Today I attended a training session where we were learning about motivation. I’ve heard pretty poor opinions about the session before, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t check by myself. And if you need to know these opinions were crap – training was pretty good.
Anyway, we had a very small and very open group which was cool. I think I should thank here those who didn’t show up, since the session was planned for a bigger audience. The best thing about the group was each of us works in different team and we are on different levels in organizational structure. This means our perception of the organization itself and tools we have to motivate ourselves and our people differ vastly.
This is kind of cool because otherwise we would barely have a chance to confront our points of view. And it appeared every single one of us pointed different things as our main motivators. This is basically the lesson I want to share with you. If you want to know what motivates people working for you, move your fat ass from your damn throne and learn what drives every individual in your team, instead of asking for universal recipes.
Yes, you will hear all sorts of answers from “more money” up to “my cellar is cool actually; just don’t interrupt me when I’m in THE flow.” On a side note, money isn’t a tool you can use to motivate people.
Motivation is a very individual thing. I remember sharing a really fat bonus with one of my former PMs after she completed one those hard core projects. Since we were getting on well I asked if that motivated her for further effort. The answer was “no, not at all.” I can’t say I was surprised much, since I’d moved my fat ass from my throne to learn what had driven my team. If you asked me why the fat bonus then, well, she’d still earned that money.
Don’t expect simple answer for a question about motivating people. The subject is just too complex. And if you still believe there is a simple and universal solution for the problem you may want to reconsider predisposition to be a manager.
In case you were curious my biggest motivators are learning opportunities and having things under control.
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