution. It can be a lot more time-consuming, however, the coaching approach has proven to develop employees much faster and with higher quality. Companies are now looking to develop employees who are creative, innovative and self-directed. Management-led coaching is one way to achieve this.

The article from the Harvard Business Review that I referred to is “Finding the Balance Between Coaching and Managing“ by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. It is located here:

Finding the Balance Between Coaching and Managing

New additions to the site:

Leadership Quotes
Stress Relief Techniques

I will be adding to these in the coming weeks. I am also making some new products along this line including an e-book about motivating employees and team building. In the meantime you might enjoy the following links to my website all about employee motivation.
employee motivation ideas
employee motivation technique

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