It’s easy to set goals for your business. You look for something you want to achieve or have, and then you do something to make it happen. Right? Well, no. We need to have two essential things in place, in order to give us the impetus to achieve – we need desire and motivation.

Desire, in its purest form, is the strong urge or need to have something. It is that initial spark that puts the idea, the possibility and the wish to have that end result, in our life. But it’s the motivation that drives us forward, pushing us on.

When it comes to achieving the things we want, whether it’s in business or life generally, we need to understand that there are actually two different forms of motivation in play. They are known as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and it’s important to understand the differences in them, if you want to effectively reach your business and/or personal goals.

How intrinsic and extrinsic motivation differs

Extrinsic motivation is driven by outside factors, usually things that help us to either receive an award or avoid and adverse outcome. This can include achieving a business award or completing our client work on time, in order to avoid losing the business.

Intrinsic motivation however, is driven by what’s inside of us; it’s about being motivated by things we find personally rewarding. This can include carrying out those tasks we do, purely because we enjoy them or participating in something, because we find it exciting.

Although both forms of motivation work, due to the differences in their driving factors, if you’re using the wrong type of motivation in a scenario, it can actually reduce the effectiveness of your efforts.

What motivating force do you need?

Although they’re both motivating forces, if you’re not picking the right one for the right tasks, you’ll end up demotivated and uninterested in achieving the very things you want.

Extrinsic motivation is great when you want to acquire a new skill or participate in something you’re not initially interested in. Having external rewards can heighten your interest, increase motivation and also provide feedback, especially if you’re wanting to reinforce a set standard of performance from others.

It’s suggested that intrinsic motivation is best, as you’ll already get a feeling of satisfaction from the task you’re doing and you actually like the task you’re doing! In this case, the best way to increase that motivation further, is to receive praise and positive feedback – particularly a useful thing to remember, if you’re working with others. If someone is intrinsically motivated, giving them external rewards can actually decrease their motivation – unless those rewards are unexpected.

Why you need both

Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are important behaviour drivers. If someone has no initial interest in a task, external (extrinsic) motivation can be used, as a way to encourage interaction and to heighten the desire to learn. However, once the person is truly enjoying what they do, it pays to switch to intrinsic motivation, as often, the best reward for enjoying something, is to hear how it’s positively impacting on yourself, your business and your clients.

What motivating factors are driving you forward? Maybe you’ve been stuck and now realised it’s because you’ve been using the wrong kind of motivation, or have been putting too much emphasis on one type of motivation – why not share your experiences in the comments box below!

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