Incentives are funny things!

What works for Peter may not work for Pauline. Many business leaders believe that one size fits all.   We think that if money motivates Peter then it should work for Pauline but that is a big mistake that you don’t have to make.

What others need may not be available but it’s still what they need! Behavioral needs are not “whiney wants”. They are in fact, real, measureable needs. Ignore them at your peril!

For example most people, at their best, appear to be friendly and easy to know. But those same people are hiding an underlying need for more time alone. In other words, who you interview is not necessarily who you hire. Or to get personal, who you date is not always who you marry.

The way people act in an interview or social setting almost always hides their underlying needs that lead to deeper levels of motivation and connection.

Some need lots of structure and very direct and clear communication and have a strong desire to take direct action. Others need to have warm, caring and very respectful relationships with less structure and more freedom. The combinations are endless.

Here’s a simple suggestion so you can stop guessing about what others need… ask them and then talk about it. It seems so simple but we don’t usually stop to have these essential conversations.

You’ll be surprised at how helpful a series of short but regular conversations can be in your team. Just go around the room at your next meeting and ask a simple question like “Would you like more structured direction or less”.

Of course there are more conversations to have but start with this one and ask a co-worker, boss, friend, partner or team and then just sit back and listen! You’ll see the keys to their motivation start to shine through.

Please remember, when primary needs are not met everyone will enter in to some pretty predictable stress behaviors… and you don’t want to go there!

Use these conversations as an icebreaker for team meetings or even one on one conversation then just listen and learn.

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