At the end of March 2020, Alpina publishes the book Your Source of Motivation: How to Want to Do What You Need to Do. Posted by Susan Fowler is a recognized global expert in employee motivation. With permission from the publisher, we are publishing an excerpt from it about the scientific truths of motivation.
Prosperity requires Choice, Participation and Competence
Are you lazy? Do you think that a man svoei ̆ nature is inert? Do you like it when the service suddenly becomes simple? Do you think millions of other people ̆ are also happy when they are not loaded with work ̆? Do you agree that this is why we all need to be constantly nudged, stimulated, praised, or simply forced to fulfill our responsibilities? Do you think that subordinates will start loafing if their superiors do not watch them vigilantly? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then your knowledge of motivation probably needs updating.
Each of us has a natural need for prosperity – such is human nature. But boredom and idleness are not at all conducive to prosperity. As well as inertia, laziness or evasion of official duties ̆. Nobody really wants to get bored or thrash their thumbs. Deep down, we are not against slozhnoi ̆ work. We welcome productive ̆ and meaningful ̆ work, even if hard enough ̆. We love meaningful tasks, even if they are challenging. In principle, we are not opposed to being responsible for anything – we simply do not like when this responsibility is imposed on us !
We want to contribute to the common cause, feel satisfaction from work, grow and develop every ̆ day. We crave well-being in all its forms.
Realization of this natural desire leads to a very important question for every person: how can prosperity be achieved? Today, thanks to the latest research, we know the answer. And it is different from anything that we have been encouraged to believe in before.
Prosperity is independent of money, power, or status. It is not achieved by promotions, gaining privileges, or pursuing results. And you certainly cannot find it through pressure, tension or fear – and even willpower and self-discipline will not help here. Prosperity requires Choice, Participation and Competence.
Three scientific truths of motivation
Motivation is the energy required to take action . Choice, ownership, and competence generate the high quality motivation (energy) you need to thrive. Your high-quality motivation – and the associated energy to achieve and reflect on goals ̆ – depends on gaining choice, ownership, and competence.
So, let’s consider each ̆ of these points in more detail.
1. The first scientific truth: you must have a choice . Each person has an innate need to know that he has a choice, to be aware and feel the available opportunities (within a certain framework) and to feel control over what is happening: “I myself choose how I will behave.” Otherwise, your energy decreases, and it becomes less likely to achieve goal ̆.
2. The second scientific truth: you must become involved . Each person has an innate need to feel belonging to a community and a true connection with others, not burdened with thoughts of base motives; we strive to pursue goals consistent with significant values and a noble mission, and to contribute to the common cause. Otherwise, the quality of your energy decreases, and even if you achieve your goals , you still do not feel the proper satisfaction from the process and do not try to repeat it too much.
3. The third scientific truth: you must acquire competence . Each person has an innate need to feel that he is able to effectively manage everyday situations, demonstrate his skills and feel how he grows and develops every day. Otherwise, your energy is blocked, you feel frustrated that you are not able to complete tasks or move on the path of progress, as a result of which the achievement of long-term goals ̆ is jeopardized ̆.
The evidence for the above three scientific truths underlying human motivation is overwhelming. Just look around. Notice that as you gain choice, ownership, and competence, you experience a state of “flow,” or deep peace. Conversely, if you are missing any one of the three components, you feel fear, anger, tension, frustration or despair, feel pressure or stress, suffer from loneliness, pride or arrogance.
By gaining choice, a sense of belonging and competence, a person flourishes.
Otherwise, it can easily wither away.
Three Truths – Everywhere You Look
Has it ever happened to you that you bought a new car and after that you began to notice on the roads all cars similar to yours? DATA ̆ phenomenon is called activation ̆ retikulyarnoi ̆ formation – a feature of filtering of information by the brain.
The system of activation of the reticular ̆ formation works like an alarm, immediately turning on your attention when, for example, someone says your name in a noisy room. You can use it to validate the importance of gaining choice, ownership, and competence.
This will give you a completely different perspective on how your children behave ̆. Baby, grabbing ̆ spoon to eat on their own – even if he still can not get lozhkoi ̆ in his mouth – becomes a choice. A two- year-old who ̆ tries to talk to you when you are not looking at him gains belonging by turning your face with his hands to see the eyes of the interlocutor. A child who ̆ learns to walk gains competence when he rises from a fall and does not cry – expressing his joy in learning something new and exciting.
