LifeWorks Today Podcast → 04 How Can I Motivate Them?

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Episode Title:  How Can I Motivate Them?

Quote“We are made wise NOT by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” 

Famous playwright and political activist George Bernard Shaw

Overview: In my work with clients, I often hear people say, “how can I motivate this person to do what they’re supposed to? They’re lazy. They’re unmotivated.” The truth is people are always motivated. They’re just not always motivated to do what YOU want them to do.

What’s occurred generally is that they’re resistant to the well-intentioned but discouraging methods imposed on them in an effort to gain their participation. Leaders must change tactics and make the effective transfer of responsibility a top priority. Self-management, initiative and accountability are key and depend heavily on intrinsic motivators – psychological rewards people get from self-management. The four intrinsic motivators are a sense of meaningfulness, choice, competence and progress.

In this episode, I will review four intrinsic motivators. When we dismantle extrinsic or external motivation tactics, we must simultaneously develop intrinsic motivation or internal motivation tactics. These include a:

  • Sense of meaningfulness
  • Sense of choice
  • Sense of competency
  • Sense of progress

Questions to Ponder:

  1. Why do we jump to rescue and enable people rather than assist them in developing task ownership and intrinsic motivation?
  2. Why do we continue to say what people have already heard and already know?

Episode Guest: Tara Gregor

Tara is the founder and CEO of Breakwell, a resource hub for holistic wellness. Her website (which is expresses what they provide: “Easy Assessable Self-Care for Busy Employees. She also shares that when employee health suffers, your company suffers. Unhappy, unhealthy employees affect:

  • Absenteeism
  • Performance
  • Customer Experience
  • Quality
  • Profit

Tara is THE between those seeking wellness (all types – emotional, social, financial, physical, mental, and career wellness) – and matches them with proven wellness experts and practitioners. What’s amazing about her services is that she uses a Wellness Integration Framework so that she can help primarily businesses assess various wellness areas for their people and then Tara recommends where there are gaps and how to prioritize and then improve them utilizing various wellness subject matter experts.

Tara knows people are complex and that wellness is more than that of our physical bodies alone. Tara and I are not only friends, we are strategic partners. I invited Tara on the show today because in a recent presentation she asked that I deliver for Professional Women’s Association (she is the program chair for that group) she said she appreciated the concept that what we rescue we make weak and that when there’s an under-performer, there’s an over-performing authority figure. That fits in with today’s episode.

Keywords:  extrinsic motivation vs. intrinsic motivation,

Story: 10-year grandson who didn’t shower was a teachable moment about choice, personal responsibility. Also, there is a story about a person who used a frustration tool with her C-suite executives and how good it was for her to take care of her yard.

Episode Topics:

Review of last episodes: the importance in dismantling the four control models (autocratic, incentives, shaming and praising, over-compensating) and replacing it with a responsibility-based model, inferiority complex, the first three relationships to manage first (self, authorities and peers), four core needs, and emotional intelligence.

In this episode, we focus on:

  • Self-motivation, self-management
  • Organizational barriers
  • Four intrinsic motivators

Self-motivation, self-management: What you protect you make weak.Because of the control models, our prisons are over-crowded. We can be self-aware when we have compassion and know we are worthy.

Organizational barriers: When there’s an under-performing person, there’s an over-performing authority figure. Leaders must make effective transfer of responsibility. We should not assume people are unmotivated, ever. Leaders get scared of the power of their people if they have fear and lack self-worth. Leaders need to know: SLAM – Say Less, Ask More. We often fail initially in this because we were raised this way. Sometimes there is resistance to assessment. You have to have proactive and preventative convictions about the assessment process. Our passion becomes contagious. Too much control burns people out.

Four intrinsic motivators: These are:

  • Sense of meaningfulness: People need to be inspired about what they are doing. It’s not a nice-to-have; it’s a need-to-have. To do this,
    • cynicism must be addressed. Cynicism is a coping mechanism more prevalent in a mediocre culture
    • passions need to be made evident and acknowledged and emotions expressed – be with them in it – what’s your vision?
    • recognizing the connection between their work and the larger purpose of the company. Too often people are detached from their feelings (physical and emotional) and desires
  • Sense of choice: People need to know they have a say. We can’t say “yes” if we can’t say “no.” Autonomy is knowing you can influence your job or your relationships. Leaders can’t afford to skip this for expediency. It will breed toxicity. Most people have not been given these tools and this information.
    • delegating as much as possible to people
    • demonstrate trust in people; train them and then let them go
    • make mistakes ok – encourage initiative and discuss what’s being learned and make sure people know they’re not going to punished or ‘in trouble’
    • give people third options – consider ways for people to make choices within their role and relationships
  • Sense of competency: This is when people have the job skills they need. Make sure you err on the side of over-communicating with people so they have the specifics in being prepared for their roles. This prevents unnecessary stress, and allows them to get masterful quickly. This includes:
    • mentoring people so they can be confident in everything, including their job skills, relationships, etc.
    • training properly
    • provide feedback in a supportive manner so they grow in evaluating themselves
    • recognize and acknowledge skills so people don’t only focus on what they do wrong
    • challenge level should be monitored – give people enough challenge so they are not bored, and make sure they don’t have so much challenge they get overwhelmed and discouraged – ask questions to find out
    • high expectations without comparisons or competition – everyone is different and it’s not fair to do this and it discourages – even the praised person is stressed by this
  • Sense of progress: This is when you pay attention to successes and you celebrate them along the way. Leaders score-keep and cheer for successes
    • tie success to the larger community being served – “because of your work, we were able to get further…”
    • identify short milestones – identify steps along the way
    • how will they celebrate success – find out what is a rewarding way people can celebrate themself and share it with community. Make sure they know how to measure success in a positive way (score-keeping and cheer-leading may be reminding people to only assess their ‘yard’) You want people to be proud of themselves. Do not use incentive and reward systems. These are extrinsic motivators

