A motivational tip that actually works

MotivationTom Johnson heard my podcast about motivation and wrote that:

This podcast from Alexander Kjerulf, called “Why ‘Motivation by Pizza’ Doesn’t Work,” gave me a major epiphany about the reasons behind motivation.

We were on the verge of implementing a member recognition/rewards program in our chapter when Clyde Parson sent me the link. Kjerulf’s podcast was so good I listened to it twice.

In the podcast I argue that there are 4 different kinds of motivation, only one of them works and that many workplaces focus almost exclusively on the other three.

I also talk about how you can foster intrinsic, positive motivation by focusing on fun and results.

Tom then went on to test the method – on his daughter:

I am so totally persuaded by this method that I asked my wife to take down the treasure box charts we keep for our kids at home. In the treasure chest method, if Avery is good by doing her chores and reading books, she gets to advance a square until she eventually reaches a treasure chest square and gets a prize from the dollar store. Seems to work well, but not really. She despises cleaning and it’s always a big struggle.

Today we were doing some cleaning and I made no mention of a reward. The only reward was that I tried to make cleaning fun by cleaning beside her and talking with her. She was Cinderella mopping the floor and loved it. After we finished cleaning one bathroom, she asked if we could clean the other.

First of all, I’m really glad it worked especially when people start trying my tips out on their kids :o) Secondly, thanks for the praise, Tom. Now I’m motivated to do more podcasts :o)


4 thoughts on “A motivational tip that actually works”

  1. Alex,

    This is a simple, yet wonderful, example for managers:

    1. If you want people to be engaged, then engage with them.

    2. If you want people to be engaged, build a relationship vs. assign tasks with the proise of some future reward if completed.

    The carrot and the stick only work if the donkey is hungry enough and the carrot tastes good enough. Once the appetite is satisfied, the carrot has to be even more enticing, the stick short enough, and the manager has to work even harder.

    Relate. Don’t manipulate.

    Good example.

  2. I think this applies to diets/weight loss/fitness too. It’s only possible to stick to it if the process is enjoyable!

  3. That’s great. Although common ways of motivating someone may be effective, it doesn’t mean that everyone will be motivated with a certain kind of motivation. I think every situation has its own answer.

  4. Setting example is really helpful for everyone. Most of us would hesitate on doing, especially new things unless someone would do it first to show that it’s not that bad.

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