Practical activities from Mapping Motivation...
As many wise men and women have observed: “You are what you think.” However, this is only true when that thinking is not merely rumination, but intentional thought that in turn leads to action, to changing behaviours and habits, and eventually to a profound alteration in consciousness. As trainers, coaches, and consultants (trainers+ for short!), or indeed as business leaders and employers, we can often encounter situations where our clients or colleagues are locked in a negative loop (or indeed, we might find ourselves in such a loop). We know we need to change, but we can’t quite figure out how to break the cycle. This is where practical exercises come in. By moving from the mind to the body (and note, this doesn’t necessarily mean exercise or anything strenuous, it could be as simple as writing something by hand) we engage different parts of the brain and move away from cyclic rumination into action—which in turn creates the change we want to see.
In the light of this, I thought it would be a good idea to share some practical activities with you that might help you, your clients, or your employees catalyst the change they are looking for. I’ll be sharing a number of activities over a series of articles, and they’ll cover a wide range of topics, with the central beam uniting all of them being, of course, motivation!
To put the ‘activities’ in context: they are all drawn from my book, Mapping Motivation, which is the first volume in the Mapping Motivation series. The book contains some 75 Activity boxes, so I’ll be handpicking a few! These activities range in scope from the simple to the complex, but of course the reader always has the choice of those they might want to use. And here’s the point: I started off some 27 years ago as a trainer+ and it was a steep learning curve to get up to speed so that I could compete with other trainers+ in the market place. What I loved was going on courses where I not only received information, but also picked up handy, practical tools that I could use with clients and clients I wanted to acquire in the various ‘pitches’ that one made.
Indeed, it could be said that the practical toolkit was what made all the difference to the success of my business. I ‘d sometimes go to business network meetings and listen to a trainer+ give bullet-point after bullet-point of information, PowerPoint slide after PowerPoint slide of information – yes, much of it true and accurate – but the audience, along with me, falling asleep. There is only so much information we can find interesting and even retain after a while; but once we engage in some relevant activity, things change!
Therefore, in the next few articles, I’d like to share with you some of my favourite activities from Mapping Motivation. Perhaps these ideas could enter your toolkit? Or maybe, as a manager or leader, you could use them in your workplace? If you find they work, perhaps you might want to consider looking at the whole book to mine it for more ideas:
Now, onto the activity! This one comes from Chapter 2: The Roots of Motivation, Activity 2, on page 26 of the book. It is simple, yet profound:
Motivation is generally considered some sort of nebulous quality that we all want, all know what it is, but we never go further than this. Imagine now you are a trainer+: making a presentation at a network meeting, running a training session for staff, coaching a manager/ HR professional on their views on motivation. Get them to write down their ideas or opinions; in other words, make it physical, make them commit to something. And after they have, examine their ideas in turn: how accurate are they? How close to the real answers to the question?
The correct answers are to be found in the Figure 2.1 in chapter 2:
Personality, Self-Concept and Expectations are the three sources of motivation. This may well produce a “wow” moment. Now begin to unpack this illustration for them – and point out what it means. One very important thing it means is that about 70% of motivation is down to factors that we can influence and sometimes even control. How is that?...
You can find out more about 'The Roots of Motivation' and further activities in Mapping Motivation by James Sale published by Routledge. (There is currently a mid-year sale with 20% off all titles)
And for more information about Motivational Maps please contact one of our Licensed Practitioners.