What Motivates You?

After a recent training session, I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the book entitled 100 Ways to Motivate Others recently. While I haven’t sunk my teeth into the entirety of the book yet, the topic interests me greatly. In the management of a law practice or a law organization, motivation comes in all forms. Many times, it has little to do with money. Motivation also has a great deal of influence on how well, how quickly, and how much effort team members put into their work. That’s why finding out what motivates people, particularly your employees, has a great deal of influence on how well your organization can operate.  By understanding their motivations, you’ll be a much more effective manager to elicit the results that benefit your organization and your team members. In advance of my reading the book, I thought I would conduct an experiment.  I analyzed the different incentives that I think motivates us the most at work.  I broke them into three (not-so-scientific) categories below.  After I’ve read the book, I’ll revisit this topic again to compare and contrast:

Nourishment

Money, Promotion, Raise and Financial Security are all motivations that keep us nourished. We can pay our bills, make necessary purchases, take vacations, and, generally, obtain the means by which to have a “life” outside of work. While these motivations may attract us to a job, it may not be enough to encourage us to perform our duties well.

Nurture

Loyalty, Companionship, Friendship, Leadership, Camaraderie are motivations that fall in line with our social nature as human beings. We ultimately want to please. We want to fit in with others and we want to be liked. Our colleagues, our supervisors, our bosses, and even our clients motivate us to perform well and to repeat those performances often.

Intellect

Knowledge, Sense of Accomplishment, Management, Routine, however unsexy these may be, are the pièce de résistance of motivations. These motivations challenge us to do more, think differently, try something new and to ultimately perform as well and as often as we can. Now, I’m going to take the advice of the book and follow method 27 to Stop Talking.

What do you think about the three categories of motivation? Is it an accurate observation or just plain nonsense? What motivates you and what motivates your team?