5 Key Things to Remember About Motivation Part 5: Change

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The intention of these articles is to provide you with five key aspects of motivation that will help you, and perhaps your team too, understand what motivating people is really all about. Each article will tackle a new aspect in five-part series.

 

In our last blog, we covered how motivation boosts teams and facilitates collaboration. In this article, we’ll be covering the fifth and final aspect of motivation: how it catalysts change.

 

Five, it’s change

As we have described in earlier articles, motivation is energy. It is the fuel that drives us. And like energy, it is constantly in motion, therefore alters and transforms as it encounters different obstacles and acts upon different objects or people in its path. Our motivational energy changes over time. Sometimes, not very much, a barely perceptible shift. But sometimes, dramatically and drastically. I have seen financial circumstances utterly transform the motivational profile of an individual and indeed an organisation. For example, a Searcher-driven organisation, which is all about meaning and purpose, suddenly realises that they will be out of business if they don’t make some serious changes, and everyone’s Builder motivator spikes into the top three! Money is now a priority, so the other motivators take a backseat. This might be a temporary change for some, until financial stability is acquired, but for others, it might be a long term life-lesson; think about the money first or suffer the consequences type of narrative.

 

Change management is still the order of the day. Though we dress it up in different terms, such as organisational adaptability or agility or flexibility, the reality is the same: we need to help people in organisations cope with change. And there is more change coming our way now than ever before with the potential of automation, new technologies, and shifting economies and industries. But how do we really know how people feel and how their motivators contribute to or block change? The answer, in short, is the Motivational Organisational Map! However, so as not to make this an entirely promotional blog, let’s unpack this in more detail!

 

All successful change has to address 3 key factors: the vision of where we are going, the resources necessary to propel us there, and finally, and crucially, a dissatisfaction with the status quo within the employees; in other words, this last critical point hangs on the perceptions and motivators of staff. There has to be a hunger there. How, therefore, can we change effectively without knowing what our staff really want? We can’t. If we want longevity and not endless crisis management we need this level of insight. Motivational Mapping can provide this. Here’s how:

 

Three of the motivators fall into what we call the “Growth” cluster. Motivators in this cluster are much more likely to be change friendly, so a profile predominated by these motivators is much more likely to indicate someone up for and willing to change in general. Similarly, we also have a “Relationship” cluster, and the three motivators in this cluster are the opposite: change averse. They like things to stay the same and the security of predictability in general. Remember, motivational profiles are far more complex and nuanced, and cannot simply be reduced to blanket statements, but there are tendencies and trends that one can pick up on. The final cluster, “Achievement” motivators, are pretty much change ambivalent. They neither oppose nor actively block it. They can be persuaded change is positive, if provided the right information, but they are happy for things to remain as they are as well.

 

Now, depending on the “makeup” of your organisation, you are going to likely have a lean one way or the other. If you have a team of managers that are all Growth motivator dominant, and they’re pushing for change, but all the people “on the ground” are Relationship motivators, this is going to be a problem, because the people on the front line don’t like change and will find it very challenging. They may even actively oppose and resistant measures for as long as humanly possible. If you try to overwhelm, to force change, they’ll likely leave.

 

Similarly, the converse can be disastrous. If all the people on the ground are passionate about change and transformation and want the company to be making steps forward, but management are all playing it safe, counting profits and not making the necessary alterations to empower staff (such as new software, for example, or new agile ways of working) that can create mass exodus. However, motivational profiles do not limit or stereotype people, they are a doorway to a wider conversation. Once we understand who is more likely to be change-friendly and who isn’t, we can then begin to open dialogues about how to make the changes easier, and perhaps even better: listen to our staff to discuss their priorities.

 

Change is never easy, whether you’re simply employing new technology in your organisation, or creating a whole new dimension to your business, such as a new product line or strategy. However, with the right tools, and plenty of motivation, you can overcome the challenges of change poses, and perhaps even thrive as a result.

 

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Thank you for reading this blog series. We hope you found it insight and practically useful! 

