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Motivational Needs

The Management Pocketbooks Pocket Correspondence Course

This is part of an extended management course. You can dip into it, or follow the course from the start. If you do that, you may want a course notebook, for the exercises and any notes you want to make.


If you need to motivate your team, then you absolutely need to understand the concept of ‘needs’.

Most psychological models of motivation, starting with the best known of all – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – are based on a simple premise:

Human beings have needs. Therefore the promise to
satisfy them is necessarily motivating.

Maslow is overdone in training courses, management guides and, yes.. blogs. So we’ll skip that for a moment, but you can always take a look at The Motivation Pocketbook.

Modern thinking focuses strongly on four workplace needs:

1. The Need to Master our Work

We have a deep psychological drive to achieve proficiency and mastery and, when we do so and are able to work at that level, we find our work deeply satisfying. We fall into a ‘flow state’ where our work totally absorbs us.

2. The Need to Feel a Sense of Purpose

What question do small children ask, continually?

Why? Why? Why? Why?

As adults we equally need an answer to this and if we sense that our work has a real meaning and purpose that aligns with our values, then it is highly motivating.

3. Relationships

If you work full-time, then you probably spend more time with your work colleagues than you do with the person or people you thought you had chosen to spend your life with. People are social creatures and we have a powerful need for strong social relationships in which we feel there is a place for us – and ideally some sense of esteem from those around us. Respect is also a very important motivator.

4. Control

Once again, young children hold a mirror to us as adults. Much toddler mis-behaviour (and the same is true for a lot of teenage actions) is driven by a desire to control our lives, our environment and our choices. Rob people of control and stress is a rapid result. Give workers more control and that is intrinsically motivating.

Two other Needs Based Models on the Management Pocketblog are:

  1. David McClelland’s Three Motivational Needs
  2. Ryan and Deci’s Self Determination Theory

 

 

Further Reading 

The Motivation Pocketbook

The Management Models Pocketbook

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Same Job: New Job

Last week we looked at some tips if you want a new job.  But what if you want to stay in your current job, but want it to feel like a new job?

If only there were some way to revitalise your current job.  Well maybe there is.  And it all starts with the Flower Model of Job Satisfaction.

Flower Model

Lets take each petal at a time and see what you can do to boost your job satisfaction.  Effective action on two or three of these could transform the way you feel about your current job.

Motivation

What is it that really motivates you in your work?  David McClelland’s theory of ‘Motivational Needs’ can help you here: You may be motivated by:

The Need for Power: a desire to be in control – of yourself, yes, and others maybe. Certainly you will look for respect.

The Need for Affiliation:  a desire to be part of a team and to relate to other people, working together and being recognised for your contributions.

The Need for Achievement: a desire to do things, do them well, see results and sense progress.

Whatever you discover motivates you, look for ways to get more of it in the balance of your work.

Effectiveness

If getting things done and making a difference matters to you, then look for ways to take a more strategic perspective on your work.  What choices and decisions have you been pretending you can’t make?  It is time to be more precise in what you choose to do, and to seek more responsibility for making a difference.  So start with ‘what is the purpose of my job?’  and work towards focusing more on that and less on the trivia.

Creativity

Get involved in projects, take part in change, review how you do things or what else your organisation could do to serve your clients or customers.  Take time out to think, experiment and play.

Enjoyment

Start to look for the fun in the things you do day-to-day: maybe a robust argument about the next marketing campaign, perhaps a chance to design a new window display, possibly a decision to learn new techniques that will make you better at your job.  With the right attitude, discussion, design and learning are all fun – and so is just about anything.

Efficiency

Focus on one thing and look at how you can do it as well and efficiently as you possibly can.  Flow states are the optimum state of pleasure for humans. We reach them when we stretch ourselves to the limit of our capability, so transform a dull repetitive task to a striving for efficiency and not only will you free up time for creativity or relationships or enjoyment, but you will have more pleasure doing the task.

Relationships

The average worker spends more of their waking hours with work colleagues than they do with their family.  So make the most of it.  Look for new ways to enjoy the company of your colleagues – or look for new colleagues within your organisation whose company you can better enjoy.

Please Note:  This is in no way a recommendation to try out an inappropriate workplace relationship.  Far more often than not, it will end badly and make things a whole lot worse!

Management Pocketbooks you may enjoy

The Positive Mental Attitude Pocketbook will give you a heap of hints how to transform your attitude to a job you are starting to tire of.

The Management Models Pocketbook has a chapter on David McClelland’s model of motivational needs.

The Improving Efficiency Pocketbook will give you a load of ideas for… improving efficiency.

The Working Relationships Pocketbook will..  well, you get the idea.

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Building Rapport with FROGS

What is Rapport?

Rapport is a harmonious relationship in which two people communicate easily and effectively.  Rapport-building is a valuable skill for anyone who wants to communicate better and influence people.

