I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately. My daughter is 5 and we are trying to motivate her to do more of certain tasks, like cleaning her room and feeding the cats — and less of others behaviors, like whining and talking back.
I have also been thinking about what motivates us adults in our professional lives. Why some of us are really engaged and excited about our work while others find their jobs to be draining.
Then I stumbled across the work of Daniel Pink, in his book Drive. He has synthesized the research and the results are really interesting. While the typical carrot method works for simple tasks, that’s not true for the more complex reality of most adult careers.
The 3 factors that lead to better performance and personal satisfaction are:
- autonomy = our desire to be self directed
- mastery = our desire to improve
- purpose = our desire to make a difference
As for motivating kids to do simple tasks, the gold star chart is still a great solution.