Join us for today’s webinar: A Closer Look at the New Science of Motivation

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Join best-selling business author Susan Fowler for a complimentary webinar and online chat beginning today at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (12:00 noon Eastern).

In a special presentation on A Closer Look at the New Science of Motivation Fowler will be sharing some of the research underlying Blanchard’s new Optimal Motivation program and workshops.  Participants will explore three basic psychological needs—Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence—and the skills needed to reach a high quality of self-regulation. The webinar is free and seats are still available if you would like to join over 700 people expected to participate.

Immediately after the webinar, Susan will be answering follow-up questions here at LeaderChat for about 30 minutes.  To participate in the follow-up discussion, use these simple instructions.

Instructions for Participating in the Online Chat

  • Click on the LEAVE A COMMENT link above
  • Type in your question
  • Push SUBMIT COMMENT

It’s as easy as that!  Susan will answer as many questions as possible in the order they are received.  Be sure to press F5 to refresh your screen occasionally to see the latest responses.

We hope you can join us later today for this special complimentary event courtesy of Cisco WebEx and The Ken Blanchard Companies.  Click here for more information on participating.

36 thoughts on “Join us for today’s webinar: A Closer Look at the New Science of Motivation

    • Hi, how can companies authentically support motivation/employee engagement by harnessing staff desires to make a positive difference without it looking like company spin or abuse of goodwill?

      • Hi Elaine–here is Susan’s reply from below: “Oh my, this is a fantastic question!!! This is why we have been selective with the clients we work with — to be sure they are organizations with values and purpose aligned with the most optimal approach. We have learned how to frame the message and set up the initiative to avoid this–but it has to be authentic!

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  2. Susan – fantastic presentation today. You had one slide that referenced three things that a manager can do to foster an environment where motivation can be optimized. What were the 3 items?

    • Oh my, this is a fantastic question!!! This is why we have been selective with the clients we work with — to be sure they are organizations with values and purpose aligned with the most optimal approach. We have learned how to frame the message and set up the initiative to avoid this–but it has to be authentic!

    • Sabrina–somehow my original answer got lost in the ethos! The three things are:
      Conduct Motivational Outlook Conversations
      Use Best Practices that support people’s needs for A-R-C; eliminate undermining practices
      Use language to support your best practices (that encourage A-R-C)

      These are the skills we teach in the 1.5 day Optimal Motivation session for managers.

    • I LOVE these questions! We hope someone will ask this question 🙂 Basic answer: It takes less self-regulation to do something you inherently like doing; greater quality of self-regulation to stop doing what you love (like Angry Birds or Words with Friends) and turn your attention to something values-based, meanful, and purposeful. Hope that makes sense in the short form??

  3. Susan and David and Raul, thank you all very much! Love the new paradigm of optimal vs suboptimal. Susan can you think of one easy practical thing a manager of a small business can do immediately to begin? Is there 1 thing you are seeing working in small businesses?

    • Small businesses have a great opportunity to focus on satisfying a person’s need for autonomy, relatedness, and competence. The problem comes whe an owner or manager uses power and authority (ego) over collaboration and mutual purpose. Be sure your values (your own and your small business) values are clear AND take the time to help your employees understand THEIR VALUES and how they relate to the organization’s. Too often we emphasize an organization’s values and stop. Take the values exploration deeper. Do your people have a sense of purpose? How can they recognize that their purpose is being fulfilled throught their work?

  4. Here is a response to the question about the connection to Dan Pink’s book DRIVE. Dan’s ideas are extrapolated from Deci and Ryan’s work, as is ours. One difference is that we chose to keep the academic “labels” for Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence for a number of reasons–most especially the need we feel people have for relatedness at work. This is an opportunity to change the nature of the way we interact with each other.

  5. Hi Susan–here’s a question from the webinar–have you noticed any differences in motivation levels that could be tied to a person’s position within an organization? For example–higher up in the organization, higher up when it comes to motivation.

    • What we have noticed is that oftentimes people who have “moved up” the organization have done so because they had the energy, vitality, and postive wellbeing to sustain their efforts over time. However, a janitor who comes to work everyday and does a great job because he recognizes the importance of his work and has values around contributing and being of service is also optimally motivated. I have seen research on Mexicans working in fastfood chains who have a sense of gratitude for their jobs and a sense of relatedness and purpose by supporting their families back home. These workers are more dependable and productive than their co-workers who “had” to take a job to get through school or because their parents told them to.

