I see motivation as both good and bad

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

I see motivation as both good and bad. It is like it is “a good thing”; sometimes it is “not-so-good- a-thing”.

It is good when it spurs the individual into action. It is not-do-good when the individual is threatened with doing something. Depending on who is watching, there are diverse ways of responding to motivation.

Here was my situation: I had just taken over as the manager of a unit that took care of logistics for a government organization. I was younger than all my subordinates. All worked for the organization for over 10 years. I was just 3 years into the organization.

There was an ongoing office misunderstanding between my supply clerk and records clerk. The supply clerk was around 50 years old and a retired military man — a forceful personality and used to getting his way. The records clerk was also around her 50s and possessed a strong will as well and has been in the organization for over 15 years.

Their disputes reached a point where I was forced to institute an “intervention” just to keep my department operating. I did what I thought was the best approach. I had a serious talk with both. I made sure that I was not contributing to the intensity of their disagreements. I was mindful and respectful — because of our age differences- I was regarding our Filipino culture of respect for our elders.

I was motivating them to work well together since we belonged to the same team. My motivation was coming from my “wanting” (Baumeister & Vohs, 2011) them not to bicker at work. I was coming from a place of authority since I was the manager, and it was my responsibility to ensure the unit was functioning as intended in supporting the goals of the agency. I sensed that the reason they agreed to be more cordial to each other was that I was adamant about bringing back harmony in the workplace. My demeanor was different. My tone was calculating. They know also that I had the power to suspend one of them or both if necessary.

They needed to listen to me as the leader of the unit since it was necessary or essential for their wellbeing and growth.

According to Sam Taggart, motivation is an outside force pushing or compelling one to act, even if they do not necessarily want to.

We motivated them to get along, even if they did not want to, because the consequences can be severe.

Personal motivation skills can be honed if the leader thinks of the individual’s psychological needs. These are their needs for self-determination, recognition of their capability and effectiveness, and how they relate to and belong to the group or the goal.

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Alvin Tanicala

Alvin Tanicala

Registered HIT man. Follower. Learner. Analog Life Virtualization.