This is the first of a three part series of blogs on the subject of motivation. Certainly, this is applicable in the workplace, but, I encourage you to translate all this information to your home and personal life, as well. After all, isn’t motivation important to us in all our relationships?

No matter what your role in your organization: owner, manager, team member in any role, you may find it frustrating from time to time when you see the value of implementing something new—a piece of equipment, a new marketing or management system, integrating a new procedure, or any number of initiatives, only to find that you have push back from one person—or every person. It is difficult to implement change when no one is even willing to sit down at the table to discuss possibilities.

One of your greatest challenges—and one of your greatest frustrations—may be to help people understand the benefits of recommended improvements and to gain their willingness to implement the necessary changes.

No change will occur unless there is the motivation to “do something”. Therefore, you must do two things: (1) become knowledgeable about the your subject, and (2) develop the ability to teach, coach, motivate others to change.


How can you motivate another person to change or to “buy into” something you wish to be done? Here are 4 essentials:

  • Many behaviors are not observable. Some of a person’s intimate feelings, apprehensions, embarrassments, and fears are deeply hidden. Only when confident and effective communication occurs between people can progress begin.
  • Changing present behavior or changing present “ways of doing things” is difficult and oftentimes perceived to be unpleasant. Many people are motivated by the vision of positive change, growth, development, and the pleasure that comes from these changes. Others are motivated by the hope of relieved pain. In some cases, poor management or conflicting personal relationships within an organization may have become so distressful that alleviation of pain is the major motivator.
  • Some people want this relief from discomfort, but they want this result without having to alter their own behavior. This, of course, cannot happen. In an environment/relationship with this type of “expectation gap”, failure or disappointment is inevitable. The first step of progress in this case, is clarity of goals and expectations. The problem must be clearly defined and a joint agreement on the goals is desirable. Only when the people are working cooperatively can true success be realized.
  • A successful change experience does not result from the removal of all obstacles. A successful change experience results from not only removing possible obstacles but also from learning problem solving skills. Then and only then can people proceed with a lifelong pattern of resolution. The goal of developing the ability to solve problems is to master the ability to not only deal effectively with problems and challenges of the past and present but also those that WILL OCCUR in the future.