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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Cooper

How can you align Motivation to work?

A question I’m often asked is about how you find motivation for a task that you don't want to do, and this is a great question that many people struggle with The first thing to understand is there are different types of motivation and everyone's motivated for different reasons. Therefore, first you need to understand the different types of motivators The six major types of motivation or motivators are:

  • Utilitarian

  • Knowledge

  • Social

  • Aesthetic

  • Power

  • Tradition

Utilitarian are motivated for money and efficiency; they tend to be careful with how they spend their time and how they spend their energy. Rewards for this person would be more money or efficiency of process to save time Knowledge are motivated to learn; they love to understand the truth about something or how it’s made/done …. These people tend to spend more time learning than doing as this rewards them. Social are motivated to help others. Reward for them is being able to help someone be the best than they can, or the ability to help on a community project or help people in the community. Aesthetic are motivated by nice things, surroundings and experiences. This could be clothes, holidays and also personal aesthetic and wanting to look good. Power are motivated to control their own destiny, as well as the destiny of others.  It's the sense of achievement when you're able to drive on those two areas. Tradition are motivated to live their life by a certain set of standards. That may be a belief or religion, but it could also be their personal belief on what they should eat, or how they should interact with others. So, those are the six main motivators at a high level and now the key first step is working out what motivates you.  Are you someone that is motivated by the aesthetics and having things or are you motivated by power? Please remember, none of these are negatives, just saying that you're motivated by power does not mean that you are a power-hungry megalomaniac who wants to control people. It's the ability to control your own destiny and maybe the destiny of others.  Most people want to help others when they control others destiny and there are only a few people that want to do harm or control people for a negative reason and hopefully none that are reading this.  A great way to work this out is to look at your look at your life, what do you do naturally? Then see how this aligns to a motivation type. If you're continuously focused on your image and how you look and how you come across then there's a good chance that you're aesthetically driven.  If you're very good at saving money and you want to be very efficient then there's a good chance that one of your big motivators is utilitarian.  If you love reading non-fiction and googling stuff because you’re fascinated with how things are made your knowledge.  If you have a love of helping others, then your social. You get the picture Once you understand your motivator you can then call on it when needed and please note that you might be motivated by more than one area which is ok but just try to understand in what areas you have different motivators and which is the strongest. Now, when you receive a task that you're not immediately motivated towards, for example reporting, something that I do not find enjoyable, you can look to understand what is the outcome of that reporting and how you can align it to something you’re motivated to do.  For example, if the report is around Customer Engagement - how well are people engaging with our department or what's the net promoter score of IT, and your motivation is knowledge. Focus on how you can learn from the report or how you can understand the user better.  If you're utilitarian, you could look at the reporting process and work out how to make it efficient and reusable or how we don't have to run the report anymore as you automate it. Once you’ve aligned the task to your motivational driver(s) then the task becomes more enjoyable and you're more driven to do it as you now know you will come out of it with a sense of achievement, even if it's a mundane topic. Even better is when you can align a task to a goal as well as your motivator.  Often a simple task seems just that, however when you attach the task to a goal you have, either personal or professional, then it becomes a lot easier to be inspired and committed.  If you take healthy eating for example, this can seem a hard task as your taking away or reducing what you like to eat but if you can align it to your goal of losing 10lbs before the end of year and that’s aligned to your aesthetic motivator, then reducing the amount you eat or the drinks on the weekend becomes a lot easier to commit to.  Basically, the motivators help you see the bigger picture and not focus on the now! Give it a try Alright, well I hope that was helpful and please provide feedback or comments Have a fantastic week


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