Everything is in perpetual motion. The natural state of energy is to flow. Movement is the default state of everything, including us. Just as the rock rolling down a hill that will keep on rolling until something impedes it, people are naturally, innately impelled to move forward in our lives that we do it naturally, instinctively, unless something stops us. So the question to ask when desiring to effect motivation in anyone, yourself and others, is not what will motivate them but what does motivate them already, and what (if anything) is stopping them? So the key to getting more out of your staff, students, team, group, etc. is to look at each individual and see what they gravitate towards and what they gravtiate from. What do they move towards and what do they avoid or retract from? This will tell you how best to encourage them to move in the direction you desire. Simply clear a path filled with what naturally motivates them and remove from their path the things that impede them. Once you realize that people are naturally inclined towards motivation, that everyone in every moment is already quite motivated by something, and that forward movement, being our natural state, brings peope great pleasure and joy, you can start to uncover the path already laid before you all for you to synergize your forward movement, and effect your common joy and pleasure. Start off by coming from a place that presumes your team members’ enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, skill, and desire, as well as assume their strength and power. Even a person’s stout resistance is an act that takes supreme strength, power, and motivation. Even if they don’t notice it themselves – especially if they don’t know it themselves – your recognition of and appreciation for their inherent worth is a fundamental part of
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Next, examine what drives them? Employers, for example, can ask what would make doing their jobs with passion and excellence more fulfilling to your employees than simply putting a paycheck in their pockets? Everyone wants more money, sure – but that’s not all they want, and giving them more money (while not a bad thing) is not the only way to motivate employees. What about more time off? Personal time? “Wellness” days? More or longer breaks? Personal phone call privileges? Nicer employee break room or bathroom? Get creative! People also desire to feel like they make a difference in the world they live in. It is a fundamental human need, in fact, to feel like we contribute to other people and our world. So the key to getting more out of your team might be to give them more to do with it. Give them a personal stake in the outcome by allowing them to contribute their creative input to the process. Ask their opinion, and value it with due consideration. Let them run with an idea they have that you like, without you micromanaging the process. Show that you value their creative input by trusting them to implement those elements that excite you with minimal involvement from you. All this results in giving each member of your team a feeling of importance, a sense of purpose, and due recognition and credit for their ability to take their great ideas to fruition.
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Another way to nurture a feeling of importance in your workers that builds, in them, a desire to continue excelling, is to inform them of any news, updates, and current
information relevant to the larger project, company, group, or bigger picture. Leaving team members out from learning any new developments that you think don’t affect them only makes them feel like they’re not really that important to the bigger picture after all. Your job is not to pull your students, children, employees, etc. along; it’s to clear the way for them of all impediments towards propelling naturally, effortlessly, and enthusiastically forward. Cut the red tape binding them. Give them the resources they need. That includes encouragement, trust, and respect. Lastly, keep it fun. Nobody enjoys showing up for a chore. Allow a sterile environment to become more personal. Take out the stress and urgency from it and infuse it instead with one of the easy and effortless excitement of passion.