Motivating people

Is there a magic recipe that works for everybody? Is there a magic potion that motivates everybody?
Yes, there is. 🙂

But not as you were hoping.

It is not a potion, a factor, it is actually a recipe.

People’s motivation is related to their needs. People’s needs are an ever-changing complicated mix of their social position, material level, DNA, education, context, etc.
What is important is to understand how the motivating factors work, and how they relate to each other.

People’s motivational systems are pyramidal systems. At the bottom, everybody has more simple needs, that are closer to biological, needs, they are fairly easy to satisfy, and their satisfaction makes the person happy for a very short time period. Imagine for example Maslow’s pyramid.

Everybody’s pyramid is different.

You can motivate efficiently a person on a certain level, only until you get him to an acceptable level. You will be able probably to motivate further, but the value, the efficiency will drop dramatically.

The efficient step is to identify which is the next step for that person and start to motivate that need.

Summarizing the steps:

  1. You have to pay attention, understand the persons’ personal need/value/motivation pyramid.
  2. You have to understand what step is the person at this point.
  3. You have to satisfy that need until an acceptable level.
  4. You have to get to the next level. Get the person to the next level.
  5. Repeat from step 3.

Couple of additional notes that you have to be aware of.

If an inferior step is impacted, everything from above will fall apart. You can restart from the step where the damage was done.

As you climb upwards in the motivational pyramid, the motivation will be more and more durable.

This is what we are after, no? 🙂

Understand what motivates somebody at a certain point, understand what motivation will have a longer effect, and understand when you have to stop, and find a different motivation, get to the next level.


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