Resources: There are many articles related to this topic. Judy’s articles on the topic of motivation include:

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Interview Transcript

Welcome To Life Works today this podcast is provided so that together we can create a world in which all people love their lives our current human systems aren’t working the way of superior versus inferior or management versus employee or adult versus child we need a powerful positive and sustainable transformation this podcast is for you who seek to be happy fulfilled and peaceful so that your Abundant Life Works today welcome back to our podcast life works today I’m really excited to be here this is our fourth episode and it’s called how can I motivate them because so we’re going to be talking a little bit about our frustrations with people who don’t seem to be very motivated but before we get into all of that I just want to kind of remind you of some of the things that were in our past episodes in fact if you haven’t listened to them I highly encourage you to do so because a lot of this information kind of Builds on what’s been said before so one of the things that I really want you to remember is the importance of dismantling the power over control models that we all use which if you remember those are things like autocratic you know punishing and power over Dynamics when we use uh incentives and rewards to kind of bribe people when we judge them either by shaming or praising them or when we are enabling them in over compensating for them some of that we’re going to be talking about especially that last one a lot of times we don’t realize we’re doing that so um if you remember I spoke about moving people out of the conditions that cause them to be in What’s called the com the inferiority complex and it actually is that those control tactics cause a lot of the inferiority complex so I just uh read an article this weekend I can’t remember the exact name but I’ll post it on this episode but it was about you know not using punishment in school because usually the most discouraged kids are ones that have been through some sort of really negative experience in their in their family or in their community and they’re the last people that need to be uh dominated with methods that cause them pain so it’s really interesting they talk a little bit in that article very similar to our work how do you shift from having a you know you got to make people pay a price if they misbehave to one in which people want to do the right thing for a completely different set of conditions that you’re providing them so those conditions are where I talked about needing to have a healthy sense of belonging and significance where people feel empowered they feel lovable they feel connected and they feel contributing and that means our primary job with each other instead of judging and managing people and and uh trying to bribe them and and spoil them it our job is really to help them pick up responsibility for owning their uh man management of their relationships their management of their own mood and their own engagement their own productivity and even their own life plan so that’s a that’s a new change process for everybody involved and so we talked a little bit in the past about the self-management and also what relationships do people need to manage in order to influence and and lead other people and if you remember that was managing yourself first then managing your relationships with any authority figures and then managing relationships with your peers and by the time you get through all of that you’re going to be very influential without even having to focus on how to help lead others because you will have already learned internally so many important lessons that help you naturally help other people so in today’s episode I want to talk about that self motivation that self-management um so the the real question is you know that I want you guys to be thinking about is why are so many people disengaged and why do so many people people seem so unmotivated so I love quotes and I’m going to be always sharing a quote with you so I I brought this one in today by famous playwright and political act activist George Bernard Shaw and this is what he said he said we’re made wise not by the recollection of our past but by the responsibility for our future and I just thought that was so fitting because if we keep pulling the past into our present day practices we won’t be responsible for our future because we’ll continue to do the same things that get us the low disengagement levels that we already have and they’re so terrible that when we measure them year after year after year it’s always at least about 70% of the population who are in disengagement mode either greatly disengaged or moderately disengaged but definitely not in the A+ Camp so um sometimes we think it’s our job to get that engagement up in others to motivate them but it’s it’s not our job in fact one of the things we’re going to be talking about with our guest today is that what you protect what you rescue what you enable and what you do for others that they can do for themselves or saying anything that they’ve already heard you make them weak so what you protect you make weak and that’s why when you see an underperforming supposedly unmotivated person there’s an overperforming authority figure so when I’m working with clients I I’m often asked you know how can I motivate these people uh they’re lazy they’re unmotivated but the truth is people are always motivated they’re just not always motivated to do what you want them to do so what’s occurred generally is that they’re resistance to like well-intentioned but discouraging methods that have been imposed on them so leaders must really change their tactics and make effective transfer of responsibility that top priority and that gets you people that are self-managed they take initiative they have accountability and you can depend on them to be governing themselves so today in in today’s episode we’re going to talk about four intrinsic motivators that would be used instead of the four control extrinsic motivators I want to cover that because if we’re going to let go of the control we’ve got to replace it with something and um so we’ll be talking about that during the session but I want to go ahead now and I want to introduce Our Guest to you uh I’m so excited to have her here it’s ter Gregor who has fast become a great friend and a kindred soul with me we clicked the very first time we met and it just gets better and better every time we meet and work on something together so Tara is the founder and CEO of breakwell a resource hub for holistic Wellness her website puts it very well when it says easy accessible self-care for busy employees I would even say busy parents busy people because we’re all so darn busy these days so we don’t always take care of ourselves she also shares on her website that when uh employees health suffers the company suffers so unhappy unhealthy employees affect absenteeism performance customers experience quality and ultimately profitability what I like about Tara is she’s the between the people that are seeking Wellness including every type so she’s not only just covering physical wellness she’s covering emotional social Financial physical mental and career Wellness she matches them with proven wellness and experts and practitioners and what’s really amazing about her Services is that she uses a wellness integration framework and that might sound like what the heck is that a framework is simply she has like coordinated collected and organized ways for people to be have at access at their fingertips understanding what sort of Wellness um Services they need where to find them that’s what a a framework does for you at organizes all of the services that you need and allows you to interact with that framework so you not only know what to prioritize first but where to go to get the help so Tara knows that people are complex and that Wellness is more than our physical bodies alone so Tara and I are not only friends we’re also strategic Partners I invited Tara on this particular show today because in a recent presentation