The topic of motivation came up recently with a client. Why? It’s a big topic; as everyone knows and there have been many experts weighing in on it for years, all so interesting.
While I don’t consider myself an “expert” in anything, I do have a lot of experience in working with people and trying to understand what makes them do one thing versus another.
I do know that managers can’t motivate people, people motivate themselves. What managers can do is create an environment where people feel good about themselves and a vision that is vivid and compelling.
What motivates people?
The way I teach it, the physical process of becoming motivated actually happens in the brain as we imagine, or remember, doing what ‘it’ is we want to do.
If we’ve never done ‘it’, we imagine what ‘it’ will feel like. If we’ve done ‘it’ before, we remember what ‘it’ was like, and if ‘it’ was pleasurable or worthwhile, we’ll be motivated to do ‘it’ again.
But the bottom line on motivation is that the thing we are thinking of doing has to have value to us. When it has value we are more inclined to want to do it.
As my coach used to say ~ the higher the value, the higher the motivation.
When I can imagine all the positive benefits of working out, walking and eating a lot of vegetables, it’s easier for me to do those things. When I lose sight of the “why” of doing them, I am less motivated to go out of my way for them and more inclined to do what ever feels good in the moment.
People ask me all the time what motivates me to take good care of myself, drink funny tasting “green drinks,” turn down the cookies for a piece of fruit, the latte for the green tea or get a little extra sleep at the expense of keeping up with the latest TV drama – and I must admit, it’s because I have a strong “why.”
I want to grow old gracefully and be really really healthy. I want to be flexible and smart and able to enjoy physical activity without pain. I know that that kind of robust good health won’t happen tomorrow unless I do something about it today.
The higher the value, the higher the motivation.
I put a high value on staying able to do what I want to do, with ease.
What motivates us to take good care of customers, even if it means a little more hard work and attention today? Business health. When we attend to customer needs, listen carefully so we’ll know what they’ll want in the future, and make a special intention to have them feel good about each and every experience with us, we build up “emotional bank accounts” with them and they are more likely to come back and spend more money.
They are also more likely to bring friends.
That’s very valuable to a business. The higher the value, the higher the motivation.
When we get referrals more money drops to the bottom line.
In the transparent world we live into today, making sure that customer has only good things to say about us is an investment in our own future. When the company does well, it’s more likely that there will be money for raises, bonuses, and benefits. When the company does well people feel good and it’s a nicer place to work. Loyalty isn’t just about longevity, it’s about robust good health. The higher the value…
So when you are feeling a little tired, and you don’t really want to go out of your way, when you’d rather talk than listen, and when you insist on being right, even at the expense of the customer relationship, I want you to stop – just for a moment and think.
Will your behavior today give you the result you want tomorrow?
Are your actions today in alignment with what you really want for the future? Are you on track with what is in the highest good for all concerned? Check in with yourself and remember the “why” of business. You’re in business because of the customers, not in spite of them.
I know you’ll make the right choice.
The higher the value, the higher the motivation. What’s a good customer relationship worth?
Have a thoughtful week!
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