Familiar Techniques

There are many things that you can do to strengthen rapport during a conversation, and most of them reflect the things that will happen naturally anyway.  Postural matching and echoing the rhythms of speech with nods and small movements can be both subtle and powerful, for example.  These are often the focus of rapport-building training.

Other, easier techniques are often over-looked or down-played, like repeating back key words and phrases, agreeing with what you hear, and showing your approval for what is being said: human beings love to be affirmed and approved of!

Back to Basics

But one of the simplest and best ways to get rapport quickly is to establish or reinforce a common interest or experience with someone.  This simple conversational gambit is what we often do naturally when we meet a new person for the first time: we ask simple questions hoping to find something we have in common:

‘Ah, you come from Rotherham.  I know Rotherham.’

‘Oh, you worked for ABC Inc – I have done business with them.’

‘Really, you’re a fan of Sumo? Me too.’

Common ground is the easiest basis for rapport.

FROGS

I was working with a group recently, which included several people with a sales background, who introduced me to a simple tool for remembering how to develop this aspect of rapport: FROGS.

Red-eyed Tree Frogs - Brian Gratwicke

Photo by Brian Gratwicke
Click on photo for original

FROGS reminds us of five sources of rapport with someone – and therefore five subjects of conversation we can use to start a meeting up and thereby build rapport.

Friends
Who do we know in common?  Ask after shared friends.  Take an interest in their friends.  LinkedIn gives you a possible route to researching this.

Relationships
You could interpret this as family, if you know them well enough, or as business relationships otherwise.

Organisations
Current or past organisations with which they are connected – in both formal and informal contexts.  Think about employers, professional or trade organisations.  Political and religious organisations need to be handled with care.

Geography
Place is an important anchor for many of us, so when we share connections to towns, villages or countries, it can create a strong bond.  Often there are allegiances and experiences that go with this, which can also strengthen rapport.

Social
… or, for some people, just Sport.  But it is far better to think as widely as possible about social connections, into voluntary groups and other interests.  These are often the things people actively choose to do, so they are bound to be important to them.  Asking about them and taking an interest is therefore a strong signal of liking and respect.

Some Management Pocketbooks you might like

More on rapport and good communication in:

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Mending a Relationship Breakdown

Man Getting Pie in the FaceConflict at work, whether between colleagues or with customers or suppliers, can sometimes end in a breakdown of the relationship.  You have two options:

1.  You can walk away
It’s safe, it’s easy, it’s a waste

2.  You can try to fix it
It’s hard, it has the possibility of failure, it can turn disaster into triumph

Your Choice

Which course you take towards managing the end stage of conflict is up to you.  Few would blame you if you were to walk away, but if you choose to try again, consider this: if the relationship has truly broken down, then you have little to lose, so everything to gain.

If you choose to try again, the Management Pocketblog offers you  process that you can follow.  The stronger the prior relationship, the better it can work.

Three Phases to Mending a Breakdown

Phase 1: Reality

If you decide to try to mend the relationship, the first phase is to understand what has happened.  To do this, there are three steps:

  1. Listen to each other
    When you decide to mend the breakdown, take it upon yourself to listen to the other person.
  2. Clarify the facts
    How do each of you perceive the situation, and what would each of you most like to achieve?
  3. Declare a breakdown
    You must end this phase by recognising that a breakdown has occurred and that, whether there is fault or not, both parties have participated and, therefore, both of you must engage if you want to mend it.

Phase 2: Commitment

Building commitment needs an openness to the situation, and a positive statement of intent from both parties.  Respect each other’s perceptions, and try to establish how the objective facts compare to these.  Then offer your commitment to whatever you are prepared to do, to mend the relationship.  When you have done that, ask what commitment the other person is prepared to make.

If your respective commitments complement each other, you have the basis for mending the relationship.

Phase 3: Progress

Now you are ready to make some progress.  Typically, there are three things to put in place:

  1. What’s missing?
    Work together to identify what information, processes, data, options, or solutions are missing, which you will need to mend the relationship fully.
  2. Plans
    Now make your plans for who will do what and when.  Re-iterate promises to honour your respective allocated roles.
  3. Review
    Follow-up with open and honest reviews of progress.  Be generous in recognising what positive steps the other person has taken towards your goal.

So here’s the deal

Mending a broken relationship is not always possible.  There must be a pre-existing strength to the relationship, and both parties must be eager to re-build.  But if these foundations are in place, then it can be done.  It may not be easy, but the results can be well worth the effort.

Management Pocketbooks you may enjoy

The Resolving Conflict Pocketbook has a range of valuable resources to help you understand and resolve conflict.  It also has interesting sections on bullying and harassment, and team conflict.

And if this is not enough for you, there is more than a pocketful of extra help from other Management Pocketbooks:.

For managers,

and, for trainers,

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