Building Motivation | Monica Thakrar | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro & Objectives


    • 2.

      The Evolution of Motivation


    • 3.

      Extrinsic Motivation


    • 4.

      Intrinsic Motivation


    • 5.

      Motivation Styles


    • 6.

      Diversity & Motivation


    • 7.

      Addressing Non Performers


    • 8.

      Next Steps & Conclusion


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About This Class

Are you a leader and trying to find ways to engage and motivate your employees? Are you trying to stay motivated yourself in your work? Come and find out about intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, as well as models that can help you to understand yourself and thereby find the motivation you are looking for.

Meet Your Teacher

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Monica Thakrar

Organizational Consultant and Coach


Hello, I'm Monica. I am an organizational consultant and coach based in Washington DC. I have 18 years of experience working with medium and large scale corporate and government clients leading large scale change, teaching leadership classes focused on soft skills such as  emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, presentation skills, and mindfulness. I also am an executive coach helping leaders gain skills and grow in their leadership journey.  I am most passionate about helping leaders and organizations grow into their fullest potential. Sample clients include Marriott, NASA, MedStar, National Science Foundation, and Columbia University.

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Level: Beginner

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3. Extrinsic Motivation: Well, we often think we'll motivate others as rewards, recognitions, and bonuses. Yes, these are definitely important. And letting employees and staff know that you appreciate their effort, performance and want them to know you see it. We call this extrinsic motivation, or motivating people by things outside of them to keep them engaged in their work and the organization. This is important. Extrinsic motivation helps others understand that their work is being valued, respected, as well as noticed. People want to feel like they're contributing as well as doing a good job, even if they are just meeting the standards of their position. For those going above and beyond, they do want promotions, raises, and recognition in other ways as well. There are many ways to use extrinsic motivation as a leader. One is through low or no cost ways of showing appreciation. This can be in the form of handwritten thank you. Notes bringing food in for staff, events, potluck lunches, recognizing someone verbally in a meeting or in writing and see seeing others in the leadership. It could also include things like a lunch with a senior level person or a parking spot that is closer to the building, which in DC can be very valuable. There are many ways to be creative in finding low or no cost ways and showing appreciation to your employees. Now, I don't know about you, but I do expect to get paid for my work. So obviously money is a motivator, right? Or is it interestingly, Monica and I both devote time and energy to doing pro Bono work for deserving organizations all around the world who are doing amazing and important things. But they don't have the funds to pay us. And you know what, we're fine with that. We're not doing it for the money. So money is a motivator, but it's not the only motivator. I presume that you want to get paid for your work and that your staff members expect to receive their salary. But if you're involved in a volunteer organization, then you're obviously motivated by things other than money. So how does money work as a motivator? The current research and motivation theory asserts that you want to pay people enough to get the issue of money off the table. Well, what does that mean? In short, it means that I know I'm getting paid a competitive salary and that in combination with other benefits and factors such as flexibility or location, I know I'm getting a decent deal. Now in addition to basic salary, you may have other extrinsic motivators in your toolkit such as bonuses and awards, special assignments, and perhaps promotions. These can range in level of cost and effort from small on the spot type awards that can be given as a quick recognition for a specific contribution to substantial organization-wide rewards that require recommendations, to significant annual bonuses that are calculated according to particular criteria. Each organization, whether a private sector company, government, agency, or non-profit, differs in their capacity to provide these different types of extrinsic motivators. And there's a wide range of possibilities. Now let's be clear about something. These extrinsic motivators will not lead to sustained self-motivation if they're the only source of motivation. But nobody wants to work with a leader who doesn't show appreciation or can't be bothered to submit them for agency recognition or reward a job well done when their colleagues and other divisions are receiving bonuses and awards. The point is this don't rely on them as your only strategy, but you need to know what's available and use these extrinsic motivators as part of your overall approach to encouraging your team members. Do some research, talk with your colleagues, see what they're using that's working well, and be sure to provide these types of incentives to your team. In the workbook on page 5, make a list of the extrinsic motivators that you know you have access to in your organization. There's a link at the top of the page to a list of examples that might be helpful if there are ideas that come to mind that you're not certain about, put those down with the question mark. Do your homework to find out exactly what extrinsic motivators you might be able to tap into in your particular company, agency, or organization. As an employee, are you getting access to the extrinsic motivators that would be helpful and encouraging to you. And if you're a supervisor, consider whether you are fully utilizing the extrinsic motivators that are available to you to encourage your team members. It's important to do your homework and have as many tools in your toolkit as he possibly can when it comes to extrinsic motivators. Both NO and low cost ways of appreciating people, as well as more traditional motivators such as bonuses and promotions, all work together to help those you work with, see how much you value and appreciate them. But the most engaged, motivated and high morale employees are the ones who are also motivated from the inside. They have found their intrinsic motivation or what motivates them from the inside. And that is what we will talk about in the next section. 