How to Motivate Someone to Do Something?

Many people write to me asking me how to motivate their employees, team, collaborators or other people in their environment. Just the fact that you think about it, that you worry, makes you stay ahead of many other people and businesses. It is clear that a motivated person is a person who gives much more. Therefore, generates benefits for you, whether financial or otherwise. So both sides win, everyone happy.

How to motivate someone to do something?

In this case I am going to resort to something I read a few days ago in the book “ A river worth riding ” by Lynn Marie Sager. Two basic rules of motivation that, despite being obvious, are actually not so obvious; and that it should be taken into account because they are very useful for these cases and many others. It is essential that you remember (because you already know it) that:

1. What is rewarded, is repeated.
2. What is punished is avoided.

What is rewarded, is repeated

This in itself is easy to understand. You do something right, they reward you in some way and, of course, you repeat it. The award can vary depending on each person and situation: salary, praise, more responsibility, gifts, smiles … However, although it seems simple, it is not done very often. On the contrary, we often treat people who have done something well with indifference, assuming that this is how it has to be done and, therefore, there is no reward. Or with something that, perhaps not for you, but for them it is a “punishment”.

What is punished, is avoided

If a person tries very hard and consequently you demand more, why should he try again? So that you give him another pile of work so that you demand even more? Many people do not give everything they could because in that case only more would be expected of them ( click here to tweet this).

This is very frequent, also in all areas. She is the typical person who does things quickly and well, who finishes before the others because she is efficient and does not spend half a morning drinking coffee, and what do you do? Do you let him go home earlier, since he’s done all the work? Or would you rather give him more to keep him going, and that it doesn’t occur to him to leave even a minute early?

What is the point of giving a worker who has done something very well more work as a “prize” and no reward, whatever the type? Deep down you are punishing him and therefore his motivation decreases. Of course, there is always the case of people who are so honest, hardworking and responsible that they accept everything without compromising, but that does not mean that they are happy and motivated. What it means is that a day will come when they will be so burned that they will leave as soon as they can and you will be left without someone valuable to you.

If you are concerned about the motivation of your team, your employees or any other person, it is because you have realized that something is wrong. If the behavior you see is not what you want, think about what you have been rewarding. If you give your attention to a screaming child and not the quiet one, guess who is taking the prize and what they will continue to do. If when someone does something good you don’t give importance “because it is what it should be”, why should they try harder?

So now you know, stop rewarding what you don’t want repeated and vice versa. And above all think of all those people who do a great job and who you don’t recognize, lest when you realize it it’s too late. And you know that this is not only applicable to the world of work …

Although it is theoretically easy to realize, in practice it is not so much. Sometimes it is not so obvious, it is very easy, without realizing it, to reward what we do not want and punish what we do, but the results you get do not lie. So stop to think about what is around you and why it is so, what you are rewarding and what you are punishing.

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Roger Walker

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