It was Thursday evening and a session was scheduled from 5PM to 8PM for a company
in Thane. I was conducting a session on Leadership development. For a leadership
role, motivation and understanding about how to motivate a team is important and as a
part of my session I distributed a sheet of paper with the participants with these two
1. What motivates you?
2. Do you know what motivates your colleagues?
The participants of the program were given fifteen (15) minutes to pen down their ideas
about the above questions.
The age group of the participants was in the range of 25 to 35 years and I could see
that participants were struggling to answers. Some of the answers which the
participants wrote were promotion, cash incentive, new mobile phone, car, and house.
According to Scheffel, when we talk about motivation, we distinguish two different
kinds: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is in fact exactly the same as
engagement. It comes from ‘within’ and it has to do with the joy or fulfillment a certain
job or task gives a person, rather than the reward it will bring. Extrinsic motivation is
triggered by external factors. In the absence of these factors a person will not feel
Science has found that positive emotions are at the root of human motivation. It is how
people "feel" that drives the motivation deep within them. My personal feeling is that
most of us fail to identify what really motivates us as we do not make enough efforts to
stay motivated.
I had attended a program titled “Teacher as Leader” and from then onwards I always
felt that role of teacher is much larger than I thought. It is possible to motivate people if
teachers /leader have basic understanding of human behavior, and they know what
makes people tick. Science has already found that positive emotions are at the root of
the human motivation. Therefore, leaders and teacher must acquire the knowledge of
what truly inspires human beings to enthusiastically perform at a high level. Teachers
can use this knowledge for understanding student behavior and learn what actually
motivates every individual student. This practice is missing currently in most of the
institutes and schools.
A person can be working as a recently promoted manager or can be working as
manager since past ten years or even longer, one thing never changes and that is
human nature which is often unpredictable. Motivating each and every person in the
team can be a very frustrating and challenging for the team leader and same would be
the challenge in case of a teacher as well. Teachers would also face the same struggle
while try to motivate students to learn new things.
Coming back to the point about what really motivates a person I wish to ask. Do you
really know what can get you out of bed early in the morning? How passionate are
about your goals, aspirations, and interests? In other words, do you really know
yourself? It is important as a teacher or as a leader to know oneself. Most of the
successful people have high self awareness and they know their interest and career
aspirations in order to motivate self every time. My opinion is people who do not know
what truly motivates them may find it difficult to motivate others.
Once you know what motivates you then you can then look into the future to create
motivated learning and development for your students. Teachers at management level
can positively find out what motivates their students by getting to know what desires will
drive each students. This is about emotional understanding. This can be done only
when we spend some good time with students and that too in an informal way where
students open up and share freely about their choices.
I am confident that some of our senior teacher friends would be already doing it very
successfully in a class room where students come with different back ground and
teachers have a tough task of keeping them motivated to learn. Some teachers could be
doing it due to their natural ability and some could have acquired this specialized skill
over a period of time.
My sincere request is to all our teacher friends to take a deep dive first within to learn
about oneself and then learn to appreciate students at emotional levels and
communicate with them so that we learn what motivates them.
I will be happy to learn more on this area and would request all teachers to share their
views. I am sure your inputs will guide me to explore more and will give direction to this
study of mine

Author's Bio: 

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