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Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose?

The Right Motivational Story

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose?

Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose?

https://hbr.org/2013/03/do-you-play-to-win-or-to-not-lose

hbr.org

8

Key Ideas

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.

Promotion And Prevention Work Personalities

  • 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.

Motivational Fit

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.

The Right Motivational Story

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.

The Right Mentor

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.

Goal Framing

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.

Feedback: Giving And Receiving

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.

Incentives

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Have Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is being willing to look at your mistakes or failures with kindness and understanding—without harsh criticism or defensiveness. 

Most of us believe that we need to be har...

Remember the "Big Picture"

Thinking Big Picture about the work you do can be very energizing in the face of stress and challenges because you are linking one particular, often small action to a greater meaning or purpose. 

Something that may not seem important or valuable on its own gets cast in a whole new light. 

Rely on Routines

Every time you make a decision, you create a state of mental tension that is, in fact, stressful. 

The solution is to reduce the number of decisions you need to make by using routines. If there's something you need to do every day, do it at the same time every day. Have a routine for preparing for your day in the morning, and packing up to go home at night. Simple routines can dramatically reduce your experience of stress. 

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What Are the Pros of Incentives?
What Are the Pros of Incentives?
  1. Having a good salary and benefits package is great, but having extra incentives for a job well done makes workers feel appreciated. That decreases turnover and increases profits.
What Are the Cons of Incentives?
  1. Create conflict: those who don’t receive incentives may be jealous of those who do regardless of merit. Those who receive incentives might also be upset if they worked harder than others to get the same reward.
  2. The focus of work becomes competitive instead of being focused on quality and people will only work as much as it takes to earn the incentive.
  3. It eliminates productivity for everyone except top performers who are more benefited by incentives. 
  4. Incentives can become quite costly as they need to continue to rise on a scale of cost in order to remain effective.
Mindsets in leaders

Mindsets drive what leaders do and why they do it. 

Two different leaders might face the same situation but respond to it very differently. One leader might see the case as threatenin...

Growth and Fixed Mindsets

A growth mindset is a belief that anyone can change their talents, abilities, and intelligence. Those with a growth mindset:

  • take on challenges
  • take advantage of feedback
  • use the most effective problem-solving strategies
  • provide developmental feedback
  • is persistent in accomplishing goals

Conversely, those with a fixed mindset believe that talents, abilities and intelligence can't be improved.

Learning and Performance Mindsets

Leaders with a learning mindset are motivated to increase their competence and master something new.

A performance mindset desires to gain favorable judgments about competence and avoid negative judgements.

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Prejudice is inside us all
Prejudice is inside us all

Prejudice stems in part from cultural learning, our parents, our schools, and social messages in the media. Prejudice is also deeply embedded in our thought networks.

The good news is that ...

Negative stereotypes are lodged in our cognitive network

They pop up to do mischief, even when you're not conscious of it.

We can learn to recognize bias in ourselves and reduce the harmful impact of that part of ourselves by applying acceptance and commitment therapy. It focuses on developing psychological flexibility. When we investigate our implicit biases, we become more aware of them and can bring our actions in line with our conscious beliefs.

Authoritarian distancing

All forms of prejudice can be explained by what’s called authoritarian distancing - the belief that we are different from some group. Because they are different, they represent a threat we need to control.

When people adopt authoritarian distancing, they display three characteristics:

  • The inability to take the perspective of other people.
  • The inability to feel the pain of other people when you take their perspective.
  • The inability to be emotionally open to the pain of others when you do feel it.

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Meaning in Life
  • Many of us struggle with finding meaning, as we are busy with our daily work and distractions.
  • Meaning in life provides us with the purpose of getting up daily, energized and pepped up...
Meaningful Work

21–35% of our life is spent at work, making it a crucial part of our lives to spend at something we find meaning in.

Meaningful work should be:

  • Motivating and purposeful.
  • Should be coherent and make some sense.
  • Should be significant.
Connected with a Purpose

Meaningful work is when we feel a genuine connection with what we do for a living and our larger spectrum of life.

It is motivating, creates deep relationships and helps others.

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Roles of psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Psychologists, in general, provide assessment and therapy in a group format or individually. The purpose is to improve a persons' well-being.
  • Clinical p...
Try a few therapists

You will need to feel safe and secure and establish a connection with your therapist. It is reasonable to try out a few until you find the right one.

The right therapist will encourage and support you in making uncomfortable changes.

Word of mouth

Ask your community for mental health specialists recommendations. Consider asking your GP, family, friends or local community.

Once you have a few names, look up their qualifications and read up about them.

Categories And Stereotypes

To the question 'What do you do'? we usually give one-word answers, that allow people to categorize us and create stereotypes. For example:

  • I’m in sales. They think:
Talk About How You Help People

Start your next response with “I help people… because it usually takes the stereotype away from your job title.

For example: You can say you're a copywriter or you can say you help companies tell compelling stories about their brands.

Tell an Anecdote About Your Job

Tell a story about something that was fun or inspiring to you at work.

It will help you make connections: the brain activity of the storyteller and the listener mirror each other, despite the fact that one person is talking and one is listening.

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Motivation
Motivation

Motivation is not a switch. Motivation is a flow. 

If you can create a self sustaining motivation engine, you’ll not only be able to find more meaning and purpose in your life, bu...

Motivation Engine in 3 parts
  1. Core. Your purpose. It is sustained by two things: Having Meaning, and Forward Movement.
  2. Support. What enables your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build.
  3. Surface. Any type of external recognition that might give you motivation.
Developing our strengths

Although we usually see our weaknesses as more changeable than our strengths, research shows that we should not focus on improving our weak parts, but to develop our strengths.

Identifying strengths

Try to see your strengths in relation to what energizes you. Something is a strength if: 

  • it makes you feel successful
  • you're drawn to it
  • it fully engages you
  • after doing that activity, you feel energized and fulfilled.
Ask the people around you

It's difficult for us to see our own strengths, but people around us (friends, coworkers, family members, mentors) will most likely see them clearly.

The goal is to identify things that you wouldn't have thought of on your own—or to find patterns.

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The experts and their ideas

The term expert defines a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area. 

Experts are specialists who, as a rule, are always right when it comes to their...

Be ready to change your mind

Whenever you get stuck to an idea, you put yourself at risk to promote obsolete or just one-sided theories. You might, however, want to try keeping an open mind to the possibility of change. 

Change is unpredictable and being flexible enough to adjust in proper time is a sure key to growth.

Coming up with new ideas

As an expert, one should try to be as open-minded as possible. Solving all kinds of issues while taking into consideration all possible scenarios might simply turn out to be the best thing ever.

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