4. Intrinsic Motivation: So what does keep them engaged? Intrinsic motivation is really the key component to an engaged and motivated workforce. Intrinsic motivation is what naturally motivates someone to want to work with conviction. The intrinsic motivation of a person ties to the goals, values, and dreams they have internally. And so therefore they are more willing to keep going even when the times get tough. Dan Pink and author who wrote the book, Dr. conducted a lot of research on what motivates people to come to work and perform at high levels. While of course money is at the baseline and everyone needs to take care of themselves and their families. Once the baseline is met, there are three other things which motivated people, according to Dan Pink. The first is autonomy. Have you ever had a micromanager? Well, this is the opposite of that. With autonomy, staff feel like they have the room to create, to be independent and to really take something from start to finish. There is room for them to innovate and to create. An example of this as an Australian software company who gave employees one Friday a month to work on whatever it is that they wanted to do. And the work didn't have to even be connected to their day-to-day role. As a result, this is accompany saw great gains and software patches and new innovative ideas, giving them the time to work on whatever they wanted paid off for this company. While all organizations may not be able to do this extreme, it shows what giving independence, even in small ways, can achieve. The second motivating element that the research emphasizes is mastery. Think about the countless hours people devote to hobbies inside passions, outside of work for no pay whatsoever. For most people, there's an innate drive to get better at things that we care about. Now that's a loaded statement. This drive for mastery has to do with skills we're interested in or have some commitment to. If a staff member hates their job or is in the wrong profession, then you'll need to help them find a role that fits or help them find a different organization where they can pursue what does interest them. But for most being given the opportunity and support to learn, develop, and get better at our profession is an intrinsic motivator. Many of us are internally motivated to get better and better at our craft. And we're willing to put in the time, perhaps even in addition to our paid work, to pursue mastery. So first of all, ask yourself, are you in a field where you're motivated to improve and develop? If you're not, you need to make a change. Secondly, ask your team members what interests them most about their work and find or create opportunities for them to grow and develop. The third intrinsic motivator according to pink, as purpose. Purposes, the idea of being tied to a larger goal, idea or mission. Often those who worked for the government or non-profits are driven by wanting to give back, are working for a larger good and therefore driven by purpose. For example, one gentleman I spoke to, spoke about a time when he was five years old and heard John F Kennedy speak about wanting to send men to the moon. He was so moved by that speech that one of his core values in life with space, astronomy and advancing it. When I met him many years later, guess what his job was? He was the historian at nasa, and every single day you could tell stories about going to the moon and space exploration. Now talk about living your purpose. Take a look at the assessment on page seven in the workbook. What motivates you from within? Are you motivated by autonomy? What about mastery? And what about purpose? For each statement, check the boxes to whether or not this is a motivator for you. As you look across your results, do you see one or more of these areas as important motivators for you? Consider how you can put these insights into action. What steps can you take to build more of your intrinsic motivators into your life and your work. Is this a conversation you should have with your supervisor? And how about others? Perhaps you can show them this list and help them discover how they can be more deeply motivated from within. Motivation, from the inside, coupled with extrinsic motivation or being valued for the work that you already love and want to do is the magic of keeping ourselves and others motivated and engaged. Those extrinsic rewards can help encourage and boost morale, but our internal self-motivation can help us dig deep when we need to and keep us going through the inevitable ups and downs of work and life. And the greater the degree of intrinsic motivation, the more resilient we will be in the face of those external challenges, regardless of whether we're receiving bonuses or on the spot awards. So get to know yourself. Where would you love to have more freedom in your work? What are you driven to learn and master? And what aspects of the mission or inspiring to you. And get to know your people and help them get to know themselves. And what truly motivates them, both from the outside and more importantly, from within. 5. Motivation Styles: In the last section, we looked at intrinsic motivators that have been shown to be fairly common across human behavior. In this section, we want to offer a few tools for considering how each individual may be motivated in very unique ways. You might find it fascinating or maybe overwhelming to consider the fact that every human being yourself included is a unique combination of elements that make us who we are, our upbringing, our cultural heritage, our experiences, our education, our personality. The list is endless. So when it comes to motivation, clearly it's not a one size fits all situation. Different people will respond differently to different conditions and influences is amazingly complex as the human animal is. The good news is there are tools that can help. We're offering a few models that we've seen work for ourselves and for our clients. Of course, these models overlap and relate to one another. And unfortunately there's no single silver bullet that's gonna solve the motivation puzzle for everyone. As we walk through these models, see what resonates for you and consider whether it might be helpful for others. The first one we want to recommend is a Strength Deployment Inventory or SDI. There are a number of valuable aspects to this model. But when it comes to motivation, the SDI offers an interesting insight based upon our motivational value system. In other words, what we value is the source of our underlying motivation for our behavior. Sdi is a simple but insightful model that says that motivation drives behavior. That is, whether we are conscious of it or not. We're behaving a certain way because of our internal motivations are self-perception is driven by our intentions, are