 

Want to discover your motivators? You can also discover them yourself, or get close to it, by doing a few simple exercises. I have created a nine-part blog series Unlocking Motivation, to help take you through this process. It’s completely free, and will tell you a hell of a lot about the Maps and what they’re all about. To get started, you can go to part 1 here.



Alternatively, for a deeper dive into the language and metrics of motivation, as well as a Motivational Map code for a pin-point accurate motivational profile, you can buy Mapping Motivation: Unlocking The Key to Employee Energy and Engagement.


5 Key Things to Remember About Motivation Part 4: Teams

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The intention of these articles is to provide you with five key aspects of motivation that will help you, and perhaps your team too, understand what motivating people is really all about. Each article will tackle a new aspect in five-part series.

 

In our last blog, we covered how motivation boosts performance, and hence productivity and profits. In this article, we’ll be covering the fourth aspects of motivation, how it fuels high-power teams.

 

Teams

Teams are a vital part of any organisation, yet few organisations really cultivate and nurture teams. In fact, it can be difficult even to define what the difference between a group or department and a team is. However, there is a difference, and a significant one at that. Teams, especially high-level teams, become the sum of far more than their component parts. You can find out more about how high-level teams perform, and how they become more, by checking out my article The 4 Components of Real Teams, but suffice to say, a strong team can change the world!

 

We all want high-performing teams and an essential ingredient of a high-performing team is high levels of motivation; furthermore, motivation, especially shared motivators, are often a glue holding the team together. Indeed, collective motivational profiles become an often invisible value statement of what the team is driving for. For the team to achieve its business goals it’s also vital for its motivators to be aligned with those goals. An obvious and glaring example of this might be a team with predominantly commercial goals, but with people for whom the Builder motivator is lowest; this would be extremely de-motivating and also an uphill battle for the team. This isn’t theoretical, but actually happens – we experience this all the time!

 

High performing teams are always characterised by high energy. However, unlike with an individual motivation profile, there is more complexity about how the various primary motivators (and lowest motivators) of the team interrelate and how this energy can be maintained. At an obvious level, as in the example above of the commercially orientated team, ideally all the team members should have Builder in their top three, as that would mean they had the right energetic focus. However, certain motivators can also be complimentary to one another. For example, I once worked with a highly motivated team of three who were creating fantastical board games, a very artistic pursuit! All three team members had Creator as their number-one motivator! Well, that is a good start, and an aligned vision. However, that alone would not determine the success of the team. Yes, they had lots of creativity, but creativity alone and unchecked can lead to a kind of dreamy experimentation which never yields concrete results.

 

One of the team members, we’ll call him “C” to the other’s “A” and “B”, had Defender as their powerful second motivator. Now, that is really interesting. Normally, Defender and Creator clash; one seeks security and regularity, and the other risk and flights of fancy and invention. There is not only an internal conflict here of split priorities for the individual “C”, but also a conflict with the other two members of the team. Or is there? In this specific instance, the Defender’s desire for security: to double check every piece of work, to refine, to quality-assure, became a useful asset that kept the other two from wandering too far off the beaten track. “A”, on the other hand, had Spirit as their number two, and Searcher as their number three. “A” had been brought on midway through the project as a freelance manager (Spirit!) to help them get the project off the ground and make it a physical reality. This Searcher, this desire to make a difference and reach other people, clearly helped re-focus and re-invigorate the other two, who were aimlessly creating, but had no sense of how to make their game real and bring it to players. And what of “B”? “B” had Expert as his number two motivator, and this thirst for knowledge led to the team having several breakthroughs with the technology, creative approach, and overall design of the game. Together, this was a powerful triumvirate, balancing just enough of the more grounded motivators with a shared visionary “dream” focus.

So, motivation is very important for teams, but not just at the superficial level of “hyping them up” or incentivising them for results. Motivation is about the nuanced interrelation of motivators and how they each form a vital part of a jigsaw. When assembling a team, it’s important not only to be aware of how each individual’s motivators will fit with the others, but also to develop an awareness of these motivators so that any potential conflicts (Defender / Creator for example) can instead be harnessed as advantages.

