This week I was on a call with my friend Erik Gabrilson, who shared with me about intrinsic motivation. Since my life focus is about helping people grow and thrive, I found this very helpful.
- Motivation is intrinsic. We cannot motivate anyone. All we can do is explore what they are already motivated about and pull that out of them.
- There are three components of intrinsic motivation:
- Autonomy: the ability to make one’s own choices.
- Capability: skills and abilities
I have been thinking of this for several days, and interacting with several people about this tremendous insight. Here are some thoughts I have about what he shared:
Intrinsic Motivation. I was at a meeting this week where a leader presented his vision, and announced that the purpose of the meeting was to obtain our buy-in. How effective is that? Another approach would be to find out what we were already motivated about and how he might tap into that and how we might put our interest to work in his organization. I wonder which would be more effective?
Autonomy: I met with a husband and wife, and the husband said he felt like his wife was trying to fix him. In this case, the motivation to change was hers, not his. I wonder how well that will work? This reinforced that autonomy must be honored if intrinsic motivation is to work. As for extrinsic motivation, see point #1 above.
Capability: If someone is in the process of thinking of making a change, or wants to make a change, that doesn’t mean they will. If we can give them training, tools and support, the likelihood of them actually doing what they want to do goes up exponentially.
Community: This is the ultimate resource that supports intrinsic motivation. Other people inspire us, support us, encourage us, remind us of who we are and suggest the resources that are available to help us succeed. If we are part of a group that is greater than ourselves, it helps us live with intentionality.
With a better understanding of intrinsic motivation, how might we use this to help others to succeed?