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Many of us have, at some point or another, over-prescribed “lack of motivation” as the single cause of inaction or undesired behaviour.  


Sure, motivation will occasionally inspire us to do extraordinary things, but it alone is not the key to sustainable performance. Thinking it is can eventually lead you (and those you lead) to more frustration than satisfaction. 


To sustainably impact our people’s behaviour, we should also focus on:


  1. Honing their capabilities and skillsets in alignment with desired behaviours (i.e. conduct a needs analysis/skill assessment and provide training sessions and tutorials addressing relevant knowledge/competency gaps. This could be an excel workshop if people are struggling with something like compiling data effectively, or mental performance training, if people are struggling with things like focus and self-awareness).
  2. Creating prompts in their environment that encourage and facilitate the desired behaviours (i.e. providing easily accessible, highly visible job aids, or personalized, short verbal queues based on a mutual understanding of their meaning).


Ultimately, it’s important for us to understand that there is more to behaving in alignment with our goals than just wanting to do something. It’s equally important to know HOW to do it, and create an environment that facilitates, encourages, and supports the right behaviours.

– Coach MJ

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