Lots of Motivations

Last week, I posted an entry on Economic Incentives that Don’t Cost Money.  Not long after posting, some notable minds in my PLN weighed in:

Marcia Conner

Incentives that http://sn.im/dont-cost money any better? @mrch0mp3rs has me wondering. Constructivists+ ready to weigh in?

Koreen Olbrish

@marciamarcia @mrch0mp3rs incentives work based on the individual’s motivators; for some, recognition or sense of purpose much more powerful

Mark Oehlert

@marciamarcia @KoreenOlbrish @mrch0mp3rs Two classes of incentives: Want To & Have To

There are, in my understanding, a variety of reasons why people are motivated and thusly a number of ways we can influence others.  I posited that while needs and fear are certainly motivators, there are others like rewards, beliefs and plain ol’ fashioned ego.

There are a lot of ontologies you can apply to describe what motivates people.  The key to influencing people, as individuals or as a facilitator in a group, is not just recognizing what actually paves the way to action: we need to be careful to recognize what does not motivate people.

When we attempt to motivate with a method that doesn’t apply, that mismatch is immediately recognized as something akin to attempting manipulation — and then you’ve lost the person or group.  You’ve turned them off completely.

Marcia asked above if an economic motivator is any better than a financial one.  I think that question speaks to organizational or even individual values.  I don’t know that I’m the right judge of whether it’s better or not.  What I believe is that, as Andrew McAfee addressed in his keynote at DevLearn, people are motivated by a weird assortment of things.  I’m pragmatic: I don’t want to question it;  I want to use what works in accordance with what “we” value.

What say you?

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