I delivered uh she actually asked me to speak for the professional women’s Association I think you’re the program chair for this right okay um she said that she really appreciated the concept that what we rescue we make weak and that when there’s an underperformer there’s an overperforming authority figure and so because that fits in with today’s episode um I really was excited to have Tara on this particular one so Tara before we go further into today’s topic do you want to add anything else about yourself and your work with breakwell well first thank you for inviting me you know I’m a huge fan of you in life workk systems so when I started my business two years ago it started really in focusing on the physical well-being for employees and as I started talking to employees and employers it really changed into something much deeper and on a universal level what life work systems is offering is what I found what all the companies actually needed so starting on that on that Foundation of compan um sorry of employees feeling heard and valued is what was important before we could even focus on the physical piece we really needed to dig a lot deeper so thank you for having I love that you said heard and valued because that’s um our core need needed feeling of feeling lovable which is not feeling loved it’s feeling seen and heard and we’re so busy reacting and speaking over top of each other we don’t always listen very well so it it is it’s a discipline to slow down really Tak in what somebody’s saying we even talk about it in terms of meeting bids so if you were to say to me oh my gosh I got a new client and I said oh Terry you are so excited that is amazing now I’ve met I’ve heard you and I’ve expressed that I’ve heard you and and that helps us all and I remember recently reading that only in the the best relationships that’s only happening 22% of the time isn’t that kind of shocking so you wonder what those terrible relationships are you know are going through so Tara when when I was thinking about this topic uh how can I motivate them it sounds like such a reasonable question right um right and yet it sort of presumes that people aren’t motivated so I really want people to really get that message everybody’s motivated all the time that’s a big Concept in adaran Psychology is that everything we doing is purposeful but we may be doing it out of a place of discouragement a sense of inadequacy a sense of worthlessness those are the things that can often be behind the primary motivators in our life until they aren’t you know so um I was teaching a group in Florida this past week and the the owner was this well-intended guy but he said way too much and he was always kind of jumping in with Solutions and so when we went over the control models I asked all the managers including him you know which of the control models do you do the most and they all pointed at him and said pamper and spoil you know so I said to Dave his name was Dave I said um say less ask more so one of the employees jumped up and and he wrote on the board slam so you might want to remember that when you hear yourself doing more than you than the other person’s doing and you can kind of see it if you look you’re think you might even think you know why am I more invested in this than they are MH that’s a cue or or if somebody’s underperforming to in your own head hear yourself say say less ask more say less ask more I like it yes so I had I had a grandson who I told him to go take a shower last week and he said he was in town visiting me and he said he would and that first thing in the morning and so when I came back from the pwa meeting he hadn’t showered so I said what do you think think I’m thinking of right now because I could have said why didn’t you take your shower but he already knew what what was going on so when I asked him he said I think you think I should take a shower and I said well you said you would MH and I didn’t say anything else I didn’t ask him anything else I didn’t say anything else so a little while later he comes in he still hasn’t showered so I said what do you think I’m thinking now and he goes you think I should take a shower and I go actually I appreciate you taking a guess but what I’m really thinking now is I wonder why you’re saying no under the table I wonder why you think you can’t just say no to me on the table or even have a conversation to negotiate so that’s what we do a lot of times we don’t uh think that we even have a voice and so then we we immediately go into either a quiet Rebellion which is what he was doing I don’t even know that he was aware he was doing it sure but it’s important for us to help people see what they’re doing in a non you know harmful way and then I said to him you know do you feel like you can say know to people and he said not really that’s what I was going to ask is it the environment that invites that that conversation well even though his parents are trying not to be overly controlling we’re all conditioned to be put your shoes on go out the door you know and so it’s hard to not as you know as a parent right every morning two hours ago so just imagine what you wouldn’t be saying if you made a decision I’m not going to say anything they already know like you’d be going you know what do I do with this so that’s where you say hey what should you be doing about now what do you think’s going to happen today where we’re all at in Readiness like those are weird things for us to consider but it is hard especially when the the bus is going to be there in five minutes you know right and sometimes we need to have that conversation prior to them getting on the bus like maybe the night before you say hey I notice in the morning I’m always nagging you guys and bossing you I would like to occasionally in the morning now I’m going to stop doing that but I will occasionally ask you how you doing on your schedule and then you get to tell me how you’re doing on your schedule because I want you to feel that you have your own power and your own control and you want to show me that you can manage it that’s what it means to start growing up and I want to give you that freedom and I want to give you that power see we don’t do that we it’s just so expedient to say get your coat on get your hat on absolutely I wish I would have known this a few years ago when I was in middle management for a decade and the micromanaging of my department and my team but it was like that’s what I thought I had to do at that time to get the results that I wanted and I never got them which led to my frustration yes a lot of people say that I wish I would have known this you know but I think we also have to have that compassion that when we don’t know we don’t know and um the truth of it is we’re all sort of swimming in the control models in fact as you shift out of them you’ll find that some people are a little threatened by that because what do you mean you’re not going to lay down the law what do you mean you’re going to ask them questions you just need to tell them who’s boss right so so it’s it’s understandable that all of us would grab those and that it’s difficult to start reducing them and and the only way we’re going to do it is if we have compassion on ourselves so where does that come from does that come from the top down because when I look back again I was in middle management I ran a department of about 20 employees and so I worked with the executive team but that’s how they managed even though I had to filter my style because I knew that would not have been received to my department um but yeah so where does that come from where does that change great question so it comes from probably your childhood because we’re all raised in these homes where you know do it cuz I said so or do it and I’ll take you to McDonald’s or do it because it makes me proud or it makes me disappointed or do it because I’m going to help you all the time and I’m going to remind you all the time right so we were done that that was done for most of us very rarely did we have people developing us we had people trying to kind of get us to do things the way they wanted and so then we go into schools same story right remember that I mean