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What level of thinking are you encouraging in your people?

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

We are facing an unprecedented crisis in workplace motivation. Only the businesses that are quick to learn and adapt will survive and thrive in the current economic climate. Survey after survey is showing that the majority of people are disengaged at work and are delivering well below their best efforts. But we now have an opportunity to use a more creative management approach – by utilising below conscious motivation patterns.

Attached to control

Business is surprisingly slow when it comes to adopting new management thinking because we have a very strong attachment to maintaining control. The uncertainty created by giving others autonomy is unbearable for most of us, we simply can’t handle the stress of it (check out my article‘Can you let go to grow?’ for more about this). But if you don’t give autonomy and more meaning to their work, the work becomes a chore and they quickly become resentful of it. This leads to complaining and finding fault with it rather than seeking to improve it.

The research Roger Bailey did on motivation in the workplace, discovered a number of patterns that influence behaviour at a below conscious level.  In the category called ‘Reason’ he discovered that 40% of the working population need a clear reason for doing something or they will not be motivated to do it, they need to know Why it needs to be done. These people have an ‘Options’ pattern. They are stimulated by the reason behind doing things and are motivated to explore a number of alternative ways to achieve them.

Motivated by what’s possible

For example people with this ‘options’ pattern in the context of cooking will find it difficult to follow recipes. They are likely to look at the ingredients as a list of possible combinations of flavours for the dish and think about what will make it ‘interesting’ or ‘adventurous’ or perhaps ‘safe’ or ‘familiar’, depending on who they are cooking for or how much time they have

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