How to Motivate. You can’t.

By Chris Lott | Motivation, Sales | 85 Views | Leave a Comment    

We are all trying to stay motivated, motivating others, right? Training, meetings, one on ones, rewards, bonuses, spiffs and the list goes on. We even go to the negative with imposed pressure, tensions and ultimatums to motivate. How has that worked for you? Long-term? If you’re like me it didn’t. I needed to change something. Was it me or them? And then it hit me… everyone is already motivated.


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Here’s my logic.

We are all motivated to do something with very few exceptions. Even the laziest person is motivated to be lazy. The person not paying attention in a meeting is motivated to do something else. Looking at their smartphone or taking calls every two minutes for example. What it really boils down to is not whether they’re motivated, we all are, but why were they motivated. In other words why were they not engaging in what I put forth versus engaged in taking calls during a meeting. It’s the “why” understanding that’s important to motivate successfully.

So what’s the why?

What we’re really talking about is a belief system in my opinion. One that is so strong that it motivates action. When I believe in someone or something I in turn become motivated to do something. I become engaged.

One of my more successful articles I’ve written is on becoming an evangelist. An evangelist, customer and/or employee, is much more than a fan. It’s where they have aligned their belief system with your products, services, ideas put forth. They have this deep internal link that is not easily changed. They are motivated to do many things typically. Defend and/or recommend your offering and you for example. This is the type of motivation I believe we are all really looking for.

It’s not about you.

So how do you get someone motivated? Well, first of all, it’s not all about you. The potentially motivated have the biggest role in motivation to be honest. They need to become aligned with what you’re putting forth to them. They need to believe that there is something in your offering that is deeply important to them personally and/or their company. Then and only then will they be truly motivated. With a little help, of course.


What I have found is I need to understand the “why” with whomever I am trying to motivate. I need to uncover their beliefs and concerns. They need to believe I have done so. A trust and understanding takes place at a deeper level. This is where the magic happens.

I have presented ideas, services and products for years. The people that were truly motivated also became evangelists every time for long-term. Loyalty, friendship and caring was a bi-product as well.

My advice would be to get to know those that you want to motivate and let them do the rest.

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