what drives us. The problem is that when it comes to how others perceive us and how we perceive others, we can only see the external behaviors, make assumptions and interpret behaviors about their motivations or lack thereof. I like to use the teaching example. If you see me in front of a classroom, all you can see is that I'm teaching. But what you don't know is why? What's motivating me? All you can see is my external behavior, but you don't know what my underlying motives are. The SDI model offers three core elements that blend to create our motivational value system. And the value center around the three P's. The first is people. For some people, a strong source of motivation is the drive to help others, to assist in practical ways and focus on the impact on others. The second is process, or the drive to establish effective, orderly processes and systems, especially those that support self-reliance and independence on others. The third one is performance or the drive to achieve results, have an impact or get things done to be productive for the sake of getting an outcome. People are often motivated by one or a combination of two of these motivators. Psalm are motivated by all three and there what were called in the hub. The hub folks are driven to maintain balance and are driven by flexibility. Back to my teaching example. I might be teaching to be helpful, or I might be doing it because it's a job and it just needs to get done. Or perhaps I'm motivated to do it efficiently and effectively, or some combination thereof. So if you want to motivate yourself or help someone else discovered their motivation, you might point out that teaching is helpful to grow other people. Like how I do it. Or you do it to get better results in an organization. Or you might do it to set some process standards so everyone teaches and just the same efficient way. All three can motivate some people, but you need to know yourself and others. And what motivates them. Understanding this model has helped me incredibly. I found out that I was at red and the blue, which means I am motivated by both people and performance. In fact, I want to get things done by helping people as a leadership trainer and coach and makes perfect sense that I ended up with both of these motivators as every day I'm helping people to get results. A model for motivation that's been incredibly powerful for me is the four tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. It's a very simple yet insightful take on what motivates us into action. The models based on a single simple yet powerful question. How do I respond to expectations? She points out that we all face two kinds of expectations, outer expectations and inner expectations. Our expectations are those that come from others such as family members, clients, colleagues, supervisors, our community and others. These might sound like, I need you to do this or you really ought to do that. And then there are inner expectations. These are the things that we expect of ourselves. These are the little voice inside you that says, I really should do this or I ought to do that. The key insight is to consider how you respond to each type of expectation. A relatively small percentage of people respond to both outer expectations and inner expectations. These people are called upholders. They do at all. These are the folks who are compelled to fill the gap and respond to the needs and expectations around them. They're also internally driven and they live up to their own expectations of themselves. My executive assistant jury Gelman, is the classic example of an upholder. She's the chairwoman of the PTO for her children's school. She's the treasurer for the swim team. She volunteers at the church all while supporting multiple, demanding and difficult clients. I mean, not me, of course, she loves me. But if you think that's amazing, she also runs 50 mile marathons and is impressively disciplined about her nutrition and health. Why does she do all this? Because she's motivated by external expectations as well as internal expectations. Now before you get jealous, of course, there's a potential downside to each tendency. Upholders can get easily burned out by taking on too much and they might get irritated with the rest of us mortals who aren't stepping up and doing as much as they think we should. A second large category are those who are motivated by internal expectations but resist external expectations. These folks are called questioners because they question external expectations. They need information or justification before they can internalize it and turn it into an internal expectation. If they get what they need, they'll take action. If they value the rationale or justification, They'll do what others expect. But if they don't, they'll resist. They'll question the reasoning. And they may even dig in if they don't think it's justified. The third category is those who are motivated primarily by external expectations, whether it's family members, colleagues, clients, or community members, obliges are motivated by what others expect of them. This is great when it comes to being helpful and productive as a team member. But the problem arises when it comes to meeting our own internal expectations. Obliges may well know what they ought to do and even want to do, but they have a hard time taking action unless someone else's expectations are involved. The final category is a small but interesting one. Rebels are those who resist both external and internal expectations. In fact, the very word, expectation can rub them the wrong way. These folks are motivated by freedom and flexibility. They're motivated to take action on what they're inspired to do in the moment. And in fact, they'll resist what others expect of them and even what they may expect of themselves. In fact, if you tell them they ought to do something, that's a sure-fire way to ensure that they won't do it, even if they would have wanted to otherwise. The four tendencies was a powerful insight for me personally. I realized that as an oblige her, I spend tremendous time and energy meeting the needs of others, but I don't take action on the things I know I ought to do or even things I enjoy doing, unless someone else's involved. I've harnessed this motivator and simply involve others in getting me into action. And the results have been incredible. Air numerous other models that might offer insight for you and others into motivational styles. There are a few that we work with regularly that also can get to motivation. One is the strengths finder assessment, which focuses on identifying our key strengths. Learning our key strengths can help and then helping us lean into what comes naturally to us and just getting better and better at it. Another one is the Myers-Briggs assessment, which