generally unless you went to like a monu school or something you you were taught just to do what you’re told Catholic School 12 years Catholic school’s really bad no offense to the Catholic listeners I have no beef with the Catholic church but they were pretty tough on us when we were growing up but also in uh workplaces everywhere this is the norm so where does it change it it changes when people get so aware that the control models don’t ultimately do the trick in fact in this article that I’m really going to push right now to the listeners about you know not punishing in school anymore I want you to look at some of the statistics in that article about how overcrowded our prisons are and how absolutely clear it is that using control and domination tactics are not working to change Behavior so that’s first step then the second step is kind of tricky because people in organizations they need to know how to start transitioning over to something to something different and that something different they have to be patient with themselves they have to be patient with their employees they have to know that sometimes they’re going to go to the old because they haven’t quite fit in the new yet or people haven’t gotten used to the new and so uh and and it can also be hard for an employee to do this or a manager to do this because occasionally the senior Executives will be uncomfortable with somebody bringing in a model like that because it then threatens their way of doing that’s what I was just going to ask is awareness actually a threat it can be you know I there’s a story of this one um group who big group about 5 people who did this work in their three departments and one of them used one of the tools with a senior executive it was called the frustration tool okay and she went to him and said hey I noticed that I don’t like it when you change meetings on me and you don’t tell me because what I really want is a lot of mutual respect and I want to feel peaceful about knowing where I have to go and everything so what I want is I want for you to make sure that you either email me text me or call me if you’re going to change a meeting are you willing and he said to her her who the hell do you think you are lady I pay your paycheck you don’t pay my paycheck how dare you now this was a very timid person who it was hard for her to go do this but she also was tired of feeling like she would treat herself as a doormat and she was also always afraid she was going to hurt people’s feelings so when she learned this tool she realized this is a way I can respect both of us and and stand for Change and so when she came back she was shaking you know and she told me about it and I said well you only are responsible for your yard you knew what you wanted to do why you wanted to do it how it aligned with your purpose you took time to practice it how did you do she said I’m actually for that part I’m totally proud of myself I said that’s the only part you get to look at his yard is his yard so about three months later he said to her or she said to me he’s not done that to me again not only that he’s coming around going what’s this stuff you guys are doing over here and then he’ll say uh I got a lot of Gossip in my department and she’ll say we used to have that too so she’s kind of planting seeds and she hears him going going to her boss which is another sea Suite executive and saying what are you guys doing over here and then people that leave his Department are seeing night and day differences so even in a setting where the seite some of the seite leaders are not on board what we see is they stop being a barrier so they don’t always if their egos are somewhat strong they can handle that if they’re real uncomfortable with a more conscious way of operating people probably won’t stay there that’s I was going to say they should didn’t leave the company she kept Trucking along right she did what she felt was right and she wasn’t fired over it now I I met a guy on an airplane coming back from St uh from Florida who said that he was working for a multi-billion dollar company and he kept saying how he was managing by motivation not by control and fear okay and some of his Executives cuz he was like a $250,000 a year job they got threatened by that and he thinks that’s part of why he lost his job and I said I know you think that’s a really big company cuz it’s multi billion that company was too small for you wow right because he really knows how to lead I know doesn’t it give you chills yeah cuz it’s empowering and exactly but it’s all it goes back to our own selfworth with all of it so and that awareness is that first piece of knowing our own worthiness that we we can ask for what we want and we can even let go of what isn’t serving us because when we first started talking and he told me he’d lost his job he’s 56 years old he’s never been unemployed he’s always had good you know work record and I said was there any part of you that was calling in something new and he goes honestly I was my wife and I we were even praying there’s got to be more to life than this I want to do things differently I want to make a better impact and I go got to be careful what you asked for right right so part of him knew that it was a good thing that he was leaving sure but it’s still you know in our heads our heads say but they’re big and I’m little that’s not true that’s why I wanted him to hear you’re bigger than that company right awesome yeah so I think we’re about halfway through our program and before we go further I just wanted to remind everyone a little bit about life work systems we specialize in Performance Management through healthy culture transformation it’s really important that we do need a village not only to raise a child but to raise each other so to learn more about life work systems and how to get involved with us including access to all the information related to today’s episode please visit our website at ww ww. Lifeworks subscribe to our podcast where you can find that the main points on each of the podcasts a list of all the you know earlier podcasts and on each episode that we produce we invite you to also join our mailing list and to receive further information on free videos webinars we have over 200 articles um uh surveys that are free assessments my book is downloadable you’d have to buy it if you were buying a hard copy but you can download it on our website and how to contact us by phone or by email so I just wanted to make sure I get that in there hope that you guys go that extra step and reach out to us I’d really love to hear from you I’d also love it if you linked up with us on LinkedIn or Facebook and we can communicate whatever way is best for you oh I also want to remind you if you think about it would you go and put a fstar rating on this podcast if you found it to be festar and we hope you really have and if not we hope you’ll let us know but it’s really helpful when you take the time to do that because what happens is that more people see that fstar rating and then they want to go and hear what’s going on with this podcast so I really appreciate if you take the time to do that so Judy I have a question for you so a lot of times I get pushed back when I go into an organization and we start with an assessment and a Consulting piece um because we want to do a deep dive into the organization about benefits and what’s going on with the employees and sometimes they want to skip that assessment and move right in to the wellness piece of it but we want to be able to direct them and build out a road map based on what their employees really value and sometimes they don’t want to to dig so what is that all that about I I think it is scary for people to dig and it’s really interesting because I’m thinking of my own physical digging I go to a really unconventional doctor he doesn’t just take a couple vials of blood he takes about 15 vials of blood about every six months cuz he really believes that we’re under assessing how all the systems of our body work together and so we miss really important Clues to know what’s priority and so I would say that most people on a physical Level under assess their bodies and but I would say