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  1. #1
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Question methods of motivation

    My boss was mad at our entire office last week for falling short of sales goals and yelled at everyone in a promoted position, including threats of retraining and such. He thought that this would motivate us to work harder, and it worked on some people but it completely backfired on others of us, me included. Somehow the idea of the threat and being yelled at managed to distract me from what I should have been doing all day long- I don't LIKE to be yelled at, especially when I WAS working hard

    After bitching to my trainer about it and being reassured that the boss really was just trying to motivate us by yelling at us (which the boss kind of confirmed by taking the carrot approach on everyone the next day and all but appologizing for the day before), I started to wonder... why do some people respond to some types of motivation and others fall apart at it?

    What motivates you to work harder? Does the carrot work? Does the stick?
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #2
    Giggity Vie's Avatar
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    If someone tries to motivate me by yelling at me, I would laugh in their face and refuse to budge. I'd go as slowly as possible just to irritate them, completing my job but not listening to anything they said.

    Yelling accomplishes nothing and it's just plain rude when attempting to achieve a goal. I get extremely frustrated with people who aren't motivated enough to do their job, but it's about finding something that will work on them. A reward of some sort. Yelling is only going to cause people to sort of shut down towards the person yelling, and act off principle. I'm definitely one of those people.

    If he had very calmly said he was disappointed in my work, I would've done everything in my power to change that, especially if the boss had my respect.

  3. #3
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    yeah... I was pissed off enough to refuse to come back to the office in the evening for a meeting and I refused to speak to him until my team leader actually mediated the situation He made me mad by yelling at us to start with, and then I was mad at him because I was in a pissy mood all day which wasn't very helpful with the whole working in sales thing... yes, I CAN use my Ne to play the blame game
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #4
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    I'm pretty bad with being yelled at, especially by other men (somehow I can handle much better women yelling at me). I've lost a job because I always tend to yell back, unless I'm being shouted at for a very major mistake (but that's not the case, usually). I don't know, I don't think I truly need anyone to motivate me. I'm a pretty hard-working person by default; if you really want me to work even harder, I suppose the allure of a day off or an higher hourly salary would work better than words.
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  5. #5
    ThatGirl
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    It works on the people who are generally comfortable getting the minimum amount done. Only putting extra effort into something if shit hits the fan and they have to.

    For people who usually already give 100%, it just brakes morale. Causing you to feel possibly insecure, disrespected, unappreciated.

    For the former, that is the only way to get them to budge. For the latter, they work better with positive motivation. Investing personal interest in the well being of the company.

    Either way, the main goal is to make it matter to the employee.

    He obviously used whatever he thought would speak to the most people. I wouldn't take it personally.

    If the time ever arises, try talking to him about what works better for you. Offer some suggestions and ask for the opportunity to try some more positive motivation approaches.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Noon's Avatar
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    Above all, it has to (a) be interesting, enjoyable, and 'important', and (b) incorporate lots of interactive exercises and active discussion. If (b) is covered, I'm OK motivated. If (a) is covered, I'm highly motivated. If both are covered, my motivation is extreme.

    I'm an active learner and I work best when it's of personal significance. I function the best in open, calm and friendly atmospheres. I function worst in critical, chaotic, overly competitive atmospheres wherein you're more likely to get verbally murdered than have someone slow down to help you out. If I had to relate it to the carrot/stick thing, I would have to say carrot. Well, unless my life as I know it depends on it... then I'm oblivious to the carrot, but still rush ahead any time I see the stick so much as flinch.

    Biggest de-motivators: chaos, extreme pressure, unwelcome supervision, strict routine, "it has to absolutely be 'this' way" lack of freedom, emphasis on mistakes and obliviousness to 'good work', lack of [any] feedback, when I can't see a useful end to the means, when something is of no personal significance in general, and being boring or repetitive to the extent of 'overkill'.

  7. #7
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    yeah... my thoughts were along the lines of that if I wasn't working as hard as I can then I would be embarassed, but I worked my ass off and still got yelled at so I was quite resentful about it... I've always felt that hard work should be at least recognized in a positive light. In an industry where attitude is everything, sending off half the office in a pissed off and resentful mood is NOT a good plan for success
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  8. #8
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I find fear to be a strong motivator in my case. For example, I'll work hard because I could lose my job if I don't, and if I lose my job, I'll lose my financial security. In school, I'd work hard because if I didn't I'd fail the class and then I'd either have to take the damn thing over again or the mark would permanently be on my transcript, which could affect my chance of getting into college, which would then cut down on my career prospects. I eat healthy because I fear the consequences of not doing so. Being less healthy and perhaps a reduced life expectancy.

    Of course there are reasons I do things other than fear. I also work hard because I genuinely care about doing a good job. I do well in classes because I genuinely want to learn. And some healthy stuff does taste good. I guess fear dominates more in the cases when I've got to do a job or take a class I don't enjoy.
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  9. #9
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    The stick tends to work better than the carrot on me, generally speaking (although it depends on what the carrot or the stick is). As for why different forms of motivation work on different people, it's simple: We're all different.
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  10. #10
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    What motivates you to work harder? Does the carrot work? Does the stick?
    I'm not sure that I'm really "motivatable". I'm almost entirely self-motivated. If I care about what I'm doing/who I'm doing it for, and/or it's interesting, and I'm free to attack the problem as I see fit, I *will* get things done.

    Pretty much anytime that I see someone trying to "find ways to motivate" me (images of Darth Vader are entering my mind...), I tend to get turned off, depressed, or offended. Yelling at me will simply make me miserable and want to quit. Total morale-killer. Definitely the worst motivational technique for me.

    Basically... treat me well, with respect, and you won't need to motivate me. If you try "motivational techniques" in lieu of treating me well, I will *not* respond well -- even if I want to (which isn't likely).
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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