• 3 Types of Motivation

    The enticing and inhibiting aspects of things, others, and self.

3 Types of Motivation

The enticing and inhibiting aspects of things, others, and self.

In their 2005 bestseller Crucial Conversations, authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler distinguish between three different types of motivation. Things. Others. Self. Each type has its own enticing and inhibiting aspects. Aspects you want to access and avoid, respectively. Each type of motivation also exerts its own kind influence. These vary according to your most immediate needs and strategic goals.

Things, the first type of motivation, comes in the form of external rewards and punishments. This is the carrot and stick approach. Money, possessions and privilege for those who succeed. Bankruptcy, homelessness, and impotence for those who do not.

Others, the second class of motivators, contrast social recognition and repudiation. Acceptance, appreciation, and praise provide compelling incentives for achievement. So do their shadow deterrents: derision, disparagement, and rejection.

Self, the third sort of motivation, reflects our personal values, desires, and intentions. The satisfaction, enjoyment, and pleasure we strive after. The dejection, despair, and pain we fear when we fall short.

Things, Others, and Self. External, social and personal motivators. Of the three, personal self-motivators usually exert the strongest influence over our choices. Still, the influence of each motivator is important and can vary according to context, needs, and state. It's easy to imagine scenarios in which we might feel compelled to set aside deeply held personal values. Situations in which we'd risk public humiliation or put ourselves in harm’s way. In such instances, external or social motivators may appear to be driving choices. Still, scratch the surface and you’ll likely find a personal need firmly behind the wheel.

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3 Types of Motivation  is an excerpt from Love Your Negative Self-Talk, available in audiobook, Kindle, and paperback on Amazon.

Love Your Negative Self-Talk
​turn your most vicious critic into your most valued collaborator

LOVE YOUR NEGATIVE SELF-TALK introduces exciting new practices to eliminate negative self-talk and create the kind of life you want. Drawing on over a decade of 1-on-1 coaching work, author Robert McFadden outlines effective strategies for transforming your relationship with yourself through small shifts in thoughts, habits and actions.

You’ll discover solutions to limiting beliefs, attitudes and ... more 

About Robert

For over a decade, Robert McFadden has coached people to achieve outstanding results in their personal lives, careers, and businesses. Robert’s clients come from all backgrounds. Professionals from medicine and law through to arts and entertainment. Commercial and social entrepreneurs spanning software development and fashion design to green tech and migration policy. Corporate executives and freelancers of every stripe, discipline, and trade.

Robert comes to coaching with a background in innovative leadership at Microsoft, Avid Technology and the National Gallery of Canada. An accomplished writer and presenter, Robert lives in Montreal, Quebec.