An example could also be given from another area where feelings and emotions are involved. In 2011, I saw an interview with Malaloi ̆ Yusufzai ̆ on CNN , which shocked me. This 14-year-old Pakistani girl has become famous all over the world for her rights. She stated that she wanted to have the right to play, sing and go to the market. But she spoke most loudly for the right to education, which the Taliban deprived of women. In an interview, Malala said that she needed her compatriots, and explained that speaking openly could influence the situation. My reticular ̆ activation system turned on at full capacity: Malala clearly expressed her need for choice (choosing her own ̆ path), belonging (doing something important for others) and competence (learning, developing and becoming an educated person).
A year later, Malala tried to shoot the terrorists wanted to silence yunoi ̆ human rights activist . She was wounded in the head but survived. Her book “I am Malala . A Unique Story of Courage That Shook the World ”is compelling evidence of the inherent needs of humans for choice, ownership and competence. In 2014, Malala became the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She, inspiring millions of people with her example ̆, continues to advocate that children and adolescents can openly declare their rights, seek meaning in life and receive an education.
When three values are lost. Description of the case with Diana
Inoi ̆ times we know perfectly well how to behave correctly in this or that ̆ situation, but suddenly something happens. which unsettles us, and as a result we act exactly the opposite. I’m afraid that, unfortunately, my story – about how I could not control myself and ruined my chances of gaining choice, belonging and competence – may seem familiar to many ̆.
Sales Director (which we call Steĭsi because it’s her real name) asked me to act as specialized professionals to consult with potentsialnoi ̆ Novo ̆ klientkoi ̆ (we will call her Diano ̆, although in fact this woman named differently). So Steĭsi agreed with Nei ̆ about hour telephone call at 14:00 next Wednesday. I carefully prepared, because serious about svoei ̆ as a consultant. I studied the notes Stacey sent me . I have looked at information about Diana’s organization in various sources, including her website and the latest ̆ annual ̆ report. I thought about the ideas that I wanted to discuss with the client ̆.
We, Steĭsi contacted in advance in order to avoid overlapping, but Diana at 14:00 been announced. Ten minutes later, Stacey sent a reminder to the client in case she got the time wrong. We were about to disconnect when Diana finally joined the conversation. Stacey greeted her politely, “Diana, I’m very glad you could call today. As you know, I brought in Susan Fowler , our Motivation and Engagement Specialist, to discuss our ideas with you. Susan read the notes with nashei ̆ Previous ̆ meeting and prepared to talk, but first allow me to introduce you to ex ̆ and clarify exactly what you expect from today’s conversation, because … ”
However, Diana, not listening to the end, cut her off: “ Stacy , I don’t have time for this. I have urgent business at 2:30 pm. And in general, I changed my mind. I decided to move in a different direction. ”
I was shocked – not because Diana suddenly decided to change direction, but because of her rudeness. I didn’t know what to say, but it didn’t matter, because the client herself began to talk about what she was thinking and what she wanted to do. All this seemed to me absolutely and ̆ nonsense ̆. I had questions, but I could not put in a word, and the time was inexorably approaching 14:30.
And then physiological discomfort arose in me – I use this term to describe the body’s reaction to vivid emotional experiences. An unpleasant sensation started somewhere in the stomach. As my frustration and misunderstanding increased, a wave of negative ̆ energy rose up in my chest . Then disappointment turned into anger, and when the growing energy reached my face, I felt it literally burn.
Suddenly, as if from the outside, I heard my resolute ̆ (and loud ̆) voice: “ Stacy , Diana, please forgive me. I think Diana knows exactly what she wants; There is nothing I can do to help her , so end the conversation together. ” And I passed out.
Then I experienced another shock: did I just hang up, talking with a potential client, and left Stacy to fend for herself ?! Yes, Diana’s behavior was egregious, but I had never done anything like this before. I walked up and down the room to blow off some steam. I was furious – and I was angry not only with Diana, but also with myself. Without knowing why, I went to the refrigerator in the heat of the moment, opened the door and said aloud: “I’m terribly hungry!”
The flow of cold air sobered me a little. I realized that the refrigerator will not help in this case. All I knew about motivation, suddenly popped into moei ̆ head. And I realized what happened during this short telephone conversation.
My choice, ownership and competence were destroyed .
- I could not see any opportunities возмож for myself – exactly the opposite. I felt that Diana had taken control of the situation unfairly ̆ and my sense of choice was shattered.
