Measuring Motivation

 In Employee Relationships, Leadership, Work Environment

Submitted by Rick BakerSpirited Leaders

Motivation def’n: the force that influences people to act

Measuring motivation: an ‘ability of consciousness’ that differentiates human beings from other animals

You’re human – so, naturally, you measure other people’s motivations. You observe people. And, automatically, you measure their motivations.

If you are skilled at measuring motivation then you may enjoy harmonious and low-confusion interactions. If you are unskilled at measuring motivation then you likely experience regular challenges and conflicts when you interact with other people.

Motivation and Influence are siblings. If you want to be a leader then you want to be able to influence people. And, your influence will be maximized when you understand and make use of other people’s inherent motivations.

Dale Carnegie taught, “Win friends and influence people.” Generations earlier, Abraham Lincoln said, “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.” Yes, friendship or at least willingness to work in harmony is helpful in influencing other people’s behaviour. However, there is a more-important thing. More important than friendship is the ability to accurately assess other people’s motivations. For some leaders, the key to accurate assessment is the gift of natural ‘empathy’, the ability to understand other people’s feelings. For other leaders, the ability to accurately assess other people’s motivations is a learned skill…it is a planned & learned personal strength.

Fundamental to this learned personal strength:

  1. a broad and deep understanding of human nature,
  2. keen powers of observation, &
  3. knowledge of the power situations hold over people’s behaviour.

How about you?

Do you possess a natural gift that allows you to understand other people’s motivations?


Do you work continuously to improve your ability to understand other people’s motivations?


Are you just winging it?

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