organizationally we all think it’s just kind of something to skip over you know people might even complain this assessment takes too long or this assessment is you know has ridiculous questions or something part of it is that being personally responsible sort of triggers fear in people and and that comes because because we’ve been taught to not trust ourselves to begin with so now you start asking me questions we’re also in a culture where you get punished if you find any flaws so what you want to make sure you do as you move through these companies is you want to speak upfront about resistance my friend Mike bitter taught me that you want to speak on um why people get afraid how it will show up it will show up that they’ll push back and say I don’t have time for this or this is you know these questions don’t fit me or something and it’s just because they’re either afraid to look and are afraid to make change so it I would say be convicted yourself about the assessments you might even say to the people that you’re talking with would you really go to a doctor and have him treat you if he didn’t know your Vital Signs and your your cholesterol and all those things like to some extent you would be um neglectful to just say give me something for this and not really look at the underlying cause and even what’s most a priority sure does that kind of help it does and honestly they’re not going to get the results that they want they not inves in the well if that’s time or the money we’re not bringing the right yes and so by saying that to them what it’s going to cost them but also help them to recognize the reason why we don’t think it’s necessary is because we’re so used to doing it this way over here and you’re going to be bringing in something that’s going to make extraordinary differences over here so that they can see that contrast sure yeah makes total sense any other questions that are popping in your head no that one it’s just interesting because they don’t they want to keep everything that’s underlying that they kind of know about they want to keep it underly because I think there is a threat there but I often say if it’s there and underlying that’s where we need to take care of it before it bubbles to the surface yes and and we don’t do that we tend to wait till there’s a crisis before we go get help right yeah that’s why I love that sort of proactive preventative measure of an assessment so uh and I also think you and I we’re both passionate people about Wellness in one way or the other other and yet I have to remember not everybody’s excited about it yet yes so when I first started learning this stuff I was just like oh my God give me more give me more but everybody’s at a different place with that unfortunately in my mind unfortunately but we’re getting there that’s the exciting part and our own passion does become contagious sure especially if you can tell them success stories you know about some of your clients and things like that that’s always that kind of carries the day now they see oh somebody can do a one minute mile so I can do it you know right so so um what I wanted to cover today is really about um the four intrinsic motivators and I’m going to tie this a little bit to the conversation we had at professional women’s Association which was about developing people through mentoring so mentoring is where a lot of the intrinsic motivators are directly addressed and so uh one of them the very first one that we tend to also jump over is the sense of meaningfulness that people have so it says that the and on our work our workbooks it will say that the leadership’s job in sense of meaningfulness is to inspire the people that are doing the actions I would say it’s we probably need to change that to how do you help people to tap into their own inspiration a lot of times people are doing maybe a menial job or a job that they’re getting tired around and they forget what it’s what’s the good of it they they forget the meaningfulness of it and so um what happens is certain things starts coming into the picture where it it almost feels kumbai is for them to even focus on their meaningfulness their sense of purpose about their even their activities or their life so they have to look and see and sometimes businesses may not always like it if they ask people what is Meaningful about your job and it truly isn’t anymore they think that’s a disaster I would rather know that and see if there’s another place they can play that’s going to keep them happy or even just send them on their way and find somebody who’s ready ready to come in to do that job that’s real excited about it right it’s interesting that you say that so again being 10 years of managing a team I always could tell that they were going to be leaving the company in the next few years what that looked like they would go back to school they would just different things would start shifting in it and to have that conversation at that point would have been so valuable yeah and I think people are afraid of it they think oh my God the worst case would be that they leave no it wouldn’t the worst case scenario would be that you don’t acknowledge their desires and you don’t help them tap into what makes them happy and then they want to leave for all kinds of reasons so sense of meaningfulness is really really crucial and we we kind of again it’s one of those things people see it as a nice to have but not a need to have that’s why on a large scale you have people like Simon sinic saying if you don’t know your why forget it you’re not going to get where you really want but the same is also true on the individual level you need to know why you’re doing something and so part of it is to address kind of directly when you see cynicism so it was very interesting when I was working with this small group in Florida last week getting them ready to say yes to our project I could see that this one woman was kind of cynical and I just kept responding to what she was saying and finally she literally teared up and she even said I’m not a crier I don’t know why I’m I said I have that effect on people but the reason is she was hitting the wall of her cynicism I said do you have are you feeling emotional because you’re afraid of getting your hopes up again because she had been there for 13 years or something and she said I am I could tell that’s what because by what she was saying I could tell like she didn’t want to even get her hopes up so cynicism is kind of a put on coping mechanism that people do so is that where the trust comes in or or that they’ve lost trust in that company I don’t know that it’s as big as they’ve lost trust in the company that the company probably does not have the kind of communication going on where somebody can get to that kernel under like even in that little bit of communication in front of her teammates she was able to go you know be asked and be able to speak on and as soon as she got past that she was done resisting like it was really powerful to see it it was very quick and easy but part of it isn’t that the company’s bad or anything it’s just that we don’t think about hey there’s cynicism in front of me how can I help this person rather than judge them how can I help them find out what’s what’s you know what do you think is that barrier that’s causing you to feel very cynical right now well I think that’s really important in organizations that have also gone through Acquisitions or major leadership changes because they have to realize that their employees have been there for a very long time and what they’ve went through before the acquisition what’s happening after that that it is a long process it’s interesting because we get brought in for those things a lot but but it it’s also telling that if you have a merger or an acquisition and things go arai it means that you have not developed veled intrinsic motivation in people because people that have really strong internal motivation they are not as they’re more resilient in the face of change okay so everybody in a merger an acquisition unless they’ve been conditioned to be very self-governing will typically kind of spaz out a little right so the more that you can create a certain set of