Do you ever wonder why some people are happy to volunteer for a cause or a purpose and some are not? Why some people seem highly motivated and effortlessly apply discretionary effort at work and some do not? 

Motivation is temporary, it rises and falls. 

Thinking about your own situation and where you may want to cultivate more motivation for yourself, the people you lead or teams you need to influence on a certain project, idea or plan; doesn’t it just feel more engaging and more productive when people are motivated to work? 

Dan Pink, author of Drive suggests that one of the commonalties of highly motivated individuals is that they have a purpose motive. Pink says; “The most deeply motivated people – not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied – hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves. 

I worked with a leader earlier this year who noticed productivity levels drop and felt some key team members were disengaged. He realized that he had never really taken the time to get to know the team and to understand why they wanted to work where they worked. 
What was revealed in the conversations he had was a much deeper sense of purpose from each of the employees on what they were searching for in the workplace than the leader ever thought. 

Right now, I am aware many of you are trying to keep teams feeling connected and engaged. Perhaps some more ‘off the script” conversations are needed where you gather information that is sacred gold to you understanding more deeply what makes certain people tick. 
Start by: 

  1. Write down the names of people at work you want to connect with more 
  1. Arrange a time for a coffee (even if over a video platform) with each of them individually and ask them what they are enjoying about their work and what is weighing them down a little 
  1. Finally ask them where they see themselves in 6 months, 1 year and 3 years from now 

These questions will create some rich conversations and allow you to understand the people you work with more and allow them to feel understood more. 

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