As you may be aware, we do a lot of different and diverse things at Movers & Shakers. |
You name it and we do it.
Yet the title we least like to be given is that of a motivational speaker. We believe that the title in itself is basically arrogant!
It is essentially arrogant to assume that one can walk into a group – especially of strangers – and MOTIVATE them.
You see, we have found that there is a science attached to motivation.
And the first law of motivation is:
1. You have to want to motivate yourself. Invariably we find that whether you’re presenting to a small group or a large group, you’ll find that sceptical individual sitting there with their arms crossed, their fingers crossed, their legs crossed, and their eyes crossed as if to say, “Well? Come on and motivate me then!”. And let’s be fair, we can talk until we are blue in the face and sing “I believe I can fly” in our best opera voice and it’s not going to work.
First and foremost we have to want to motivate ourselves. Sadly there are just some people who for whatever reason, just don’t want to be motivated. And unfortunately it is these individuals that can ultimately bring down an entire team. Maybe there is just too much past history that they have had to endure within the group. Maybe their negative attitudes have been so long embedded that they find it impossible to change, and have even found comfort within their pessimism. Maybe their relationships within the team have been compromised and their trust levels so depleted that they can barely tolerate some associations and their bitterness and unforgiveness have eaten into them. After all they say, “unforgiveness is like drinking a poison and expecting the other person to die!”. One of the key functions of life is being able to pick yourself up after a disappointment. Try to remember to have a hard skin and a soft heart, NOT the other way around.
And yet, we discovered many years ago that nobody want to go to work and hate their job! And most people are prepared to do something toward making work a better place to be, because they spend so much of their lives there. In fact statistically people will give up a lot to avoid a conflict. That is why we love what we do so much. We love to come alongside people and show them some different perspectives on how some things, which may have been taken for granted, can be better, and that change is most definitely possible.
Sometimes for those with a negative mindset, the best thing is to take the focus off themselves and try to move it onto how they can in simple ways, make other people feel better and more motivated. That is not to say that we promote that one must try to change other people and attempt to mould them into what you want them to be.
No, the change that is going to make a lasting difference has to come from within yourself.
I know it’s starting to sound like Michael Jackson singing “man in the mirror”, but I’m afraid the king of pop was right on the button.
You can’t try to take the speck out of your colleagues eye when there is a log in your own. You will purely become labelled as a hypocrite and people see through you far quicker than you might expect.
Nevertheless then, how do we take the focus away from ourselves and move it to those people around us?
I’m so glad you ask, as it brings us to the next law of motivation that we have found:
2. What you give is what you get.
More specifically, A rising tide raises all ships. If you are lifting up, encouraging and promoting the people around you, you in turn will be lifted up yourself.
You see laws of motivation can be as elusive as the laws of leadership which sometimes seem to fly in the face of what we would generally expect.
The fact of the matter is – You get what you give. What goes around comes around.
Essentially this is a biblical concept couched as: You reap what you sow.
Its strange though, when we sometimes ask groups as an example to tell us what you get when you plant corn, they all reply “corn!”.
What do you get when you plant wheat, they all rightly reply “wheat!”.
What if we plant barley? They expected response is “Barley”.
But what if we plant Hatred?
By this stage the conditioned response would be “Hate”. Then things take a bit of a turn.
When we ask “What if we plant love?”,
most would respond “Love” (although a few witty ones may chuckle “babies!”).
But our next interrogation often puts groups into a tailspin.
“What if we were to plant money?”
Here, the responses become somewhat more erratic.
Some reply, “You get dirty money”, others come back “ You get your head examined”, others just seem confused.
But why does it not work for money as well?
Why is money the exception to the law?
Simply, It’s not!
In justifying this we are not trying to say if you plant money you always get money back (Surely the lottery is a great example of this fact), but in order to expect money it has to be planted first.
Think of someone you know who is doing well financially, maybe they’ve climbed the corporate ladder, maybe they own their own business.
I promise you there was a day when they were planting money into an education, or start up capital, or stock or facilities. What goes around comes around.
Returning to our discussion of motivation, be careful though that you are not giving in order to receive.
When you give it will come back, at some time, some place and in some way.
It does not necessarily come back in the same way that you gave it. In most instances in a corporate team that upliftment may only come back purely by association.
Because when one person on the team succeeds it is a good reflection on the team as a whole. After all, no-one is an island. You just have to have faith that one day your day will come.
Author: Paul Johnson, The M.D. of Movers & Shakers, a premier team building company in South Africa.
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