- We Diano ̆ could not naĭti indicator On ̆ language – exactly the opposite. She made no attempt to cooperate or acknowledge my contribution, which undermined my sense of belonging.
- Despite all efforts, I could not show my client the specialized knowledge or discuss with Nei ̆ their great ideas – exactly the opposite. I felt my own failure and could not think of anything better than to hang up, which destroyed my sense of competence.
Staring blankly into the refrigerator, I realized the bitter truth: I need to improve my motivation. I clearly understood how my motivation was changing during the failed conversation with Dianoi ̆ because my feelings of choice, belonging and competence also changed.
When Stacy first approached me for help, I freely and consciously chose to help her and her client (that is, I found a choice). I was attracted to the knowledge that I could be of help, and I was grateful to Stacey for reaching out to me (I found myself involved). I gladly jumped at the opportunity to share with klientkoi ̆ their knowledge about the problems of its organization, to explain ex ̆, that can give our approach, and at the same time in the process learn something new about the situation (I have gained competence). As a result, I felt optimally motivated.
But already in the first minutes of the conversation with Dianoi ̆ I lost control of my emotions, felt helpless and ultimately could not control myself ( my choice suffered ). My image and ego were crushed, I felt isolation and shame and realized that I was doing more harm than good ( my belonging suffered ). I was stunned because I could not put into practice what I myself taught others – I doubted the value of my own knowledge and skills and felt like a deceiver ̆ ( my competence suffered ). As a result, my motivation became suboptimal ̆.
I had not yet learned enough to improve motivation. But the realization of what happened was an important turning point.
Recognizing that I had alternatives, I wrote a letter of repentance to Stacey — found a choice. I asked her for forgiveness and offered to help her ̆ in any possible way, without communicating personally with the client ̆, – gained involvement.
Stacey accepted my offer, and I worked with one of my colleagues, who then had to contact Dianoi ̆, explaining to her ̆ what to do, – gained competence. ( Stacey gave me permission to share this and ̆ the story ̆ and now strongly advocates for everyone to learn to gain choice, ownership, and competence.)
Gain choice, ownership, and competence to improve your motivation and thrive. Their absence can literally be bad for your health.
You might be thinking, “ If choice, ownership, and competence are really the three magic elixirs for improving motivation, then why isn’t everyone taking advantage of them? “The problem here is how deeply outdated ideas are ingrained in our thinking and traditional approaches to motivation. It’s time to review everything that we used to think about this.
What Science Says
Self-determination theory is a comprehensive and comprehensive theory of human motivation that has been tested and refined over the past 45 years. This view of man as a creature having an innate predisposition to growth, prosperity and self-realization, can be successfully applied in various fields: such, for example, health, education, consulting, video games, education detei ̆, physical culture and sports. It will be useful in optimizing any kind of activity, which is very important, because an adult ̆ a person spends most of his life at work.
The essence of this ̆ theory, which has been repeatedly tested in practice in dozens of countries around the world, boils down to the following. In order to do something, we have reasons of various qualities: both high (the joy of self сам activity and in the name of which it is performed, love, compassion), and low (material incentives, ambition, status). The reasons for the higher order allow us to get the obvious advantages (optimal functioning and happiness), and lower-quality contrast, depriving us all of this and may even have a negative impact (non-optimal functioning and dushevnyi ̆ discomfort).
Studies show that scientists around the world, it is usually the same for absolutely everyone, regardless of kulturnoi ̆, age, sex, profession and zanimaemoi ̆ positions.
Figuratively speaking, your brain needs “psychological vitamins” to increase quality and ̆ motivation. These nutrients – universal psychological needs: autonomy, that is, the management sobstvennoi ̆ life and autonomy (I svoei ̆ book call this choice), relationships with other people, that is, in a sense of belonging and meaning of existence (in moei ̆ interpretation of this involvement ) and competence, that is, consciousness sobstvennoi ̆ efficiency (here I use the same sama ̆ term).
These three basic psychological needs are important for everyone, anywhere and anytime , just as plants always need light, soil, and water to grow. When you get enough “psychological vitamins” (that is, your psychological needs are met), the likelihood that your activities will be effective and fulfilling are increased.
If you are mostly, so to speak, “ junk food ” (that is, psychological needs are not met), then ambition and material rewards become the main incentives, and as a result your experience is more negative.