is a very common and widely used personality assessment. It focuses on personality type and what drives us in the context of being an introvert or an extrovert. Being big picture are detail-oriented, focusing on the people or multiple different factors including people when making a decision and whether we are a planner or spontaneous. These again, help us identify how we're motivated. Finally, the disc assessment helps to identify our natural tendency in behaviors, focus on four different behavioral types. On page 10 in the workbook, there are links to summary worksheets for each of these models. Pick one that you're not familiar with and review the summary worksheet to see if that particular model peaks your interest. If you think any of these might be useful, we'd be happy to provide you help and your team to take the assessment and get a detailed and insightful report. We've worked with hundreds of clients over the years. And while no single assessment works for everyone, we have consistently found that one more of these assessments can provide tremendous insights when it comes to learning about your own motivations and the motivations of others. As for so many things in leadership, it is not a one size fits all different things motivate different people. Taking the time to explore and learn about each person you manage or work with is so critical for what works for one, might not work for another. Being open to learn about each individual and see what really drives them will help you in becoming the best leader you can be while helping to create the environment for others to flourish. 7. Addressing Non Performers: It's important to acknowledge that no matter what you try, you may not find the key that helps someone unlock their motivation. And the reality is that you have a business to run, a mission to accomplish, and results to achieve. Helping others find their motivation is an important means to the end. But you can't pour endless time and resources into helping someone find their motivation. At the end of the day, if it's not working, you have to face the reality that this may just not be the right place for them. I'm not saying that you should rush to this judgment or make a snap decision. First, try a variety of methods and offer them various tools and models to see if you can help them discover for themselves what makes them tick. But if it's not working, you'll need to move to step two. You should follow the specific process that your organization or agency or company requires in handling non-performing staff. This might involve detailed documentation of performance issues and establishing a performance improvement plan of some type, whichever your company, agency or organization uses, lay out a plan of action, monitor progress, and give them an honest opportunity to turn things around. Talk with your human resources staff, and get advice from other experienced managers so that you're clearly aware of your organization's requirements for managing a non-performing employee. And if you're not in a position of authority, you should be aware of and follow the designated steps for raising the issue appropriately. And finally, if the employee's motivation and performance does not improve, it may be time to help them find a better fit somewhere else. You've gotta be prepared for this situation. If you haven't faced it already, you will. At some point, you need to know what steps to take in your company, agency, or organization, but you must take action and address the issue. One of the guaranteed ways to demotivate your productive team members is to tolerate non-performance. On pages 15 and 16, there are three case studies describing team members who were having serious motivation challenges. Pick one case study that sounds particularly challenging to you. Consider what steps you should take and who you might reach out to for assistance. If you don't know right away what steps you should take, then do your homework, get some input, and find out you need to be prepared to handle these and other challenging performance situations before they arise. And know what experts you can reach out to for support before you need them. As with anything, things are harder to manage on the backend. As a leader, if you are in the position to hire someone, take your time and make a careful higher if possible, remember to hire slow and fire fast. I know in some environments that is not possible. But as you know, with poor performers, the better you can do with hiring on the front end, that less headache you're going to have on the backend. If you do have a non performer who has not responded to your attempts to help have the courage to take action. For many managers, this can run the risk of formal complaints and even lawsuits. The fact is this is the reality of your position. Get the help you need from qualified experts, uh, take the necessary action. This is a hallmark of leadership. 8. Next Steps & Conclusion: We hope that you have found this material helpful. Clearly, this is just the tip of the iceberg, but we hope this has inspired you and dare I say, motivated you to implement what you've picked up here and pursue learning even more. The key is this. The models and strategies that work for you that help you tap into your intrinsic motivations and your unique motivational style. Don't assume that the same tools that work for you will work for everyone else, but offer them to others and explore a variety of models and resources to see what works for different people. So now it's time to pull it all together. On page 17 and 18, collect your insights from the various topics we've covered and compile a set of motivation strategies that apply for you. Who should you share these insights with? Probably your supervisor for sure. But how about other key colleagues and even your direct reports? It might be helpful for them to know what motivates you as their supervisor. And consider how you can share this material with others so that they can learn about their own sources of motivation. There are several suggestions for going deeper into this topic at the bottom of page 19 and plenty of resources for you to dive into on pages 20 and 21. And finally on page 22, there are links to several additional courses for you to explore and continue to expand your capacity and related areas, be aware of and utilize the extrinsic motivators that you have at your disposal to encourage and reward your team members. But remember that your role is to create an environment where they can find their own sources of motivation and where that motivation can grow and thrive. As Dan Pink likes to say, people are not just smaller, slower, better smelling horses. We are indeed far more complicated. But we are also when motivated, far more capable of such amazing things.