Inspiration and lessons for your leadership journey!
“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”
Do you know what motivates others at work? Research from Duke University and George Mason University reveals that, although you might think you do; you probably don’t.
At regular intervals over a forty year period, executives were asked to rank what they thought motivated their employees. They consistently got it wrong. Executives erroneously believed that external factors and incentives such as compensation, bonuses, job security, and promotions are what most motivated their employees.
But employees say it is inherent factors, such as interesting work, being appreciated for making meaningful contributions, a feeling of being involved in decisions, and being part of something bigger that most motivates them most.
However, employees were no better off predicting what motivated their bosses and peers. They got it wrong, too; believing it is external factors that motivates others – especially superiors.
The fact is, most executives report being the most motivated by autonomy, their inherent interest in their work, big challenges, and a sense of relatedness with colleagues.
In psychology we call these biases – particularly the self-serving bias and the extrinsic incentive bias. We give more credit to our internal and inherent motivations to ourselves than we do to others and think others are more externally motivated than they probably are.
These biases between boss and employee can lead to suboptimal incentive, reward, and compensation programs.
But more importantly, it erodes trust which makes working well together difficult. This doesn’t mean that money, promotions, and the like are not important. They are. Just much less than we think. Other research shows that as long as employees feel they are earning a fair wage, inherent factors begin to take over as motivators, or if not met, as a detriment.
When both bosses and employees reduce blame and finger-pointing by reversing erroneous beliefs and ANTs about each other, we foster trust, engagement, and a better working environment – and we know that that leads to higher productivity, reduced turnover, higher customer satisfaction, and increased profits.
And who doesn’t want that?
This Week's Affirmations
(Repeat these quietly to yourself multiple times throughout the day.)
I remind myself that there is so much more meaning to my work than just a paycheck – and more importantly, that that is true for others I work with, including my boss!
I look for ways to talk about what is valuable and meaningful for others’ work – what motivates them, even my boss.
I am a loving leader!
If you like this week's blog, I encourage you to share it with your family, friends, and colleagues and join me on my journey to empower and inspire millions of people around the globe.
Together we can spread words of Encouragement, Inspiration, Empowerment, and Loving Leadership... and wouldn't you agree our world could use a little more "Positivity" these days?
Together we can make a difference...
Have an amazing journey today!
Bonus Video: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
Watch >>Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
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In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.