Help Others Value What They Do

The third aspect of motivating others has to do with outcomes. When people place a high value on what they are doing, they are more motivated. Without a valued outcome, people are not motivated to put effort toward a goal.

An example about playing a musical instrument may illustrate this. When Judy, a high school student, takes up a musical instrument (the trumpet), her first concern is about competence. She wonders, “Can I play this thing?” After taking lessons for a period, Judy’s thoughts turn to whether or not she can do a solo recital. With long and hard practice, she is successful in the recital. Finally, she asks herself, “What is all of this worth?” This final phase is about the value of the outcome. If Judy really wants to become a good trumpet player, she will continue to be motivated to practice and play. If she does not find real value in playing, her motivation will subside, and she may quit playing altogether.

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As a leader, the challenge is to help others see the value in their work performance. Whether this is done through monetary rewards, positive personal feedback, or giving special achievement awards, the key is to help others feel good about those things toward which they are directing their energies.

In summary, the leader’s challenge to motivate others is threefold: to help others feel competent, to help others get what they expect, and to help others see the overall value of their work. When all three of these conditions are met, individuals will be more highly motivated about their work.

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