Motivation is one of the most vital and essential aspects ofleadership and one of the most confused and misunderstood. The result of thisconfusion and misunderstanding is leaders who have become blind to what doesand doesn't work - Susan Fowler
'Top leadership researcher, consultant, and coach Susan Fowler says stop trying to motivate people! It's frustrating for everyone involved and it just doesn't work. You can't motivate people-they are already motivated but generally in superficial and short-term ways. In this book, Fowler builds upon. Susan Fowler has a different approach to leadership. Susan is the author of six books on leadership; with a focus on self-leadership. Susan discusses the new science of motivation and how this should be incorporated in leadership practices. Susan will share what underlies the new science motivation, leadership, mindfulness, and guidance.
One of myjoys and strengths as a manager is motivating my team. I always try to have funand engage everyone to bring out their gifts for success. In particular, I havea knack for coming up with zany sales contests that encourage everyone toparticipate and achieve. Rarely has energizing everyone and being anenthusiastic coach failed me. When I saw the book Why Motivating People Doesn't work and What Does - The New Science ofLeading, Energizing, andEngagingby Susan Fowler I had to read it. According to Susan, all of my contests,prizes, encouragement are key failures in motivating people. Huh? My insularmanagement world came crashing down.
One of thekey drivers that Susan introduces is that we don’t need to motivate our people.They are already motivated; we just need to discover what motivates each individual.Managers simply don’t know or don’t ask what motivates their people so there isa clear disconnect. Managers seem to think that people are motivated primarilyby external factors such as money, cash prizes, trinkets, and promotions. Ifyou can provide those things you are a great manager. It’s not that easy!Employees prefer more internal motivators that they can control such aschallenging and interesting work, growth opportunities, or learningexperiences. See the problem? As managers, we tend to view what we think drivesour employees and sometimes employees don’t even know what drives them becauseno one has asked. Certainly, some employees may never be happy. Motivation is atwo-way street and a skill that some people refuse to embrace learning whatmotivates them and how to create motivation in their lives.
Susanintroduces us to several models and tools in Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work. One of the key elements is theSpectrum of Motivation model. There are 6 motivational outlooks and you willquickly notice that 3 are an optimal state, which we call health food, and 3are a suboptimal state, called junk food. This spectrum helps us to understandpeople and their outlooks on factors such as well-being, productivity,long-term performance. We want to steer people towards optimal factors forcontinuous motivation and success.
- Disinterestedmotivational outlook
- Externalmotivational outlook
- Imposedmotivational outlook
- Alignedmotivational outlook
- Integratedmotivational outlook
- Inherentmotivational outlook
In order tomotivate people you also need to understand the 3 psychological needs formotivation that people have. They are quite simple and you probably look forthem every day in your own work. They include autonomy, relatedness, and competence.Without the presence of these factors, your people will never experienceoptimal motivation.
Moreover, inorder to protect ourselves from distractions and for sustained motivation weall need to look inward. If leaders don’t do this themselves they will have animpossible job of bringing it out in their people. Internally we all needmindfulness so that we are aware of the here and now and can react withoutjudgment. Often we catch a glimpse of this when we meditate and then use theskill every day. Second, we need to determine and live our own values. Theseare the standards that differentiate people. Last, we all need to know ourpurpose. This is a tough one for a lot of folks. We should all discover ourmeaningful reason for living our lives and live by our values.
Susan takesus on the motivation journey by sharing the skills that leaders need in orderto “activate” the motivation within our people to reach the optimal state ofmotivation. Once we’ve made progress in this area we need to master theconversations that we have with people to impact their outlook. Theseconversations should take place when we need to motivate poor performance butalso need to take place with our high achievers or those that have questions tomaintain their motivation. To do this, leaders need to be prepared, trust theprocesses that Susan shares, and step back to reflect.
Along withthe growth in motivation, we have challenges. Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work shares 5 beliefs that reallydamage workplace motivation. They are those that we run into daily and we allcringe because they leave out the human element.
- It’s not personal, it’s business
- The purpose of business is to make money
- Leaders are in a position of power
- The only thing that really matters isresults.
- If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter.
Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work is like a story as we move throughwhat motivates people and how to be successful in guiding them. Susan sharesnumerous tools and real life stories to drive her point across and to help usgrow as leaders. The last chapter in the book has some helpful frequently askedquestions in case you want additional clarification. Moreover, it’s refreshingto read how other leaders have struggled or accomplished the nuances ofmotivation.
This bookkept me glued to the pages to learn what I was doing wrong in my motivationalefforts. While I thought my contests, fun antics, and focus on results was thereason for our success, it wasn’t. Without realizing it I was doing the rightthings because I talked with my people individually to find their strengths andplay to them. I learned what motivated them and how to bring out their best.Their optimal motivation remained elevated because I played to their internalneeds without even realizing it. Are you ready to face the traditional methodsof motivation and turn them upside down?
In this episode, Susan Fowler explores how most companies expect managers to motivate their people to accomplish goals. Managers may try many different methods to encourage people to reach their goals, from rewards and recognition to pressure and intimidation. But research indicates that these methods just don’t work. “When did we get to the point that people have to be motivated by carrots and sticks—carrots representing incentives or bribes, and sticks representing pressure, threats and tension?” asks Fowler.
Many people may not be aware of new research showing that the real secret to motivation is creating an environment where people are optimally motivated to perform at their highest level.
“Look at your own beliefs,” says Fowler. “Do you think people are basically lazy and won’t do what you want them to do, or do you believe people want to thrive and make a contribution in their role? Do you believe people are more motivated extrinsically or intrinsically?”
Research indicates that people want to thrive and that intrinsic rewards are more sustainably motivating than extrinsic rewards. Problems arise when managers don’t believe people want to succeed or when they default to extrinsic reward systems to improve performance.
Fowler describes three conversations managers can have with direct reports. Each includes a separate set of questions to help analyze a direct report’s motivation on certain projects or tasks. The first set of questions gets to the root of the psychological need for autonomy: does the direct report feel good or bad about the choices available to them on their task? Everyone needs a sense of control over what they do. The second set of questions focuses on the psychological need for connection or relatedness and helps identify values and purpose. The third set of questions relates to the psychological need for competence and describes the skills the person brings to the task.
When the manager asks the direct report questions that put them in touch with their needs for choice, connection, and competence, the direct report is able to find their own source of motivation internally—and that is the most powerful motivation.
“You must remember to be mindful and not judgmental when having these conversations with your staff,” Fowler says. “By asking these questions, you are helping people to be more self-aware and to explore what their motivational outlook is all about.”
Fowler believes managers can create an environment where their people can have a better quality of life. “It’s not that we don’t want money—we are all motivated by money, power, and status—but there are other options that serve us and the people around us more effectively. We need to become more aware of why we are motivating people the way we are, and what is motivating us.” Fowler encourages you to ask yourself these three questions: (1) Why do I make the choices I make? (2) How do I feel a greater connection? and (3) How do I learn and grow every day?
About The Ken Blanchard Companies
The Ken Blanchard Companies is the global leader in management training. For nearly 40 years, Blanchard has been creating the best managers in the world, training over 150,000 people each year. From the award-winning First-time Manager program—based on the best-selling business book, The New One Minute Manager®—to SLII®, the most widely taught leadership model in the world, Blanchard is the provider of choice of Fortune 500 companies as well as small to medium businesses, government agencies, and educational and nonprofit organizations.
How To Motivate People
For more information about Susan Fowler, go to http://susanfowler.com/
Motivating People To Work