  6. Another way we differ is in expanding the notion of two polarities of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation given that the goal isn’t that we are always intrinsically motivated at work–that isn’t probable. But it is probable and desirable to be have an optimal Motivational Outlook based on values and purpose (meaning).

  7. One final note on Pink: He does a great job of outlining the organizational benefits to people being intrinsically motivated–he presents compelling evidence. I love that. Since 1994 I have worked to find a way for the research to be pragmatic and useful to individuals, leaders, and organizations. In part due to Dan’s book, the time is here. With my co-authors, David Facer and Drea Zigarmi, we at Blanchard feel we have not only interpretted the science, but been able to craft a pragmatic approach to using it. Hope you agree!

  8. Thanks Susan for such well articulated presentation.

    Question: is there a way to detect when the organization is not optimally motivating us? In other words: can we detect when, even when we as staff are capable to be optimally motivated, we cannot feel optimally motivated because of the organization?

    Thanks again!

    • This might be difficult to articulate in a reply box, but here goes. The circumstances and environment can make it easier and more likely that you and your staff will be optimally motivated, but the INDIVIDUAL is ultimately responsible for their own Motivational Outlook. The example I gave with sales reps is a good one. They all have the same incentives, rewards, and promises, but different people internalize those “pellets” differently. Some buy into the external reward; some feel “imposed” by guilt or shame; and some will take the rewards and bonuses, but the REASON they are working hard and succeeding is not BECAUSE of the rewards. The rewards are simply a by-product of being optimally motivated with an Aligned, Integrated, or Inherent Motivational Outlook. LIke Frankl in the concentration camp. Most gave up and gave in to the Imposed M.O. Frankl, and others, chose to “make the most of it,” by making choices such as helping others, sharing food, learning and growing in the face of horrible circumstances. The organization and leaders NEED to work on making the 12 factors I mentioned a reality. But ultimately, even if those factors exist and the leader does all the Best Practices, an individual will choose their own Motivational Outlook.

  9. Here’s another question from the webinar–what have you seen typically happen in an organization where people are not nurtured in the three areas you discussed–Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence?

    • When people don’t have their needs for A-R-C met, they are more likely to NOT achieve their goals and outcomes. More importantly, even if they DO achieve them, they are likely to NOT have feelings of energy, vitality, or positive well-being. The impact on organizations is substantial in terms of productivity loss, absenteism, sick days, sabotage, insurance rates, and a bunch of other measures. The Institute for Positive Psychology has amazing research on this, too. Another source (my favorite): Self-Determination Theory website.

  10. Thanks for the great presentation. Although I do think a lot of this makes sense, I struggle with using this for people that still don’t have any motivation and therefore, it seems like at some point a manager needs to use some kind of disciplinary action. Is that not the case at all? In addition, we work in an atmosphere where sometimes autonomy is taken away at much higher levels than at the supervisor level. Therefore, one can provide as much autonomy as possible, but some of that is out of our direct control. What then?

    • Please look at what you wrote: “people that still don’t have any motivation.” People are always motivated! It is the quality of the motivation we need to be concerned with. Sure, if you are in the perfect workplace, it will be easier to experience autonomy, relatedness, and competence, but with the skill of motivation you can choose the quality of your own experience. As a leader, you can create a positive pocket of well-being for your people. Whe the economy changes, people will be less likely to tolerate environments that undermine their A-R-C. They will make the ultimate choice, to move or change their environment. But even–or maybe especially–in a bad economy, we each need to use the skill of Optimal Motivation for our own health and well-being. Take heart.

  11. Tip for today. Listen to that little voice that tells you “I have to …” Instead of feeling the Imposed Motivational Outlook, turn it into, “I am able to …” or “I get to …” and then add how your values or purpose will be served. It works! A little thing. But remember, these little moments of mindfulness lead to feeling Optimal Motivation which leads over time to Employee Work Passion. My wish for you is energy, vitality, and a sense of positive well-being!
    OMward and upward!
    Susan

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