What motivates you?

Motivation is the drive to act or make changes, which counselling and coaching have in common.   Both clientele aim to make changes that create peace and contentment versus confusion and conflict within themselves (physically and emotionally, as well as cognitively (mind).

 Some theories I thought you might be interested to know about include these which are perhaps easier to understand and may even be familiar!

Certificates file

Incentive theory is exactly what it sounds like it is, it is an incentive or motive to do something. The most common incentive would be reward which can be tangible or intangible.  Rewards are presented generally after the occurrence of the action or behavior that one is trying to correct or cause to happen again. This is done by associating positive meaning to the behavior and or action. Studies show that if the person receives the reward immediately, the effect is greater

Maslow Hierarchy mine


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

 A drive or desire can be described as a deficiency or need that activates behavior that is aimed at a goal or an incentive. Basic drives such as hunger motivates a person to seek food whereas more subtle drives might be the desire for praise and approval which motivates a person to behave in a manner pleasing to others.

Content theories can also be referred to needs theories, because the theory focuses on the importance of what motivates us (needs). In other words they try to identify what our “needs” are and how they relate to motivation to fulfilled those needs.

Question mark figure by Master isolated images

Suggested by Leon Festinger, cognitive dissonance occurs when an individual experiences some degree of discomfort resulting from an inconsistency between two cognitions: their views on the world around them, and their own personal feelings and actions. For example, we seek to reassure ourselves regarding a purchase, feeling that another decision may have been preferable and more useful than the one we chose leaves us feeling uncomfortable and ‘wrong’, therefore to balance the difference between their feelings and beliefs causes dissonance.  We will convince ourselves we are right though to avoid this dissonance!

Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory concludes that certain factors in the workplace result in job satisfaction, but if absent, they don’t lead to dissatisfaction but no satisfaction. The factors that motivate people can change over their lifetime, but “respect for me as a person” is one of the top motivating factors at any stage of life.

Self jigsaw stuart miles

Approach motivation can be defined as when a certain behavior or reaction to a situation or environment is rewarded or the resulting in a positive (desirable) outcome. In contrast, avoidance motivation can be defined as when a certain behavior or reaction to a situation or environment is punished, resulting in a negative (undesirable) outcome. For this one, the other phrase is pleasure seeking or pain avoidance…

Needs Values Goal

See also:

Wikipeadia – Motivation for many many others!

Business Balls – Motivation Theories

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