Change will always come at you. Things happen and we try to navigate the churning waters of change. Particularly this year. But what motivates you to change?
As a coach, I help people change their behaviors and habits. Before I can do that, I need to understand what motivates a particular person to accept and even embrace change. Figuring out that driving force isn’t easy, but it’s always interesting.
Perhaps the best summary I’ve found of what motivates people to change is in Alan Deutschman’s book, Change or Die:The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life. Deutschman explains that people are not motivated to change by facts, force, or fear. What motivates people to change is hope.
Hope is optimism. Optimism is a positive mindset. So, it stands to reason that hope empowers a person to take steps rather than sit, wait, and wonder.
Where there is hope for something better, there is the willingness to act—whether that comes in the form of a nudge or an all-out shove. The deep-seated belief that you can make something happen is like the launchpad. It propels you upward, and sometimes that lift is all you need to get moving, a little momentum.
In management, it’s essential that you understand that what motivates you to act isn’t necessarily the same for your team members. You might believe that dangling a certain financial incentive or pushing a sales goal in front of someone is enough to spark them. Perhaps what they need is not a “thing” but a reason.
If you want to create change in your business, be prepared to provide the reason. In Start With Why, author and master motivator Simon Sinek explains that people don’t show up for a company; they do it because they believe in it and because they care.
“The organizers of the civil rights movement did not send out thousands of invitations, nor was there a Web site to check the date,” wrote Sinek. “But people came. And they kept coming and coming. All told, a quarter of a million people descended on the nation’s capital in time to hear the words immortalized by history, delivered by the man who would lead a movement that would change America forever: ‘I have a dream.’”
The people who showed up on August 28, 1963, had hope that change was possible and belief that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could spark that movement. Hope and belief were the catalysts—the motivation.
If you want to change, you must believe in the reason for it and have heartfelt hope that it can happen.
If you want to create change, start with your “why”. Then, fueled by your passion, invest your energy in communicating that purpose to others.