Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does Book Summary - Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does Book explained in key points
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Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does summary

Susan Fowler

More Breakthroughs for Leading, Energizing, and Engaging

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14 mins

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Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does by Susan Fowler challenges traditional approaches to motivation. It delves into the science of motivation and provides practical strategies to foster an environment that truly inspires people to perform at their best.

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    Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does
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    Unlocking true motivation

    When it comes to motivation, there’s a common misconception that dangling the proverbial carrot or brandishing the stick is the key to driving performance. This approach, rooted in external rewards and penalties, has long been the cornerstone of traditional motivation tactics. But this method overlooks a crucial aspect of human behavior – our inherent drive and the psychological needs that fuel it.

    Let’s begin by understanding why the traditional “carrots and sticks” approach falls short. On the surface, it seems logical: offer rewards to encourage good behavior, and penalties to deter the undesirable. Yet this method fails to tap into the deeper, more sustainable wellspring of motivation that lies within each of us.

    At its core, true motivation is more about internal fulfillment than external incentives. It’s driven by our personal values, passions, and a sense of purpose. Consider the story of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s. Despite a highly lucrative offer from the Boston Red Sox, Beane chose to stay with the A’s. His decision wasn’t informed by the promise of wealth or prestige, but by a deeper commitment to his family and his love for the game. This example beautifully illustrates how intrinsic motivation often outweighs the allure of external rewards.

    But what exactly fuels this intrinsic motivation? It boils down to three psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Autonomy is our desire to feel in control of our actions, to make choices that resonate with our personal belief system. Relatedness refers to our need to connect with others and feel a sense of belonging. Competence is about feeling capable and effective in the tasks we undertake.

    The essence of this intrinsic motivation is our desire for self-determination, our need to form meaningful connections, and our urge to feel capable and effective. These elements are fundamental to our drive and happiness. For instance, a high-performing salesperson may derive more satisfaction from the problem-solving aspect of their job than from any financial reward. This satisfaction comes from feeling effective in their role and connecting their values to their work.

    As leaders or managers, fostering an environment that nurtures these elements is key. This means respecting individual autonomy, setting the stage for strong relationships, and recognizing each person’s unique contributions and skills. By encouraging colleagues to infuse personal meaning into their work – and by recognizing their achievements – we can create a more motivated, engaged, and productive team.

    This approach shifts the focus from external motivation tactics, which may provide short-term results, to a deeper, more sustainable form of motivation. 

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    What is Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does about?

    Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … and What Does (2023) challenges preconceived notions about motivation, proposing a new perspective that transcends traditional reward and punishment systems. Discover how intrinsic drivers – autonomy, relatedness, and competence – can profoundly influence your motivation and leadership style.

    Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does Review

    Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does (2014) explores the flaws in traditional motivation techniques and offers a fresh perspective on how to inspire and empower others. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with research-based insights and practical strategies, it provides a roadmap for unlocking true motivation and driving lasting change.
    • Susan Fowler brings her extensive experience in leadership development to the table, offering real-world examples and expertise in a relatable and accessible way.
    • By challenging conventional wisdom and offering a new paradigm for motivation, the book sparks thought-provoking discussions and encourages readers to rethink their approach to motivating others.

    Who should read Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does?

    • Business leaders seeking innovative team-motivation strategies
    • HR professionals focusing on employee engagement
    • Managers eager to improve workplace productivity and culture

    About the Author

    Susan Fowler is an expert in motivation and personal empowerment who has worked with clients like Google and Apple. She coauthored Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager and Leading at a Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Based in San Diego, Fowler is also a university professor and a senior consulting partner at the Ken Blanchard Companies.

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    Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does FAQs 

    What is the main message of Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does?

    The main message of Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does is that traditional motivation techniques often fail, and a new approach is needed.

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    The reading time for Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does is a thought-provoking book worth reading. It offers fresh insights and practical strategies to motivate people effectively.

    Who is the author of Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does?

    The author of Why Motivating People Doesn't Work ... and What Does is Susan Fowler.