of guidelines for the community that you’re creating that’s what helps people to go back to their own inner resilience and and if you’re doing that well you’re you’re actively creating their inner resilience I know that’s a word that’s very popular today we would call it internal motivation so what’s the percentage of companies that are actually taking these preventative pieces that it makes so much sense but our companies really doing that well if you start reading and that’s why we put it on our website um industry articles because some of the most high performing successful businesses today are recognizing that using these control models and not developing internal motivation is the the deciding factor as to whether they’re going to succeed or not but the percentage I would guess is very small because all you have to do is look at the gallop numbers where we only have 29% of people overall showing up fully engaged most of the time right that’s a big symptom that says this is going on and I think that that’s why it’s still hard for people to jump on the bandwagon because all the rest of it is so like accepted and it looks like it works and and so yeah so it’s a small percentage but that’s good for you and I we’re going to have job security right we’re going to be making the changes yes so along with in the sense of meaningfulness is just one of four intrinsic motivators you want to help people get in touch with their passions so you yourself have to be comfortable being passionate when you are not trying to make up passion but you know you and I we’re like I honestly can say I still love this job after 35 years of doing this work right absolutely but a lot of people they haven’t even been allowed to express emotion and so you want to kind of help them get there by being with them in it that’s the best way you can do it be with them in it man you look I could just see you brighten up a little right that’s the kind of way you help them get going oh I can feel you talking faster like this is exciting right those are things we don’t know how to do for each other um we also don’t know how to ask questions about your you know what’s somebody’s Vision what’s your vision of being here at the company what is it that you really want to have make happen how do you want to express who you are I remember one time when I was uh went to visit somebody in the St Louis city schools and I just came in to say hi to her and she said what would you do if you could do anything you wanted that’s a vision question now she had a an agenda that I didn’t know about she had a an application for $300,000 grant that was due in two days and she knew she couldn’t write it wow so I just happened to have my vision very clearly oh my God I’d work with the parents the teachers the administrators and the students all at the same time and she goes well that sounds really cool here here’s this application when you fill it out and if I like it I’ll sign off on it because it required a Fiscal Agent you know we got $300,000 of business with over three years within a month wow but most of us aren’t even asking that question what could you what would you do if you could do whatever you want or what’s the greatest impact you’d like to see happen that kind of thing um so you actively this is why this I have a little worksheet in front of me and I’ll put it up on the website but this is why as you’re helping one another you want to understand what is it that needs to be occurring for people to get in touch with their sense of meaningfulness so it also means you know recognizing their larger purpose and how Maybe an immediate thing is you know connects with that um it it may be that you give them bigger tasks that feel more meaningful because they can see something all the way to completion and then they feel like they’ve contributed more that sort of thing do you feel like people are also just detached from themselves that they may have never even thought about this before exactly that’s that’s why this one is number one like you could jump to what most people do is jump to the third intrinsic motivator which is sense of competence to about what they that even a big differentiator to a if they don’t get this number one so you’re right they’re detached that’s why even in earlier episodes we talked about when um one of the parts of personal responsibility is asking somebody what are you feeling and what do you want a whole lot of people would say I don’t even know right I haven’t done that so it’s peeling back those layers peeling back those layers and guiding them to be able to for that to to rise up I guess that’s why I think you really have to approach this kind of approach knowing that it’s going to be maybe slower on the front end huge benefits on the long end right so it’s like it’s like we never learned these skills so now we have to go back and you know put the training wheels on the bike AB but once we’re great at it we’ll be great at it that’s what I like I always say my kids are going to be so emotionally developed because we have these conversations now at 6 years old and 8 years old that we can start talk exactly even with my grandson he’s only 10 and he’s already thinking through oh I should go to my parents when I feel overpowered and they’re not in the middle of it and have conversations with them and he’s the kind of kid who would go do it so yes you know he he takes all the strategy and coaching and chess and he’s really good at it and he learns Mandarin and all these things but if you don’t teach him this stuff so it does begin as whenever you know it like you can’t you know beat yourself up that you didn’t know it yesterday but once you know it then you can start working toward using it and even that you have to be patient with and being connected to the the feelings inside your body what what that is like and you know why what action you just took and what was kind of behind that yes so well that fits in with break wall because break wall isn’t just Consciousness about our thinking and Consciousness about our relationships it’s also Consciousness about my body ABS in all kinds of different ways whether it’s my health or just how fast I’m talking or if I’m you know scared or not all of that exactly the way we feel is actually kind of governs everything yes yes and again that’s a oh that’d be nice to know but it’s not a need to know it’s a crucial need to know right exactly so um I’m going to make sure that we make time for these other three uh intrinsic motivators so I’m going to talk about this one and then maybe you can tell me how you notice this in your work perfect so the second one is that people need to have a sense of choice that’s why when I said to my grandson do you feel like you can even say no I told him I said you can’t really say yes if you can’t say no and so he was given a sense of Choice by me saying go to your parents and have conversation about other nego so what was really cool about that is I was teaching him that he had choices because he’s going to make a stronger yes and a stronger no when he knows he’s not overpowered because what happens is when people feel overpowered and they don’t think they have a choice that is all connected to what’s called other directed in our world where somebody feels like my only choices are to present F comply with the authority figure or to under the table or on top of the table hold an attitude of no I won’t you can’t can’t make me and those are both coming from small small mind small belief not thinking you have choices so when you’re giving sense of choice you’re allowing people to start recognizing and tap into what do they want what are they feeling what are they you know their autonomy and a lot of times they’ll clear their own barriers by talking out loud about what’s in the way of their choices because that’s how it happened with that woman in Florida I said I hear you saying we should do this if you’re saying you should what do you think’s in the way and that’s when she got to that emotion of I’m afraid to Hope in this right so by letting her work through that I was actually giving her opportunities to hand off things to what are you feeling what do you want now