When the other person isn t motivated, it s our job to make it motivating.
Consequences motivate. Motivation isn t something you do to someone. People already want to do things. They re motivated by the consequences they anticipate. And since any action leads to a variety of consequences, people act on the basis of the overall consequence bundle.
Explore natural consequences
. Begin by explaining natural consequences. Within a business context, this typically includes what s happening to stakeholders. Stakeholders include other
Match method to circumstances.
When people simply want to know, explain both what needs to be done and why. When dealing with someone who is pushing back, resist the
Finish well. Finally, wrap up the conversation by determining who does what and by when. Then set a follow-up time.
Struggling to make it motivating ? Refer to Appendix C, When Things Go Right, for tips on motivating with praise. Also, visit www.crucialconfrontations.com/book and learn how you can submit your specific questions to the authors of
Let s expand our skills to include the other half of our
Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
It s time to move to the ability side of our model. We ll start with an example. Kyle, a political analyst who works for you, was supposed to write a position paper for an upcoming debate and have it on your desk by noon, but he didn t. You call him in for a private discussion and describe the gap. He lets you know that he really wanted to do what he
In any case, Kyle was prevented from doing what he agreed to do. And then he did exactly the right thing: He immediately called to let you know about the problem, but you were in a meeting across town. He left a message on your voice mail and then tried to track you down. In short, he wasn t able to meet his commitment and did his best to let you know. This was definitely not a motivation problem.
Having just read the last chapter, you decide it would be a good idea to tell Kyle about the natural consequences of missing the deadline. You figure that he needs to know:
Let me tell you something. If people ask the wrong questions at the debate, we re going to look like a bunch of dopes because we don t have the position paper.
Now he s really motivated! you think to yourself.
We hope you wouldn t actually do this. Being the steely-eyed smart person you are, you would note that Kyle was motivated to do the job. Piling on more reasons for doing something he wasn t able to do in the first place would be the wrong cure. Indeed, it would be
To learn how to enable others, let s start by examining two of the more subtle aspects of motivation and ability. First, motivation and ability are linked at the hip. They aren t separate entities. More often than not they blend into one another. Here s why. If something is hard to do ”perhaps noxious and boring ”it s demotivating. Who really
to muck out a horse stall? Or fill out expense
Here s our first question: If a job is difficult or revolting or
By the purest definition, if individuals can do a job but are not doing it, it s because they aren t motivated. The
This simplistic yet violent test doesn t serve us well. If a job is truly
Here s how the two elements come together. In the short run, if a task is undesirable but not impossible, we can crank up the pressure and get the job done. Over the long run, we want to find a way to remove some of the factors that make the job undesirable or we ll constantly be looking for ways to motivate people to do what they hate doing. And that s never fun.
Here s another concept to keep in mind. When diagnosing the cause, we have to be dead certain that we haven t
For instance, Wanda, a service-repair technician who works for you, doesn t show up at a client s office. You ask what
It was a clear-cut ability problem. When you re lucky, people come right out and tell you if a problem was due to motivation or ability.
But you re not always that lucky. More often than you d like, the other person (in this case, Wanda) comes back with something such as You know, stuff came up.
This response is just ambiguous enough to be dangerous. You need to probe for can t or won t . With this in mind, you ask, Are you saying that you ran into a problem or that you didn t want to do it?
Wanda continues to baffle you by saying, You know how it is. I just never got around to it.
You probe one more time: I m not sure what you re saying. Did you choose not to do it, or were you unable to do it?
Finally Wanda fesses up. She
There you have it: She didn t want to do it (for understandable reasons), shirked the job, didn t let you know, left the client hanging, and was hoping that you d reward her by sending someone else to the tough client. She chose not to do it (motivation), and as is often the case, she was not all that motivated because she was not all that able. She didn t know how to deal with a tough client.
You d probably start this conversation with the fact that she chose not to do the job, left the client high and dry, and hoped you d somehow look the other way. That s a serious infraction. You might eventually work with Wanda to help her get better at dealing with tough
Believe it or not, sometimes people purposely hide the
Perhaps the most common ability problem people try to hide is their illiteracy (23 percent of the population is illiterate).
If you immediately assume that John simply doesn t like doing the task, you ll want to explain the natural consequences: John, we have two clients waiting on the job, and the longer you take getting the equipment up, the longer they ll have to wait.
This, of course, is a doomed conversation because no matter how many consequences you explain, John is still stuck.
As weird as this may sound, it s not uncommon to discover that employees who are being disciplined for excessive resistance or even insubordination are hiding the fact that they couldn t do what they had been asked to do. They chose discipline over shame or,
Probably the most common form of masking takes place when people cover up their lack of motivation with a
I would have been here for the early meeting, but my alarm didn t go off.
I would have mowed the yard before your lawn party but I was wondering if maybe I should cut it shorter than usual.
It s important to listen
In responding to bogus motivation problems, it s common to give the person the benefit of the doubt the first time: So what are you going to do to ensure that your alarm goes off
If excuses keep cropping up, you have to deal with the pattern as in this example:
This is the third time you ve run into some kind of problem. We ve been patient, but the fact is, you have to make those early meetings.
The last five times I asked you to do a chore around the house, you agreed, I left on an errand, and then you came up with questions and didn t do the job.