The Psychology of Self Motivation

Scott Geller is Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality.

Wow, did he say some good stuff about learning, training and self motivation. It’s about giving confidence, responsibility, trust and a sense of community to people if you want them to truly do their best. This is, of course, assuming that you are interested in fostering a high quality of work and expertise.

He mentions online training. Yes, it might be “productive” when it comes to dollars spent but does it really train effectively? It’s like the difference between doing a video workout for one hour versus doing a workout with a personal trainer for the same amount of time. As gorgeous or “interactive” as the video may be, I’d rather spend an hour working out with John Cena himself than me alone with his latest workout video playing in my living room, or with my buddy trying to follow along with a set of dumbells and leotard. Funny vision, eh? 😉

Back to self motivation …

In his words,

We can always learn from each other. We need to have the humility to accept feedback [even from those in lower positions], and the courage to speak up. And we need to help each other feel self motivated, How?

He goes on to explain what good leadership can do to self-motivate others. Positively, through encouragement, support, not negative reinforcement. He stresses that you get better results when you try to reach towards success, not avoid failure:

Give them the perception of competence. Teach them about competence, drive us! Let them perceive choice and let them know it’s community – we’re all in this together. We need each other.

Watch this great talk on self motivation:

I wish you a positive, motivating, dynamic and productive day!



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