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Issue Highlight — A Sign Of Hope
- Peter Block addresses the importance for corporations to work in the public interest as well as the interest of shareholders, building strong communities and promoting social equity.


Online Edition - November/December 2000

 In This Issue...
Tackling Leadership
Generation X And The Baby Boomers At Work
Heeding The Call
A Sticky Situation: Creating Innovative Climates

Motivation Made Easy

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change
Heard on the Street

Return to NFC Index

Motivation Made Easy
Look Inside the Human Mind for Answers to All
Your Relationship Needs

  We all have people in our lives that we just don't understand. And we've all had those moments when we wished we could crawl into that person's mind and ask, "What are you thinking?"
  Lowell Jay Arthur, a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, deciphers some of the mysteries of the human mind through his Motivation Profile. These five "metaprograms" distinguish different motivation styles, making it easier to understand why people do what they do. Read on to get a closer look into how your colleagues make decisions.

  What motivates you? Ever wish you had a magic wand that could motivate those around you? Ever wonder what you could say to people to get the results you want?

  How many times have you asked these questions of yourself and others you interact with, including friends, family and co-workers? The answers always seemed so intangible because people are too complex, too different.

  But what if it were possible to know the answers to these questions by understanding the human brain?

  Impossible you say? Lowell Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man of LifeStar, Denver, works with people to master the mysteries of the most sophisticated computer ever-the mind. Arthur, a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and co-author of "The Motivation Profile," helps people discover motivation techniques through five mental triggers rooted in NLP.

The Human Brain-With an Instruction Book

  Neuro-Linguistic Programming studies the structure of how humans think and experience the world. Through NLP, Arthur styled five motivation triggers designed to target individual characteristics and learning styles to promote successful relationships. "There are a few mental programs that run in the background of your mind. These "metaprograms" (filters through which one perceives the world) filter your experiences and trigger your responses," states Arthur in his book "Motivate Yourself! (and everyone else)."

  Arthur continues, "Each metaprogram determines how you jump into action. Do you get moving by imagining the benefits of what you're going to do or do you imagine the consequences of not doing it?"

What Moves You?

  "Imagine that you are the captain of your own ship and that your life is a journey, a voyage of discovery," states Arthur in "The Motivation Profile." "Each of us can be thought of as a different kind of ship, each with a different purpose that lies waiting to be discovered...The Motivation Profile will help you map your beliefs, values and mental programming, along with your current location, heading and speed."

  By understanding your motivation trigger, you'll learn about your "self," your primary motivations and how to motivate yourself and others.

  The first metaprogram Arthur identifies is "toward-away." Some people are motivated toward opportunities (toward pleasure) and others away from consequences (away from pain.)

  The "internal-external" metaprogram differentiates between how some people gather information and decide internally, while others decide based on external influence.
"Ask yourself this question," says Arthur. "How do I know if I've done a good job?" The internal response is, "I just know." The external response is, "Other people tell me."
Imagine a customer service employee. Would you want that person to be internal or external? If they are overly internal, they may treat the customer rudely. If they are overly external, they may give away the store. A balance would help align them first with the customer (external) and then guide them to useful choices (internal).

  The "options-procedures" metaprogram distinguishes between those who make choices and those who follow steps. "Options" people give a list of criteria, while "procedures" people tell a step-by-step story.

  In jobs where consistency is essential, such as airline mechanics, nursing and managing a restaurant, "procedures" people are a good choice. "Options" people are suited towards creative, inventive jobs.

  For the next motivation trigger Arthur explains, "'Active-passive' metaprograms determine whether you will jump into action or wait for someone to tell you what to do. This metaprogram can also be described as proactive and reactive."

  Arthur explains, "In the workplace, there are jobs that call for active and passive metaprograms. A salesperson has to be active to make sales calls. A "passive" person might be ideal for processing invoices. Just as a passive person might be miserable in sales, an "active person" might be bored to death processing invoices."

  The fifth metaprogram group differentiates our response to change as "sameness-progress-difference." This metaprogram determines how flexible and resilient you are to change. According to Arthur, "In today's turbulent times, knowing how to respond to change is critical. Recognizing your response and tuning in to support will be essential to personal and professional survival and success. In changing environments, the adaptable people will survive and thrive."

  "'Sameness' people want to stop the onward rush of change, even go back to simpler times. 'Sameness' people initiate change every 15-25 years and represent only 5 percent of the population.

  "'Progress' (evolutionary) people like to constantly improve things," Arthur continues. "Progressives tend to initiate change every 5-7 years and represent 65 percent of the population. These people thrive on continuous, steady improvement and are the 'paradigm pioneers.'"

  "'Difference' people always want to shake things up, to change things for the joy of changing them. They are innovators, resist stability and thrive on change. Difference people like to initiate change every 18-24 months and make up 30 percent of the population." states Arthur.

It's All in the Language

  Now that the five metagroups have been defined, what can you do with this information to motivate? Arthur explains that these five motivation styles have irresistible language that will motivate them to action. "The difficult people in your life are most likely opposite of your style. Once you learn their language, you'll be able to communicate and motivate them more easily."

  For the first group, "toward-away," "toward" people use language that talks about benefits (pleasure) of having or doing something. "Away froms" will talk about the absence of negatives. A manager might approach a toward person by offering the positive incentives that person will gain from a successfully completed project, while for an away from person, they might mention the lighter workload they will have once the project is

  To appeal to "internal" people, a person has to offer them information. For example, stating "This model comes with everything from the bare bones, to a deluxe suite of options. You decide which options are right for you," allows them to make their own decisions. To appeal to "external" people, talk about the avoidance of consequences.

  "Through this action, you will not lose your job."

  "Options" people want to know about choices: "Have we investigated all of the available alternatives?" They are motivated by offering what to do and letting them figure out how to do it. "Procedures" people want to know the plan, step-by-step. They are motivated by specifics and avoiding choices.

  For the "active-passive" metaprogram, "active" language involves statements of what is going to be done. The "Just do it" people could be heard saying, "Consider it done!" or "Let's make it happen." "Passive" language involves questions like: "What do you want me to do?" and "How do you want me to do that?"

 "Sameness" people like to hear the words "same" and "pattern." For progress people, their watchwords are "better," "improved" or "progress." "Difference" people are drawn to things in terms of "new" and "different."

  Abracadabra! That magic wand you've always wanted is now yours-motivation tools made easy.

November-December 2000 Homepage

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