You’ve heard of the Myer’s Briggs test or DISC. These are tools HR folks use to profile employees and understand their motivations and leaders use to engage peak performers. Quite frankly, managers and leaders use this information to motivate better work performance by tapping into our inner motivations.
There’s really nothing sinister about this. Way back when, psychologist Abraham Maslow believed that every person had a strong desire to realize his or her full potential, to reach a level of self actualization. He created the well-known pyramid of our Hierarchy of Needs, the psychological and physical needs of humans. Maslow based this on his study of mentally healthy individuals when they reached their peak experiences.
This is similar to or probably the basis of best-selling author and motivational expert, Tony Robbins, and his theory on the six human needs. Recently Robert Pagliarini summarized these human needs on CBS news:
1. Certainty. The need for stability, security, comfort, and to feel confident you can avoid pain and gain pleasure.
2. Uncertainty/variety. The need for change, new stimuli, and for the unknown.
3. Significance. The need to feel important, special, unique, or needed.
4. Love/connection. The need to belong and to feel closeness with someone or something.
5. Growth. The need to expand, learn, and grow.
6. Contribution. The need to give beyond oneself and to support others.
According to Pagliarini, two of these six motivators dominate our motivation. Which are yours? More importantly, what are the motivators of your team? A great way to find out is to ask them and listen. From there, you as a leader or manager, can connect and tailor-make your motivation because one by one that’s how we engage key employees.