 

One final thing to say on the nature of motivation in teams is the “360” approach. Motivational Maps 360 appraisal was pioneered by Mark Turner, and is a special approach where each person in the team completes their own Motivational Map, and then completes a Motivational Map from the perspective of each other person in the team. Now, this is less workable for large teams, because the sheer volume of results can be daunting, but as I’ve outlined previously in my blogs, teams should not be overlarge, because at that point they cease to become teams and become instead departments: awkward and unwieldy and with too little agility. Teams should be small, no more than fourteen people!

 

However, for small teams, this is devastatingly powerful, because it not only gives you a sense of how people are motivated and how those motivators interrelate, but how people perceive the motivators of others, which often infers implied value judgements. For example, if you rate some as having a low Expert motivator, might you doubt their efficacy and knowledge? We’ve seen examples of people state Expert as someone’s lowest motivator, only for their self-assessment to show it as their highest! This is extraordinary, and whilst challenging, can, with the right coach and approach, open up doorways to powerful and healing conversations that increase the synergistic power of the team tenfold.

 

So, if you are part of a team that needs to perform to a high level, or you are part of a team that is not doing so well and you’d like to improve, or even if you’re somewhere in the middle, I highly recommend focusing on motivation first and foremost. Skills, social bonding, and leadership are all vitally important, of course, but without motivation, you will essentially be throwing people into a labyrinth, with no awareness of where their colleagues are, or how to get to the other side.

 

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Tune in for further entries in this blog series to discover more about motivation!

 

Want to discover your motivators? You can also discover them yourself, or get close to it, by doing a few simple exercises. I have created a nine-part blog series Unlocking Motivation, to help take you through this process. It’s completely free, and will tell you a hell of a lot about the Maps and what they’re all about. To get started, you can go to part 1 here.



Alternatively, for a deeper dive into the language and metrics of motivation, as well as a Motivational Map code for a pin-point accurate motivational profile, you can buy Mapping Motivation: Unlocking The Key to Employee Energy and Engagement.

 


5 Key Things to Remember About Motivation Part 3: Performance

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The intention of these articles is to provide you with five key aspects of motivation that will help you, and perhaps your team too, understand what motivating people is really all about. Each article will tackle a new aspect in five-part series.

 

In our last blog, we covered how motivation and staying motivated can improve our quality of life in a number of ways. In this article, we’ll be covering the third aspect of motivation: the way it enhances performance.

 

Performance

 

When it comes to performance, most managers and business leaders prioritise strategy and skills, neglecting the all-important third crucial ingredient: motivation. You can have direction and strategy, and you can have all the skills and knowledge in the world, but without motivation, it isn’t going to go very far. Think of it this way: in the first article of this series, we compared motivation to fuel. To extend the metaphor, we’re all like cars: engines that require physical fuel to keep us going, but also, as human beings with more complex needs, we also require emotional fuel. With strategy, we know where the car is going. With skills, we have some unique driving techniques that can help us steer through challenging weather conditions, for example. But without fuel, the car is still going to grind to a halt without progress.

 

Motivation and performance go hand in hand. Performance produces productivity, and productivity, if rightly applied, creates profitability. I believe that we should be in the business of motivation, first and foremost, to motivate people, because, as mentioned in the previous article, it enhances our quality of life: our ability to open and frank conversations, our self-insight into our needs, and our energy levels. However, the fact remains that we live in a world of business, and where profit is king, and it needs to be made clear that motivation is not just an airy fairy conceptual thing that’s “nice” for people: it creates cash.

 

The way it does this is by enhancing the productivity of every employee. According to the Pareto Principle, our best people will be four times more productive than our average staff, and sixteen times more productive than our worst performing employees! Isn’t that crazy? Some people are doing literally sixteen times the amount of work as others in the same job! However, with Motivational Maps, our solution is not to “fire” the less productive staff and hope we can replace them (or at least, certainly not as a first resort). Rather, it’s to see if we can’t improve their productivity by raising their motivation levels. This way, the improvement is exponential, and mitigates the high costs associated with redundancy, recruitment, and training.