that sort of thing and it happens so magically when we remember to do this part when we don’t we’re just impatient so the kinds of things you want to think about when you’re helping another person whether it’s one of your kids or something is how will I delegate tasks to this person how do I actually give them things do I just command them or do I talk with them about it um how do I set up ways for um to demonstrate trust so for example when I was using this with my kids we taught them how to grocery shop they were 11 to four and then we would send them to the store with a couple hundred dollars by themselves now nowadays they probably get arrested but back then they had a little quarter for the pay phone you know that’s how old I am you guys that are listening but they would get to the register and the Cashers would say where’s your parents you know oh we know what we’re doing she’s got the list he’s got the money in a Zi compartment you know so it gave them a sense of being trusted and it also tapped into that place where they could contribute you also want to make sure that you make it okay for people to take risks you want to say out loud hey if you guys try this and it fails because it was your thought to do it that’s okay I still want to encourage you to take initiative and and you have conversations about what was learned and all that sort of thing and then their choice choices become so much more wise and it comes from a greater place of Courage half the time we’re afraid to you know to even put something forward cuz we’re afraid we’re going to get in trouble so you want to make sure that they know they’re not going to get in trouble and then you also want to make sure that they understand why they’re choosing so if they say well I just don’t want to I just don’t want to take a shower you know well why well because I want to play X Y and Z so tell me about what how you you know how you would find a way to meet that need with this other need because both of them are in the space right so it’s helping them understand how they can do that and then how do you provide information to people so that they even know the opportunities are there a lot of times we’re just kind of happy if somebody goes off in their corner and does what we tell them to and we’re that we’re not really tapping into are you okay with what you’re doing are you engaged with it so when we do our mentoring sessions one of the questions is would you give yourself a t on feeling engaged would you give yourself a t on feeling productive do you give you know those sorts of questions those will help you recognize where there may be an issue around their choices so that will help you to recognize where there may be issues around this particular in inic motivator which is called sense of choice what do you think about all that well I think it’s absolutely amazing but I can see where sometimes that choice piece sometimes they want people to to go in the corner and do their job and not have them wonder what it is if they like what they’re doing or not so it feels expedient exactly right and in in a way it actually is expedient however the negative side effects of it come they accumulate exactly and and you end up with a disgusted disengaged partial employee that is unhappy and is probably that’s translating to your customers or your vendors not even probably yes or the other people in the office and that’s when it becomes really toxic it does it does and so these intrinsic motivators the more we don’t like we work against them because of either ignorance or not you know strategically planning for them or having um certain structures in place the more that we have have an effect of that without knowing how we even got there sure that’s what that’s what troubles me for people is it’s not that they wouldn’t want to do these intrinsic motivators they probably have never heard of them well they don’t have the skill set or the tools to equip themselves or even the information about them you know even the idea of switching from extrinsic to intrinsics is is foreign okay so let me just kind of describe for you the third one I kind of mentioned it before it’s the sense of competence so sometimes people are thrown into a job and they’re just sort of hang out there nobody even me how to do what I’m supposed to do right I would air I would tell people air on the side of overc communicating about the competency because a lot of typ times we don’t realize how much we’re underc commmun about the specifics of something and then the person gets a lot of unnecessary stress because we didn’t do an adequate job at coaching them so one of the skills that is really needed is again mentoring how do I Mentor them so that they know exactly what they’re picking up and then they’re feeling confident and able to pick up what I’m handing to them even if it’s their job skills so it’s not only competence in their work but also competence in themselves competence in their ability to manage their relationships it’s whatever place there’s a need for Mastery okay so um the questions a person would ask is how would I train someone or provide knowledge to them how would I provide feedback in a positive way that supports the person in kind of evaluating themselves right that’s what I was saying when I said what do you think I’m thinking about what do you think about that right then they’re evaluating themselves um How Will I recognize and acknowledge the person’s skills recognition of skills is very different than praise so it might be you know I noticed that you worked really hard on that project and that you were very thorough and how you communicated blah you know all those those things that we just notice that is a way to acknowledge a person which helps them see I am competent I am successful I am capable and and it’s always not always apparent to them because they tend to look at I did this wrong I did this wrong right and then also how do you make sure that you’re giving the person that is in front of you enough challenge without it being overwhelming or not too small of a challenge where they’re bored so even that could be a conversation hey Tara when you’re doing this work you’re doing are you feeling overwhelmed by it are you feeling bored in it like is there a measure that we need to up or down for you that’s important right so how do you go into that conversation without ego is getting attached part of it’s just having the conversation when it’s not even a problem that’s happening it would be to say hey you guys you know when when I ask you about your own sense of Engagement or your own sense of productivity is it possible that you’re you’re in this box where you’re not feeling very competent in some way so you can even be that direct there’s no ego in that there’s more like I want to make sure I because you’ve already ask the question sure how’s your engagement level or how’s your productivity and if they’re telling you well it’s not a 10 it’s an eight then you would might say is it because you’re not sure what’s meaningful about it is it because you don’t feel like you have any choices any say so in it is it because you don’t feel like you have the support you need with coaching that’s very non defensive right right and part of it is also that you’ve established trustworthiness and care and uh community and and doing it through authentic Community instead of power struggle and domination after a while people consistently trust that and they don’t the ego starts not even hardly coming out anymore so doing this in a performance review is probably not a good time um what most people do in our work is they get to performance review and it’s just like another mentoring session because nothing is new I mean like if they’re not performing they’re aware of it they’re having a conversation about it it’s no surprises what I don’t like about performance reviews the way they’re traditionally done is that people kind of sometimes come to the table and don’t even know that there’s a list of complaints going on for them and it’s not always necessarily the the most encouraging conversation whereas when you do mentoring the very first thing you do in terms of that activity is