Why You Should Never Motivate People

Motivating people is how things get done, right?

Yes, if, you want your workplace to slowly (or rapidly) become a heavy, resistant, cement-laden environment where almost nothing gets done. Interpersonal issues fester and become significant problems. Some of your best talent ends up moving on, and the people that don’t mind doing nothing are inertial enough to stay. Sound attractive? Familiar in any way?

There is something much more powerful and effective than motivation. It is called:


Let’s contrast the two:

Motivation – The act or process of providing external reasons for people to do things. Sometimes simplified as carrot and stick. You probably need to think carefully about the less-overt external pressures that are in use in your workplace.

Inspiration – The act or process of stimulating a person’s INTERNAL reasons for doing things. Generally touching them at a heart or creative level such that they WOULD LOVE to participate in something regardless of any reward or punishment. People touched in this way are productive, creative, powerful, alive and engaged.

Seeing the difference?

The first place to reflect might be the ways in which you are “motivating” yourself.