Mysteries of Motivation: Do We Have Any Idea What Works?

Motivation of one kind or another is at the root of everything we do. And though it can be defined very simply as, “the reason or reasons one has for behaving in a particular way,” motivation is anything but simple. Despite being extensively researched by social scientists and addressed continuously in the business literature, there isn’t uniform agreement about what is motivating for people in a variety of situations. So, in the workplace, for example, incentives intended to increase motivation often have the opposite effect or work in ways that cause unexpected consequences. Research shows extrinsic rewards like money tend to decrease intrinsic motivation, so it might not be very surprising that the incentives we use in our private lives for motivation don’t always work well either.

If we can agree that motivating ourselves and others is necessary to achieve the results we want in our personal and professional lives, then how do we do it effectively? Is it even possible to positively influence motivation? What does it take to increase our own motivation when it’s running low? How do we motivate others to do what is necessary when our results are dependent on their actions? Though we won’t be able solve all the mysteries of motivation, we can share ideas, best practices, and strategies for increasing motivation and reducing barriers to motivation.

Join us for the February 21, 2014 Women’s Leadership Roundtable for a lively discussion about how to make the most of motivation for ourselves and others.


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