Goal Setting Theory of Motivation

What is your core motivation?


Do you know -- really know -- your core motivation? Hint: It may be different than what you've always thought it was. Founder of the Whiteboard Room and business coach to creative professionals, Kim Butler offers practical tips to reach your organizational goals by tapping into your core motivation.

While leaders may not always be aware of it, a lack of the right motivation can slow a team from reaching its goals. Kim shares a few key questions that leaders can ask to help understand what type of motivation will encourage team members to reach a goal they’ve been struggling to meet. She encourages us to ask:

• Why didn’t you feel motivated to do this?

• What got in the way?

• What was the excuse you made?

Do you know what your core motivation is? Share it in the comments section below!

Motivation is very specific, and it’s not necessarily one of the traditional forms of motivation -- such as money, promotions, paid time off, etc. Kim says that leaders have to be creative to discover how their team members are motivated. The key to is to ask the right questions.

• How are they motivated?

• Do they need more knowledge?

• Do they need to understand the details?

• Does this need to be more about the team [versus the individual]?

• How can I rally that motivation around these goals?

Asking these questions will lead you to your team members’ core motivations and ultimately help you figure out the best way to rally your team around a mission or goal.

For more information on goal setting, check out the Goal Setting Leadercast Now channel!

Something interesting that I found in working with people over several months is that most people really don't know what their motivation is. And so constantly I'm asking the question "why?" And you say, "Okay, why did you not feel motivated to do this? What got in the way? What was the excuse that you made along the way?"

And so in this process with people who have been on this journey for a long time, really we started just now figuring out "You know what? Your motivation is very specific." And it's not what we think of as traditional motivation.

A lot of times we think "Oh, I'm financially motivated" and as leaders running companies that's kind of what we think about a lot of the employees is that "I'm writing you a paycheck. That's motivating, right?" And really that might not be how someone is motivated even as a leader learning what your team's motivation is. Because your team might not all be motivated by the paycheck that you're writing them. They may be motivated in a different way.

And hopefully, hopefully they're motivated and driven and in line with your mission and vision even though every person has their own unique mission, I believe, whether they've put words to it or not. But how can you as the leader help them understand that they play a key role in this mission and this mission, maybe it's not completely separate from their mission.

As the leader you have to be creative and find out, "Okay, how is my team motivated? Do they need more knowledge? Do they need to understand more of the details that go into how these projections are calculated?" because then they'll understand.

And if they have understanding, they're more willing to be behind me if we make this more about a team, if they're team oriented and community oriented. And how can I rally that kind of motivation around these goals that I have for the organization?

And so really knowing beyond you financially motivating them, and maybe them getting promotions, beyond those traditional motivation factors, what is it that's really their core motivation? Because their core motivation is probably far different than what you might think.

Kim Butler

Founder of the Whiteboard Room and business coach to creative professionals rising to the top of their industries, Kim Butler makes it her daily mission to propel entrepreneurs and brands into their full potential for greatness.

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