 

But “profitability” is not something that appeals to the majority of people. Managers expect staff to get “excited” about turning a profit (which most staff will never see any benefit from, I might add), but the fact is, according to Maps, in a sample of over 5000 staff in 10 sectors, only 7.7% had money, or the Builder, as their number one motivator, whereas 40.8% had making a difference, or the Searcher as their number one. So, I would argue that managers and business owners should shift their language to talking about performance. Performance is the meeting point between the employee and employer, and hence why both parties should want it! We may want employees to be productive because we have sales deadlines or targets, but the reality is that it is far healthier for the employee themselves to want to perform to a high level for their own self-esteem. Motivation and self-esteem are both correlated to business performance, which in turn leads to productivity and profits. But motivation lies at the root of all these things, so if we don’t fix motivation, none of the other can follow. We have to address that first. Most businesses find this an alien concept. They try to address the profits first (normally by making redundancies or cost-cutting). But no, we have to tackle motivation first and foremost because it’s the first step in the chain.

 

How does this process work?

 

It works because when people are working in an environment, or completing tasks, that align with their motivators, they feel a sense of “rightness” and affinity. Most businesses ask employees to uphold the “principles” of the organisation, but rarely define clearly what those principles are, and worse yet, often are hypocritical and fail to embody them themselves. For example, they tell staff that they want them to be “accountable”, but whenever the organisation’s upper management do something wrong, it seems inevitable those working under them get the flack. Or, they want employees to “be in it for the love not the money” but precede to underpay the employees and overpay the management. This all may seem very obvious, but it is amazing how many organisations fail to uphold their own principles, or even accurately define them.

 

How does this connect with motivation?

 

Well, principles are ultimately connected, and stem from, values. And our values are determined by our deeper motivations. For example, if our principle is: “I always help people when I can”, that connects to a value of “looking out for others”, which may boil down to the Searcher (or even the Friend, but we’ll run with Searcher here) motivator: “Making a difference”. The Searcher motivator might express itself in a number of values. For example, I tend to find that people with high Searcher motivators are normally the ones who care about the environment and other major global issues – because that drive to “make a difference” scales. Now, imagine that someone with high Searcher, which we’ve established is all about helping others and making a difference, were working in retail, the fashion industry. Imagine they’re working at one of the businesses that has been exposed for utilising slave labour, and eco-unfriendly materials and production methods, to produce their clothes. Now, this is distressing for anyone with a conscience, don’t get me wrong, but people with other motivators in their top three will more easily be able to rationalise and detach from the situation. For example, they might say: “Well, it’s really bad the organisation is doing this, but I need the money, and at the end of the day, I am not responsible for this process, I just work on the shop floor. When I am able to move job, I will, but for now, I just need a revenue stream, and this doesn’t reflect who I am.” Of course, the thought pattern will likely not be as articulate and clear-cut as that, but you get the idea! However, for the Searcher, this would be much more difficult. Our value systems, and motivators, are buried very deep and in some way are a reflection of who we are (though they can change over time as we grow), so to go against the grain challenges us on a moral and ethical level.

 

We might find similar comparisons, with, for example, a high Creator motivator working for a bank. Banks are, by definition, not creative (except in that negative sense of creating rip-off products for their clients). They do not – or should not - take avoidable risks, and often have survived hundreds of years by “playing it safe”. For a Creator motivator, this is a living hell. Someone else in this scenario might be able to rationalise: “This is only temporary; I need the money. I’ll just commit to my hobbies outside of work hours.” But for the Creator, this will not work long term, because they are effectively trying to operate in an environment that is attacking their value system on a daily basis: very de-motivating to say the least!

 

But, when the reverse of all this is true, when we work in environments and with people that do align with our motivators, then we really can and do internalise the organisational value system as our own. For example, a Defender motivator – those who value security – might love working at a bank and take their cautionary approach to heart. Employees will live the values of the organisation if they are aligned. And when they do this, their productivity will soar, because they will be working on the organisation’s projects with the same passion and commitment they might work on their own hobbies.

 

Now, you may think, is this simply a lucky-dip then? Do we just have to find the right people that match the organisation and get rid of the rest? Well, not exactly. Though an organisation will have an overriding character and value-system, within a job-by-job basis, we can have variation and approaches targeted to the individual. For example, if the bank had a marketing department, and there was a Creator motivator within that, the language utilised around the Creator might be tailored: “You’re the most creative person in the building, we need you to make things interesting!” This might change the Creator’s viewpoint entirely. “Yes, I work for a company that isn’t very creative, but they value me because I bring something different to the team. I’m the wildcard!”

