Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose? - Deepstash
Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose?

Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose?


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Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose?

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Our Own Personal Motivation

A whole lot of ingredients go into the cauldron of motivation, and each one of us has different personality attributes, requiring a specific and tailored approach. The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator tool identifies one’s personality type by providing indications like:

  1. One’s degree of introversion or extroversion.
  2. Usage of feelings or thinking while making decisions.


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  • In a professional setting, the promotion-focused people are optimistic, speed-oriented, great brainstormers, plan for best-case scenarios and are also open to new opportunities. The people rely on positive feedback and can be dejected when things are not right. They like to think out-of-the-box and dive into work such as musicians, copywriters, inventors and consultants.
  • Prevention-focused people are slow and steady, provide accuracy, and have tried and tested ways of doing things. The people are uncomfortable with short deadlines, praise, and feel worried or anxious when things aren’t going smoothly. Being risk-aversive, they do great in administrative work, bookkeeping, accounting, manufacturing and risk-management work. Any job requiring accuracy and attention to detail would fit these personality types.


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It enhances and sustains the value of the individual. When managers' motivational strategies do not align with the dominant focus of one employee (prevention or promotion), then it is less likely the individual will achieve one’s goal.


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Different personality types are inspired and motivated by different types of stories.

The promotion-focused ones find inspirational leaders stories to be engaging and effective, whereas the prevention-focused individuals are impressed with cautionary tales of someone who didn’t follow the path.


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The right mentors and bosses play a significant role in the motivation of the individual.

When there is a mismatch between the employee and the boss, the work commitment and enjoyment declines.


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The right language, especially in framing a goal has a big impact on the performance of an employee.

  • The prevention-focused employee gets motivated by a different kind of language, which emphasizes on the inconvenience and the pitfalls of their assignments.
  • The promotion-focused employees get motivated by language that is inspiring and makes the work enjoyable and tantalizing.


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Promotion-focused employees like to receive feedback in which the manager is acknowledging and praising their excellent efforts. Prevention-focused employees respond well to criticism and the looming possibility of failure and try harder to achieve the goal when they are made to feel insecure.

It is a sound strategy not to be overly positive with the prevention-focused, or overly critical with the promotion-focused.


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Rewards and incentives vary according to personality type.

  • The fear-based strategies that instil insecurity in the employees (The Stick) work well with the prevention-based employee.
  • 'Carrot' based strategies that are rewarding success, work best with the promotion-based employees.


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