In David McClelland’s book Human Motivation, he stated that humans were driven by a number of key principles that affect just about all of us. 1) Achievement (the desire to grow and advance toward increasingly challenging goals)
2) Affiliation (the desire to be liked or loved)
3) Power, expressed in two ways:
a) Personalised (the desire for influence and respect for yourself) and
b) Socialised (the desire to empower others; to offer them influence and respect) McClelland offered that if people are given the opportunity to achieve, affiliate and influence in some way, they will be motivated and engaged. If they don’t feel that their work or anything they can gain at work will be directed to any of these three, they will fail to share their motivation and will not allow themselves to grow. So, here are three questions to ask yourself:
Are you working on something that is meaningful and challenging – something that will help you grow towards something that you really want in life?
Are you relating to other people at work or socially – people you feel close to and whom you like?
Do you feel recognised for the work you do, paid and unpaid? Can you influence goals, outcomes, decisions? Make sure you have clear goals that inspire you and the autonomy to achieve them.
Find opportunities to collaborate with others. And look for opportunities to assess how things should be done, ensuring your participation is going to be recognised in a way that will bring meaning to you. Engaging work, connected community and empowered action; enough to keep motivating anyone!
Originally published: 7 June, 2012
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