 

The acclaimed British director Christopher Nolan introduced the wider world to the concept of “inception”, of planting an idea in someone else’s mind. But even without sci-fi wizardry, we can achieve this. By feeding the motivations of others, we make them feel like the organisation is their own, and when people feel that way, they will perform to incredibly high levels. This performance in turn will lead to productivity.

 

So, the moral of the story is this: focus on performance, and on motivation; focus on putting fuel in the tank of the car. The profits will follow.

 

***

 

Tune in for further entries in this blog series to discover more about motivation!

 

Want to discover your motivators? You can also discover them yourself, or get close to it, by doing a few simple exercises. I have created a nine-part blog series Unlocking Motivation, to help take you through this process. It’s completely free, and will tell you a hell of a lot about the Maps and what they’re all about. To get started, you can go to part 1 here.



Alternatively, for a deeper dive into the language and metrics of motivation, as well as a Motivational Map code for a pin-point accurate motivational profile, you can buy Mapping Motivation: Unlocking The Key to Employee Energy and Engagement.


Interview with a BP #8: Paul Ward

What I found that was really interesting is that meeting a potential client for a coffee, without the Map, and trying to get them to go in for some coaching work with me, that was challenging. But if I mapped them, then sat down with them and had a conversation, I was far more likely to enter a coaching relationship with them.’

Becoming a Business Practitioner is a big step, but the rewards are also tremendous. We wanted to speak with our BPs and get a sense of what they felt the biggest challenges and rewards of being a BP were, as well as foreground the amazing work they do. This interview with Paul Ward is our eighth instalment, revealing the secrets of life as a BP and the incredible difference they make in the Maps community and beyond.

Paul Ward 1

 

Paul Ward is an International Executive Coach working with Business Owners and senior managers. He is the Founder of Solace Coaching, a qualified trainer of NLP, and Business Practitioner of Motivational Maps.

 

TOP MOTIVATOR: SEARCHER

HR Searcher

 

When I asked Paul what his top motivators are, his response intrigued me: ‘I recall the first Map that I completed.’ I found this to be an unusual way to approach the question of what his top motivators were. It shows how important, and powerful, tracing the narrative of our motivational profile – and hence our shifting priorities and energy levels – can be. As a coach, he is used to seeing those journeys in his clients. ‘Though I can’t remember the specific order, I do remember it was when I was doing my NLP Practitioner week. It was a bit of a “dark time”. I was between jobs, in a sense. I’d taken up a role when I met Bevis and started up this journey, that promised riches and glory, and that was selling double-glazing! They were telling me it’s this easy: You read a script, turn up at their door, read another script, then take their money from them. But I realised (a) I really didn’t enjoy doing it and (b) I was particularly poor at it. It was that thing that the Maps often reveals: the role doesn’t interest me, it pushes against my values. I wanted to help people not rip them off. So, though I don’t remember the order, I remember I was something like 21% motivated! To be honest, you didn’t have to be a specialist to look at me and say “That guy’s not motivated”, but it was a nice clear evidence of what was going on with me. In terms of my profile now, Searcher is always at the top. Spirit usually second or third. And most recently, and this keeps coming in and coming out of the top three, is Expert. Depending on where I am and what I’m doing!’

 

I remarked that this profile is probably ideal for his current role as a coach and trainer. He works for himself, which feeds independent (Spirit); he gets to demonstrate and pass on knowledge to the people he is training (Expert); and he makes a different to people by empowering them with skills (Searcher). However, Paul observed that the fascinating thing about the Maps today are the ‘completely different backgrounds and industries coming to the Maps. For example, if you’re a Personal Trainer, you know everyone comes to you saying: “I want to lose weight. I want to eat healthy.” So, you give them a routine, and they don’t stick to it. But if you have the inside knowledge if what motivates them and the NLP tools, you can then deliver something to your client and they stick to it.’

