Have you ever tried to get someone to do something he or she didn’t want to do? Did you try explaining all the mutual benefits, good reasons, rationale, win/win outcomes, and still get nowhere? Did it leave you wondering what went wrong?
The answer might lie in motivation.
One of my favorite ways to understand motivation is the six-segment model we used in Four Secrets to Liking Your Work. This model breaks down our reasons for action into simple areas like the drive to learn, the drive to help, the drive for positive experience, etc. You can read a full list in an article I wrote about matching your workplace goals to your own motivation.
What’s so fascinating to me about this is that our own motivation drives everything else we do. If you’re a person motivated by achieving results, for example, then when you were talking to that difficult-to-convince person, you were probably talking in terms of results.
Which is great! …unless he or she is motivated more strongly by one of the other five factors.
Take a look at the article linked above; read the bulleted list of motivating factors, and see if you can figure out which factors were motivating your colleague that day – and which were motivating you.
If you can figure out how to frame benefits in terms of the other person’s motivational needs, the conversation is likely to be a lot easier.