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What motivates us?

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

DriveGet ready to unlearn what you know about “traditional” methods of motivating people – at work, school, or home.  This book by Daniel Pink is another favorite from my bookshelf and a fascinating read about what motivates us, along with the things that demotivate.   You may find some of the demotivators surprising – I know I did! For example, rewards and punishments. That’s how we teach behaviors, from childhood to adulthood, and it works, right? Take a closer look and you’ll discover that maybe it doesn’t work as well as you thought.

What Pink helps us understand is the value of intrinsic motivation and how we can encourage it in ourselves and others. Something I found particularly interesting is the impact autonomy has on motivation. We don’t always have a choice in what needs to be done, but humans have an inner drive for autonomy. So the more control we have over a task, the greater our motivation to do it well. I may have a non-negotiable report that needs to be completed each month by the 15th, but if I can choose things like when and how I will prepare the report, I’ll experience a higher level of satisfaction and motivation, and likely produce a better product.

Pink incorporates recent research in engagement, positive psychology, and Deci and Ryan's Self-Determination Theory to show how our human need for autonomy, mastery, and purpose provide us with an internal drive to succeed.

 

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