Written by Dave Gannaway
How to learn motivation is a topic that can be categorized in two distinct headings:
• Formal Academic Methods
• School of Hard Knocks
Academics have formulated, categorized and sustained their lives devising many and various strategies on how and what motivates men and women. With endless published papers to justify their deliberations the results gain the stamp of authority and become the recognized yardstick. This in turn, again, is formulated and structured into the academic teaching model and like Chinese whispers, is passed on and practiced.
There are of course many surveys and deliberations along the way which, it is assumed, justify each conclusion. My point is that very few of these highly educated and learned scientists have ever had any experience in actually presenting their work to a unmotivated workforce on the shop floor. This is the weak link!
Studying the psychological papers it is soon established that the basis of their strategies is based and elaborated on interviews with employers and entrepreneurs from the school of hard knocks. From people who knew and understood what the needs of working people are. … men and women who so often had walked that path and who had apples on their tree.
A workforce will respond much more readily to someone they respect and know have been in their situations. There often seems to be a personal empathy that emanates from someone who has already walked that path! For this reason managers are often drawn from the staff of the experienced if not from the experienced themselves.
I recall a disgruntled group of boat builders claiming the times I had allotted for the various jobs were not possible. They said, “The times were not possible, and if you think they are, YOU SHOW US!” With that I took my coat off and went to work. I completed the job in 20% less time. There was little room for any arguments. They were a little indignant but I gained their respect and they never challenged me again.
It is my view to learn motivation you lead from the front and never ask others to do anything you can’t do yourself.
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