you express appreciation you talk about purpose and values not only that of the company but of that individual you’re in front of hey you you know I love your purpose it’s about X Y and Z how are you feeling about that you know so you’re giving them what they need to not feel like they have to be defensive and all that but it’s a bit can you you can hear like all the changes that have to happen exactly I mean it’s a total shift in and in the way that this the framework of all of it yeah it’s the most fulfilling thing anybody could do but we’re just so caught up in well I don’t have time you don’t have time not to absolutely right so um also how can I hold somebody to a standard and high expectations without using comparisons or competition so a lot of people use comparisons and competition you might have had this growing up why can’t you be more like your brother why can’t you be more like hey this person’s doing their job good what’s your problem you know right so we don’t want to ever use that sort of thing when we’re building competence in people you can’t compare one person to another even in the same family they’re going to have maybe the same parents and everything but they’re going to have a different set of understanding speed of growth and learning and so it’s just not fair to try to get somebody to be competent by making them feel diminished and compared or even the stress if I got to compete with somebody sure so sometimes even the one that’s praised well why don’t you be like your brother and the brother’s like oh jeez I got to maintain that to be the good one you know so um so that’s all around competence the last one I kind of suck at this one it’s called the sense of progress and that is when you pay attention to your successes you celebrate them along the way and I remember one time when we won a couple of different big Grant projects like the one I was mentioning and I wanted to just jump right into the process and our team said can’t we just celebrate that we just won this huge thing and um and I had for forgotten to do that cuz some of us are kind of workaholic you know so in um in this the leadership uh responsibility is and this would be also internal to us how do I scorekeep and cheer for my successes um do I make sure that people are well supported by letting the larger Community see the value that they’re providing so you can be saying that at a meeting hey I just want to let you know because of this group over here or this person over here we were able to get further and XY and Z that’s just a simple way to celebrate a success how will I help them this person to identify short Milestones so that they can like right now I have to lose a lot of weight I want to lose a lot of weight but it would overwhelm me if I just focus on that number as opposed to what about the first five pounds and then I can celebrate that first five pounds um how will this person celebrate the success so I don’t want to celebrate my weight loss uh success with a chat fud Su um but you know what I mean so you want to find out what is a really rewarding way that they can give to themselves to to Really support that success and how will I give more contact between them and the community to even talk about the value of what they’re doing and um and make sure they know how to measure their Improvement that’s why when that one woman said um I said how did you do in your yard that was a way for her to celebrate her success sure I said it’s almost great that it happened that his yard was a disaster because now you get to choose to focus on your yard and how it was a success that can you see how hard that would be because part of her is like oh I should never have done that look what happened because from the outside it looked like a fail she didn’t get the he did not say what she wanted him to say yes but she was moving herself forward she was and so if if I hadn’t said how’d you do in your yard that’s what scorekeeping and cheering means how do you feel about that part oh I feel proud of myself right AB but people will often miss that opportunity to be proud of themselves I do have a question here yeah so if companies are motivating trying to motivate their employees through a reward system how does that end up working out we don’t recommend it and I I spoke about this in last episodes we even have a little clip of a guy who was a principal of the school he had been a principal for 31 years he literally screamed at me down the hall and that’s not uncommon sometimes what do you mean you’re taking rewards away that’s ridiculous rewards don’t hurt anybody what are we going to do now to get the parents to come to the parent nights and all this you know like he was so scared to let it go and it it’s just one of those things that just feels like why what would be the harm in that but it is absolutely an extrinsic motivator and whenever people are underperforming it’s because someone else is overperforming which means as you give rewards you’re caring more than they’re caring absolutely what was it about that phrase that touched you cuz I know we’re about ready to wrap up yes it really was I mean when I look back at my career experience that was huge I was I was overperforming microm managing absolutely but we were doing it but I burned out because I was over performing and not allowing others to to rise up yes and and sometimes we get identified with that’s where our worth is when we really get this and we really cause this and we’re creating other leaders the Fulfillment is way way better sure than that other one but that’s where yeah you said the ego piece comes in and it’s that fulfilling piece of well I’ve got to be overperforming because that’s part of my work that’s what a good boss does right exactly that’s what I’m paid to do yeah yeah it is a vicious cycle isn’t it it is well I’m glad that you saw that CU your kids are little and you’re a parent and yes you can like I’m not going to say what I what they already know I’m not going to do for them what they already know how to do I’m going to ask more questions right I’m going to put slam on my slid you know say less ask more I love it very Socratic yes so I think that’s about about all the time we have today um I want to go ahead and um thank you so much not only for coming today but also for being my friend for being a partner with me you excite me about my own work and I hope I excite you about your work absolutely this is just the beginning so here we go yeah I know we’re going to help a lot of people together um so thank you listeners I’m so excited that you tuned in today I hope that you’ll take advantage of the information on our website remember it’s systems I will post the handout that we were working off of today on the intrinsic motivators I’ll hand I’ll also uh put some uh articles that go with this particular Topic in fact I kind of put them down here how can I motivate them as an article engaging people in life and work the key to employee engagement is love more powerful than hate which kind of goes with all of this um breaking the addiction to approval kinds of people you need and many more there’s actually a category called motivation on the website and then there’s another one called if not punishment then what so we’ll be having posting lots of things on there for you I hope we’ve intrigued you enough to come come join us there and we look forward to bringing you our next episode shortly hope you have a wonderful day help me in fulfilling my mission to create a world where all people love their lives will you help me with that Tara absolutely all right thanks bye thank you for listening to Life Works today this podcast has been brought to you by life work system CEO and host Judy Ryan the intent of this podcast is to provide you with hope and new ideas for Greater Joy in your life and work for more information on our organization and earlier podcast episodes related articles videos and more please visit our website at Lifeworks be sure to subscribe to our podcast and mailing list we invite you to join us in creating a world in which all people love their lives and where your life works


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