In business, there are three motivators:
- Need for achievement
- Need for affiliation
- Need for power
How are you motivated?
How can you apply the motivation concepts with the people who report to you or who you surround yourself with?
Ironically, when you try to move away from what you don’t want, you’re actually focused on it and you’ll always tend to move toward what you focus on. So if you think about and focus on what you don’t want, you’ll tend to keep getting it.
Increase Your Motivation Fivefold…with a Lottery Ticket
In Ellen J. Langer’s often-cited 1975 experiment on “The Illusion of Control,” the lottery numbers of 50% of participants were assigned randomly, while the remaining members of the group were allowed to choose their own.
As the moment to choose the winner approached, the research team provided an opportunity for the participants to sell back their tickets. The plan was to determine what price would be set by those who wrote their own number and what one would need to pay another person whose number was assigned randomly.
A lottery is by its very nature random, so whether a number is assigned or chosen should not affect its value. In fact, logically, duplicates might occur in the group that wrote its own number, reducing the value of those lottery tickets.
What was discovered? The researchers found that they always had to pay at least five times more to those who wrote their own number, regardless of the demographic of the participants or the location of the experiment. Clearly, when we choose for ourselves, our commitment to the outcome of that choice is five times stronger.
Conventional approaches to change management underestimate this impact. The rational thinker sees it as a waste of time to let others self-discover what he or she already knows — why not just tell them and be done with it? Unfortunately, this approach robs our associates of the energy and motivation needed to drive change that inspired by a sense of owning “the answer.”
In my next blog, we’ll look at another practical example of motivation.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear about how yo motivate yourself. Thanks for sharing.
For questions about this post or for information on becoming a fearless leader, contact Dr. Cathy Greenberg and The Fearless Leader Group at (888) 320-1299 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.