Want to Increase Motivation? Step 1: Stop Crushing Spirits

Team leaders often think about ways they can increase motivation – but little thought goes into how they might be killing it.

We shouldn’t have to be told that people’s hearts and souls are not piñatas, and yet here we are. Duke psychology professor and behavioral economist Dan Ariely says when it comes to increasing motivation, there’s a precursor lesson many managers, teachers and parents miss: stop crushing spirits.

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Motivation Escapes Us When We Don’t Understand Its Machinery

It turns out there's quite a bit of cognitive dissonance impairing our understanding of motivation and happiness. Duke University's Professor Dan Ariely fills in the gaps.

Motivation is a mysterious mechanism. It exists within all of us, but lays dormant unless unlocked. The 'how' is the difficult part, something business and individuals struggle with to varying degrees. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely has found that there’s a dissonance between what we think motivates people and what actually does. The most simple formula for motivation, and the one we reach for the most often, is that money = motivation. Luxury rewards are a powerful idea, but are they really what drive us?

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