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Motivation in the workplace:
Challenge and opportunity of Diversity

Motivation in the workplace can be extremely challenging because most people are ONLY able to motivate people who think like they think.

In the corporate world, managers strive for diversity but they’ve seldom had the training to motivate a diverse group of people with an assortment of motivational profiles.

A manager may know what worked to motivate so-and-so -- or what self motivation techniques worked when they themselves were in a similar situation  -- and they try a one-size-fits-all approach.

Guess what? It doesn’t t work. And it’s not because people are lazy. ..Okay, I admit, some are.. It is because people are wired differently!

When it comes to motivation, understanding how people are wired makes a real difference.

motivation in the workplace MEANS different strokes for different folks

The problem is that each person has their own unique set of filters through which they view the world. These filters are shaped and toned by a person’s sense of identity, their beliefs, experiences, expectations and their values.

Yes, there is typically SOME commonality among cultural, geographic and ethnic groups. But when it comes to motivations in the workplace, it is a terrible mistake to think that motivational profiles are exactly alike. Each individual has a perceptual grid that is colored by their own unique experiences.

Here is a question for you:

Have you ever had an experience – perhaps with siblings – where two people were involved in the EXACT same situation yet years later remembered two totally different versions of the SAME event? Our human minds are interesting, aren’t they?

When I am doing motivation in the workplace seminars, I typically demonstrate this tendency of ours to distort or hallucinate life experiences by asking people to describe what an overused phrase like “healthy lifestyle” means to them.  And I make them write it down so they don’t twist the answer later. I then ask ten people to read verbatim what they wrote down. I will get ten unique answers.

What does THAT have to do with motivation in the workplace? When it comes to motivation in the workplace, communication is typically verbal. That means that WORDS are particularly important. But motivation is a feeling, isn’t it?

Why words matter

The WORDS people use, describe private mental pictures only they are aware of. Those ideas activate feelings. Feelings fire the impulse to act. 

If you want to trigger motivation, you need to know what words and types of phrases will ignite the desired action in the hearts and mind of the individuals on your team.

Language and Behavior Profiling

The easiest way I have found to raise morale and overcome a lack of motivation is with the mind tool developed by Roger Bailey called the Language and Behavior Profile.

The LAB profile reveals how people sort and filter information in any given context.  Using it, a trained manager can know the right way to influence, motivate and even predict the behavior of each and every person on their team – in about five minutes. 

Working with LAB profiles, you learn how to customize your language so that it has maximum impact on each and every member of your team. 

By recognizing and appreciating an employee’s unique profile instead of relying on one-size-fits all motivation techniques, you honor the diversity of your team instead of allowing it to frustrate you. In that way, you foster the highest level of motivation in the workplace.

Get information on Mandy’s corporate training programs

For more on understanding motivation

self motivation techniques

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