"The deepest reasons
for our actions are not
negotiable; they are “hard-wired” within us. We don’t even have the
ability to change our
own motivation on a moment’s notice, much less
"We rarely argue about our motivational factors
directly. Usually, we argue about something more tangible."
"When we ask someone to do what they already want to
do, no 'motiv-ational techniques' are necessary."
"If our work satisfies our strongest motiv-ations,
we will feel as though we are produ-cing value in the world. If not, we
might grow to dread our jobs."
This column is a good place for third level navigation
or additional content. The headline above is made up of two graphics and
text so it is easily modified to meet your needs.
The Secret of
Each new perspective allows you to interpret what you see in a new and
useful way. New interpretations lead to new understanding, which
leads to new actions and ultimately new results. This is the only way
to permanently defeat job misery and to like work again.
If you are reading Four Secrets to Liking Your Work, you may
have tried some of the exercises in Chapters 4 and 5. These
exercises help you to work alone to build expertise with your
The Motivational perspective can also be used by teams, to help
define strengths and weaknesses, identify risk areas for decision
making, and to get to know each other better and have some teambuilding
Try the following exercise with any team or group:
- Work as a team to generate a list of three decisions that have
been made by either "this team," or this team's management, in the
past six months. Start by brainstorming many possibilities, then
narrow it down by focusing on those decisions that were the most
difficult or had the most impact.
- Look at the summary of Motivational Factors in Four Secrets,
Figure 5-1 on page 72. Make sure everyone in the group has at least
a basic understanding of the factors in that figure.
- Choose one decision. Try to decide as a group which
factors were supported by the decision that was made.
In other words, which areas were helped by the results of the
- Then, discuss whether any of the areas in Figure 5-1 experienced
a detrimental impact due to that decision.
- Repeat the process for some other decisions made by the same
group (either "this team" or its management). See if you can
identify tendencies, trends, or motivational "themes" in the
- Discuss the impact of any trends that you discover. How
are they appropriate to the job? What risks do they present?
What predictions could be made about future decisions?
Why this works: This exercise begins to highlight the
decision-making trends of either the team itself, or its management,
using the perspective of motivation. This can help to identify
possible blind spots, as well as to make future decisions more
Why it's not enough: Often it can be difficult to find enough
valid instances of decision-making to establish a trend. Without a
more formal measurement of the behavioral tendencies of a group, there
remains a lot of uncertainty in any guess about motivational trends.
Teams that invest in measurement of these factors get a more thorough
understanding of tendencies and trends, and one that can translate into
specific follow-up actions to maximize effectiveness. (Learn more...)