Often as a parent or boss we have to say no to the ideas of others. It may be a truly bad idea, something that is absurd, or it may just be that the person who presented the idea does not have the breadth of knowledge to fully understand the consequences of that decision.
How do we motivate people to do their best, inspire them to have ideas and be self starting? The easy answer here is money. Allowance inspires children, higher salaries and bonuses motivate employees, right? Maybe not, I heard an interview with the author of “The Upside of Irrationality,” awhile ago and it seemed to make sense, I’ve been thinking about his ideas ever since.
I recommend going out and buying the book but the gist of it is that money adds extra pressure that prevents us from performing. Dangle a 5k bonus over my head and my desire to perform goes up, but my actual performance does not. If someone told you think of 20 ideas in 5 min, you may have a really good list. If they said come up with 20 ideas in 5 min and I will give you $100.00 you may suffer performance anxiety.
My awesome assistant manager Ashley is really coming into her own as far as understanding how things work, she has some great ideas. She also has some crazy ones. We have a saying in the office when I’m saying “no” too much or too quickly. “Melissa, you are tearing down my LegoRobot.” This also comes from the interview on motivation. Two groups were asked to build robots. Group A had the robot torn down in front of them and were asked if they wanted to build another. Group B did not have their robots torn down when they were asked. The study found that group B kept wanting to build robots longer. Tearing people’s ideas down makes them lose motivation to keep coming up with ideas. They start to figure why bother, it’s just going to be torn down.
Just something to think about the next time you feel the only way to motivate is with cold hard cash. Sometimes just allowing ideas, giving credit and pride are the best motivators.
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