What is the direction of motivation to improve performance

Why some teams perform better than others, why some people are more resilient and perform better in life? Motivation to perform is the major contributor in determining the outcome of the action. There are two types of motivation: 

  • “Away from”
  • “Towards”

Going AWAY from what you don't want is not the same as going TOWARDS what you want

Away from” motivation comes out of fear, like performing in a team out of fear of getting fired or not getting a bonus. Although it gives short-term results, “Away from” motivation has its own list of adverse effects on a person’s physical, mental and emotional health.

While “Away from” motivation is driven by fear, “Towards” motivation is driven by inspiration and desire to get out of my comfort zone and do something not done before. For example when you last time took a course to study after office hours for self-development which has nothing to do with your Performance Management Objective or learning a new skill in the new domain. Unlike “Away from” motivation, “Towards” motivation has a long list of positive effects. This type of motivation is inspired by the bigger purpose and driven from the inside out.

So what motivation do you want to use for yourself, and your team? Researcher Marcial Losada studies 60 plus top-level management and found that high performing teams ratio of positive and negative comments was 5:1, medium performing teams have a ratio of 2:1 and not a surprise for low performing teams it was 1:3, its Losada Ratio. Another researcher John Gottman could predict divorce with 90-95% accuracy based on a similar concept. Positive motivation and words create new pathways in the brain and promote cognitive function.

Use “Towards” motivation in place of “Away from” for your team, children, family, friends and see how the performance improves for the long term, lead to positive neurological changes and improved health. The more “Towards” motivate people are there in the workplace, in schools, and in society, the more positive impact we can create and achieve new heights.

 Let’s go towards what you want with more passion than away from what you don’t want.

Thank you for reading the article, please share what motivates you the most and which type of motivation you have, TOWARDS or AWAY FROM.

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