 

There are so many unconventional applications of the Maps emerging, which is really exciting. Whilst the Maps tend to be thought of as a recruitment and retention tool, the possibilities are almost endless in terms of how they can be integrated into a myriad of people-processes. Thinking about how people-focused they are, I wondered whether NLP was a big part of the Maps process for Paul:

 

‘For me personally, yes. When I first met Bevis (on the Senior Practitioner team), eight years ago now, he and I were discussing NLP. That’s what brought us both together first of all. We met at a networking-type event. His first email after that event was talking about NLP, but it also had a link to complete a Motivational Map! So, I went around to his office, which back then was just at his house, and he laid out these cards in front of me with the Nine Motivators on them while he was making me a coffee! He asked me, before I’d seen my Maps profile, where I thought my motivators were. Although I’d started out with the intention of developing my NLP, I trained in the Maps at the same time, and the two have always been hand in hand right from the beginning.’

 

Paul outlined how the questioning-style of Neurolinguistic Programming allowed for deeper insight when looking at Maps profiles: ‘I was talking to someone this week, a client down in London, who has recently done her NLP training. She works in the restaurant business, so has a high turnover of staff. She was talking to me about the possibility of using Maps in the organisation, but not me doing it. She wanted to train in the Maps and run them herself. She was asking whether she thought the NLP would help with the Maps and I said: “Absolutely, it will enhance the Maps, because the fact you have your NLP practitioner skills, this different style of questioning, will make feedback far more powerful.” I expect we’ll have Maps in a restaurant in London very soon!’

 

I remarked that hospitality, and particularly restaurants, are a very demotivating environment. I myself worked in a call centre for several years, answering one-hundred and fifty phone calls a day. ‘Keeping somebody motivated when they’re serving the general public can be a challenge, put it that way!’ Paul said. ‘I can really relate. Because I worked in the retail industry, which has a similar problem. You always seemed to have two extremes in the core team: the people who had been there fifteen years and it was just a part-time job for them. Or, you’d have people, sixteen years old to early-twenties, for whom it was just beer money. I was one of those when I started!’ It seems to me that hospitality, customer service, and retail are an untapped reservoir for Mappers. With growing dis-engagement in the workplace, and a desperate need to motivate and retain people, there could be a burgeoning opportunity here.

 

I asked how Paul transitioned from holding down a day job, to a fully fledged Business Practitioner with Maps. ‘When I first started with Maps, I was a bit of a slow burner at first. I was still working in the retail environment. I was working as an Area Manager for a charity. I was using Maps within my organisation, to help me understand my team better. Because I was still employed, and not a coach, I only used them here and there. It took me a long time to transition from a Licensed Practitioner of Maps, using them once in a while, to signing up for a Business Practitionership and using more Maps. But what I found that was really interesting is that meeting a potential client for a coffee, without the Map, and trying to get them to go in for some coaching work with me, that was challenging. But if I mapped them, then sat down with them and had a conversation, I was far more likely to enter a coaching relationship with them. Funnily enough! So that became my go-to method of engaging with potential clients.’

 

I asked whether he was interested in taking on larger-scale projects.

 

‘I went on a bit of a different tangent to a lot of associates I know who use the Maps. I still, to this day, only really use Maps one-to-one. I don’t tend to do the big projects. Groups of no bigger than usually ten is what I’m used to. Mostly what I use Maps for is as a doorway into coaching. That’s what led me to discuss with Bevis the option of transitioning to a BP. I was networking with a lot of coaches, consultants and HR managers, and telling them about the Maps and how great they are and how I use them, and mapping them – so they received and understood the benefit of a Map – but they were not turning into coaching clients. I asked myself what I could do: these people would really benefit from using Maps themselves. So therefore it seemed an obvious transition for me to step into a BP for me to develop, promote, push Licensed Practitioners of my own.’

 

I observed that this allowed Paul to maintain his one-to-one focus, but still grow his business. ‘I’ve been very focused on who I am, my presence as a trainer, as a facilitator. I take this role quite seriously. I’m passing information on, so I need to know my stuff!’

You can find out more about the work Paul does by heading over to Solace Coaching