Motivation... for or against?

Updated: Apr 10

A brief insight into how motivation can work for yourself and your career but a word of caution as motivation can be your undoing. Where is your mindset ?

Are you the person that likes to invest in your team members skill developments regardless if they may leave ?

Are you the person that does not like to invest in your team members skill developments because they may leave ?

This shows your mindset being open to opportunity or closed to what you know... which one are you?

Motivation in the dictionary is defined by four methods …

1. Supply a motive to – To supply a motive to do an action, for example, is stating “if you clean your room you can have desert” it motivates you to do something. The inspiration in doing this action is getting a reward when it’s completed.

2. Be the motive of – To be the motive of doing something. For example – If you want an agent or management to sign you, you get them tickets or send them VT’s of your performances. Having focus makes you do things in order for them to happen.

3. To cause a person to act in a particular way – This example is like ensuring your method, teachings or choreography are delivered and performed technically and artistically correct.

4. To simulate the interest of – To simulate and tap into a connection that sparks an interest that usually then grows independently. This is what most teachers do everyday in class with a combination of others to create structure, discipline and boundaries (although personally I feel at times it is boundaries that are put in place that stop development … but that is for another time)

Motivation… basically this is the reason why we do things… Blog done lol.... Don’t’ go!… Read on as I want to provide you with examples and resources :)

Did you know that you automatically have three layers of motivations running at the same time; all the time.

Layer 1 – Shot term motivations – for example, if you filled in your weekly receipts to your accounts then you treat yourself to a reward (have a break with a nice cuppa). The rewards, although small help us get the small tasks done.

Layer 2 – Medium term motivation – These may be like projects over a few months with lots of little tasks attached to them. Some businesses create celebrations, milestones or events throughout the year as one off occasions. The reason why you do these is for rewards - personal achievements, company achievements, success stories, money boosts or business promotion etc. This layer sustains the foundation and principles of the business mission and purpose. Above all it breaks up and provides growth peaks and fresh interest to your customers.

Layer 3 – Long term motivations – Yes, this is your big picture. The business plan: why are you doing it and who are you doing it for… The motivation for this is usually personal:

  • Is it to leave a legacy?

  • Is it to help people?

  • Is it to build a financially successful business?

  • Is it to make an impact on the community?

  • Is it to make money fast?

  • Is it to prove a point?

So personal motivation can be for money, moments of joy, self development and so on… What is your motivation in doing what you do for a job? Is it something you are in control of? Is there something you can change? If so… what?

Motivating Others

Do you know who you work with? Their likes, needs, aims and ambitions etc. Through knowing this your team are more likely to work harder, longer, commitment and trust you. This method is called motivational strategies.

The example here is of a teacher getting their pupil to exam standard, rewarding along the way through encouragement and an end of exam reward.

A member of staff may have a similar route in which case their reward could be a small monitory bonus during their employment. (e.g a money towards a personal development fund to keep up with their training, pay for participation to workshops or gym membership etc). Through doing this you gain their respect, your teacher has an appreciation and loyalty to commit to you with the bonus of a good reputation as a business employer. Remember that business is a give and take situation and keeping a good team is worth your interest, time and investment.

An interesting podcast I came across was on the negatives of monitory motivation. Click here to hear the full podcast with Dan Ariely Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University, North Carolina : Money is a motivator and also a stressor

When we are motivating others – for example getting people into an exercise class. It's good to think about the outside and inside perspectives of a situation as our learning and connection with a subject or activity is part of our body and brain physiology. This is controlled not only by the intellectual responses that a person is capable of making, but the perceptual and emotional responses that are subconscious. (A little off track but you will get my point in a bit)

Both our conscious and subconscious mind influences our actions (or in most cases causes us not to take action) A response within has a ripple affect creating internal changes that show in our behaviours... Yes our thoughts are very powerful!

The point being that to you, there are people more acceptable to change than others yet it is important to understand their inside and outside perceptions of a situation that will engage them on your motivational system to achieve your goal.

You only get people to engage in an activity or attempt to learn a behaviour they value or feel is worthwhile and believe they can be successful.

For teachers, through participation pupils establish an understanding of their ability and capability, which they will use to judge how their participation in future activities will unfold... so lets look at outside and inside perspectives.

Outside perspective

What does ‘an exercise class’ mean to them? Does this cause them to feel a lack of confidence in their body as they feel people will look at them and judge. Inadequate as they think they may not be able to do the exercises right and make a fool of themselves. Does it make them feel incapable of seeing the benefits as in their mindset nothing in the past has ever worked for them. Basically, this outside perspective is all the fears and doubts that sway them on their decision to join your class. Therefore you are not going to get them motivated unless you have solutions for these. Lets look at the Inside perspective of this situation. (I have stated negative outside perspective here but obviously there are positive ones but a positive perspective will attend class so it isn’t a challenge for you).

Inside perspective

What does ‘an exercise class’ feel like during the activity. For example, when someone doesn’t want to do something but after it, they have confessed, it wasn’t as bad as they first thought. This is about looking into how it makes you feel: the energy, fun, heart beat rising. The feeling of deep breathing, the challenge of concentration in exercises, the relief and achievement that class if over.

So in basic terms …

Outside perspective is when we try to predict what we will feel

Inside perspective is what we feel when we are doing it

Get motivated now to be your fabulous self and make a difference to our dance industry! You matter, your skills are needed.

A video on a career in theatre with Dance Supervisor Hannah Toy.

So please remember that you are capable to excel in what you do. You are a role model, a leader and influencer so encourage others unconditionally. Share and give compliments when you can – after all it is free! - say nice things to people, thank them, flatter them, encourage them. Take moments of gratitude to who you are and how far you have come… write the positives this year and your achievements (I like doing this as there are times when you look back and get boost of confidence).

I’m doing a live chat on the new community Facebook group on Friday 27th September at 10.30am. It will be lovely to see you there.

To listen to the podcast on Motivation click here

Please share this blog on social media, connect with me and share your dance journey.

Hopefully meet or speak about dance with you soon.

Gillian Beattie

©2017 -  2020. Gillian Beattie .



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