I have come to the realization that motivation can be easily misunderstood by different people based on their previous experiences or concepts that they may have been taught at some point in life. What is motivation to one person can be something totally different to another. In this post I would like to share my understanding of what motivates people to do certain things.
So your first question might probably be, “What is motivation?” Here’s a definition that I took from the Wikipedia website,
“Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behavior. It represents the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as one’s direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior and vice versa.”
Professional psychologists understand this concept better than most people, which is why some of them are engaged by entities such as sports teams. They do not just see things at the surface level but dig deeper to understand human behaviour and give relevant advice or instructions to achieve given objectives.
Consider how sports team coaches have differing impact on players. One coach may successfully achieve the required results from a team while another may fail to do likewise. It comes down to understanding what makes the players tick, what doesn’t and making good decisions based on that information.
One important principle to always remember when dealing with people is this,
“People are naturally self-centred”
So, in order to win with people you need the ability to help them achieve their desires and outcomes. People naturally gravitate towards people that have their interests at heart. This is how the Bible puts it,
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 2:4-5
Here are 3 basic principles to remember on how to motivate people the next time you are leading people in any project or undertaking that you may embark on:
1. Speak their language
Imagine you speak English and you travel to say, France. If you attempted to speak to the French in English how well do you think you would be able to build relationship with the people there? The chances are pretty slim aren’t they? One of my mentors once said to me, “People will buy from you if they like you and trust you.”
Failure to do that will not get you very far in terms of having influence with people. Listen attentively to what people say and to show that you understand them repeat back what they said using the exact words. When you understand what motivates people you build instant rapport with them.
2. Demonstrate your ability to help
As you get an understanding of people’s problems show them that you can help them overcome them. You could show them a track record of your success and explain how you can solve their particular problem. People are more inclined to listen to a person who demonstrates that they can solve their problems.
You often see this happening with very successful business leaders, teachers, sports coaches, ministers, etc. A mediocre team can make a transition from average to good or even great in a short space of time as a result of the pedigree of a leader who has a track record of success.
3. Lead with your heart
In Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” he teaches that people are not creatures of logic but of emotion. That is how you ought to deal with people. Connect with them at the heart level. People make few decisions based on logic and most based on emotion.
Appeal to that side of people and show them the way to achieve their desired outcomes that serve their best interests.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope you will take away some lessons that you can begin to apply immediately. Remember to share the post on social and let us know what you think in the comments section below. Until next time,
Be all you can be!