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When we speak about the motivation of others this is not strictly true.
When we influence others we are trying to encourage behaviour by appealing to what already motivates the individual.
An individual would analyse the situation from their own motivational perspective and decide if they wanted to do the behaviour based upon the influence you are exerting.

That is, what is the consequence? (see Consequences - part 1)

What if you asked someone to do a task if you made them a cup of coffee?
If the person hates coffee they will not respond whether you offer two cups or ten.
They are not motivated by coffee.
If they like beer then it may be easy to get the task completed as this will be a motivator.

As a manager you will always influence others no matter what your actions are.

Home and organisation

There are many activities in your home and personal life that you are happy to do.
There is tremendous motivation in making your self feel good in an environment where you have a lot of influence.

If you then put yourself into an organisation or company environment enthusiasm can easily be lost.
Why is this?
Well there are many reasons but the key is your own motivation. If you feel that there is little the organisation is providing that will be of benefit to you your performance will be low. If, on the other hand, you feel that you get a lot out of working for the organisation then your performance will almost certainly be much higher.

If you can align company success with your own you will be much more willing to see the company flourish and you will increase your own efforts to help out.

Intrinsic and extrinsic

Intrinsic motivation comes from within and includes many familiar aspects, for example, status, greed, jealousy, desire and interest.

Extrinsic comes from the world outside.

As we have seen above, ‘extrinsic’ factors are not really motivational but influential.
They are outside influences that pander to our natural intrinsic motivations.
For example, if you decide to pay a person £1000 to carry out a task it may work it may not.
If the person’s intrinsic motivation is greed and wealth then it should work.
If the person is a Trappist monk and has forsaken all worldly goods it may not influence him.

Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn is an American lecturer and author in the fields of education, psychology and parenting, residing in Belmont, Massachusetts.
He is an outspoken critic of American work place management and other areas.

He has been a critic of workplace incentive programs.
He challenges the principle that supervisors exist to give orders while those supervised exist to carry them out.
Instead Kohn demonstrates in his books that when workers are given flexibility to organize their own work, to problem solve with others, and to work without incentives, they will out perform workers who are given little latitude on how to accomplish their tasks.

He put forward the three C’s.

  • Collaboration
  • Content
  • Choice

Collaboration creates a feeling of ownership in ideas and helps to keep people interested.
Content refers to the understanding of what is being asked of people. It also includes knowledge of objectives, timing etc.
Also, why they are doing the work.
Choice is about having the power to make decisions and hence directly making a difference.