Last week we took a short camping trip to Snowdonia. Beautiful part of the world, and (for once) the British weather behaved itself. Whilst there, it seemed only natural that we should climb up the second tallest mountain in Britain... or so me and my husband thought.
The kids didn't see the need the way we did. We saw a challenge to be met. I also saw the opportunity to burn over 1000 calories, and he saw the opportunity to complete a challenge he set for his youth, but never got around to doing. We were up for it. Our kids however needed convincing.
"Why do we have to walk up a mountain?" they whined.
"Because it's there! It's a challenge!" we enthused. "Think of how pleased you'll feel when you get to the top".
"We can get a train to the top" they quite rightly pointed out.
Hmm. Another tactic was required. So, to our son we said "No-one else in your class has walked up a mountain. You'll be the only one", at which point he was on board (our son is quite a competitive character!).
Our daughter isn't so easily fooled, so we resorted to old-fashioned bribery "Get to the top without whining and there's a double-scoop ice cream PLUS flake in it for you". She was off like a mountain goat and we couldn't keep up!
That's the thing with motivation. It's very personal. We all walked up Snowdon (in quite a credible 3 hours), but we all had different reasons for doing it.
When managers and leaders need to persuade people to do things at work, a single approach won't work. You need to consider the challenge from a number of different perspectives, and help each person find their own reasons for doing what you ask. Learning to influence people is vital to success in ANY management role, and very many others. Taking time to motivate and engage people so that they WANT to do something makes the journey a lot easier too. Why not check out our bite-size training sessions on influencing people, and motivating and engaging people to help make your uphill journeys a bit less of a struggle?