Motivation: The Meaning of Work

One of my favourite writers and a regular contributor to TED Conferences, Dan Ariely. Here, he talks about what motivates people in work and what this tells us about effective leadership.

As well as drawing on this to understand how we motivate people in the world of work, i believe it also has a lot to tell us about motivation for children. As educators, how much of what we ask children to do in school matches up to what Ariely talks about here?


One Response

  1. I have heard and read a lot about Sisyphus effect and what it does to the motivation levels of the team members. Most recently I read an article by Jennifer Ledet, the closing paragraphs/questions of her article gave me food for thought and here I share some excerpts from her article –

    “Think about what kind of work environment you are creating. That’s right. You, the leader, are creating the work environment. Your actions often determine the level of employee engagement, commitment, and buy-in that you have from team members. So, ask yourself:
    ◾Do I give ongoing feedback, or do I assume that team members know that I am pleased with their work?
    ◾Am I, for lack of a better term, a control freak? (Be honest.) Do I redo team members’ work after they’ve completed it?
    ◾Do I acknowledge the efforts of team members, not just the results that they achieve?
    ◾Do I show team members the big picture? Do I connect the dots for them and show them how/where their contribution fits in to the overall goals of the organization?
    ◾Do I trust team members to do quality work without micromanaging them?
    ◾Do I require team members to roll very large rocks uphill over and over again?

    Remember Sisyphus and my friend Jeanne. The fact is, it is easy to demotivate and demoralize team members. It takes a tad more effort to get them fired up and engaged. So I guess you’ll be getting rid of that big boulder in your office, right?”

    I first came across Sisyphus effect when I started my journey as a full time administrator and since then it actually intrigues me day in and day out. The question that comes to mind is — How do you get team members engaged and inspired?

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