I am often puzzled about what motivates me. I want to have high minded principles and be motivated by altruism; ‘I do what I do because its important to help other people’. To a certain extent this is completely true but I am also motivated by money. This has been a big learning point for me. I claim that I love what I do so much that I would do it for free, but the honest reality is different. This is so important, our clients / friends / colleagues will often tell us what they think we want to hear, or indeed, what they hope to be the case. But the reality could well be different. If we are going to help people (and ourselves) to be their best then we need to dig deep into what really matters.
How can we begin to find out what really motivates us, our work colleagues or our friends? The best way I have found is to undertake a Motivational Mapping exercise. Bevis has written a brilliant book all about ‘Mapping’ (‘Mapping Motivation for Coaching’ Sale & Moynan pub Routledge) that tells you all you need to know about working out what motivates you. You can, of course, engage directly with Bevis if reading all about it is not your ‘thing’.
So, why would it help if I knew why I do what I do? What difference will it make? I have found over the years that a really good salary does not justify spending all day, every day on a job I hate. I have found that doing work that I really enjoy gets me out of bed in the morning and helps me to be effective. It would be no good if I were to apply for a job as a filing clerk (there is nothing wrong with filing clerks) because shifting bits of paper doesn’t excite me – however well paid. I did do a job for a short while writing essays for other people. It was well paid. It did, however, dawn on me that I was helping them to cheat by submitting my work as their own for their degree. My sense of integrity meant I stopped this work too. For me, work must line up with my values and with what I need out of life. Finding this out can take ages, ‘Motivational Mapping’ does this quickly and simply and you gain great insights into what really matters to you.
Obviously this matters if you are managing a team of people. If money is ‘their thing’ then the promise of a pay rise might get great results. But for others the chance to have some influence in the work place might be even more important. It pays to find out what works for them.
You will get the best results yourself if you know what’s making you tick and be best placed to help others if they can find their ‘why’.