Motivation or Mobilisation

How do you feel when you read those words? Do they seem to have similar meaning? At Think Gray we see them as very different concepts…

Many organisational efforts at Motivation are really incentives, such as bonus payments; reward schemes; promises of promotion; or perhaps just the promise of keeping your job! In essence, using incentives to “motivate” is Mobilisation – the incentive to act.

We see motivation as having embedded meaning for the individual. As meaning is personal, it is something that we create for ourselves and cannot usually be “given” to us. The organisation can create conditions that help us to find meaning, but its up to the individual to find it. No-one is coming to do it for you.

What does this mean?

  • The Organisational processes are designed to mobilise you to act. Sometimes this involves following a process, protocol, or routine behaviours that achieve “10 customer calls per week” and hopefully generate sales. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. It just feels wrong to many people because it feels like manipulation or coercion.
    • Check – how do you feel when you see yourself being “mobilised”? Full of energy and drive? Probably not.
    • The key to success lies in the Gray space – it’s neither good nor bad, it just is the way that its done, accept it (acceptance is not spelt a-g-r-e-e-m-e-n-t!).
    • Acceptance removes the emotional response and opens the door to taking personal responsibility for enjoying your role and making progress.
  • Find your own meaning and therefore improve Motivation: “Meaning” is not some mystical or spiritual term, nor does it need to be globally significant. It can be more effective and useful to think small. What is my purpose and what is meaningful to me as a person in this activity or interaction?
    • Meaning can simply mean “feeling that I am helping this person achieve their dreams or goals, or perhaps preventing them doing something rash and risky”. That sort of thinking will drive entirely different behaviour than “protecting my organisation from risk”, especially from the customer perspective.
    • Your purpose again can be small but meaningful. Perhaps it is simply to behave with friendliness to the customer – remember that doesn’t mean “being nice” it means being friendly. Remember, your best friend tells you the truth and you listen to them because they tell you how it really is from a place of caring (“Your deodorant isn’t working today”). Showing friendliness means making the effort to demonstrate credible trust and then speaking the truth with appropriate compassion (“treat others as you would want to be treated”).
  • Perhaps looking at your strengths (See Martin Seligman and VIA Character Strengths or Gallups Strengthsfinder 2.0) and seeing how they can guide you to apply yourself with a focus on using your strengths can help find meaning and or purpose in the moment or situation.

At the end of the day, your success is not in the binary judgement of things being “right” or “wrong” but in Thinking Gray!

At Think Gray we help you to create the conditions that empower flourishing.

Contact us to find out more.