On Motivation and Monday Mornings

Is this your Monday morning?

Its the start of another work week.

How do you feel right now? What emotions are you noticing in your heart, body, in your deeper consciousness? Would you rather be here or somewhere else now?

The truth is, that you are the sole person in charge of your Mondays.

What I mean is, believe me, you are able to find work that’s meaningful, enjoyable and allows you to improve yourself.

Imagine for a moment that you work at a company which doesn’t exist to maximise profit. The only key metric it maximises is employee motivation (or happiness index, and this company exists btw, see Crisp, an agile consultancy in Sweden and their public set of company management principles called Crisp DNA).

Finding your happy place within your existing team, company or making the move to the right environment starts with taking stock of what’s important to you. They call it self-consciousness.

My path also started on a Monday. Knowing that day that I can’t do it anymore. My work as a software team lead became too monotone, almost too easy to handle and my opportunities to learn too few. I knew I had to change myself. Years of self-discovery led me to realise that I value and prioritise autonomy, taking on a variety of projects and most importantly helping people realise their dreams.

In most cases, how you feel about your Mondays its not purely a money question either. Assuming you are from the Western world, and earn enough to sustain a basic standard of living, what often matters more is your intrinsic needs, which are highly personal. Daniel Pink summarises these as intrinsic motivators in his book Drive, and the top 3 that apply for most people are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Steven Reiss, US Psychology professor and researcher of human needs and intrinsic desires, adds a few more to the list. How I learned about intrinsic motivators was a model based on Jurgen Appelo’s work combining research into 10 motivators and a card game (Moving Motivators, management 3.0 game). Since 2014, I have used it with 100s of teams and individuals to find understanding and meaningful careers. Let me share with you how you can use the Moving Motivators on your Monday and to take charge of your life.

Inspiration from the book Workout filled with Management 3.0 practices

Practice 1: Know what you like and what you need

As simple as that. Let me show you how you can get started.

Once you have downloaded the Moving motivator cards, cut them apart and lay them out in front of you. Start sensing how you feel about them.

Think about you in the now, on this Monday morning, starting your work that you normally do.

Order your cards from left to right

Which of the cards are really important for you to have in your work right now?

Move them to the left.

Which of the cards do you feel neutral about? Which of these are not important at all?

Move them to the right.

The next step is to ask - ‘Why’?

Make a note for your self on a post-it note or in your diary.

You will notice, some motivators are really important to you right now and you feel emotionally strongly about them.

I often ask individuals, which of the important motivators are fulfilled right now and which ones are a bit low?

To visualise this, you can move the cards above the line, which are fulfilled and make you happier this morning. Which are unfulfilled, move them below the line.

For more exercises of self-discovery and developing consciousness, contact me. Below is a list of follow up practices you can play to become more self-aware of your needs and start driving your life towards them!

· My Ideal day

· Strongsuits individual and team strengths

· Values and purpose

· Vision boarding my lifestyle

· Limiting thoughts and beliefs

Practice 2: Shape your role within your team

Often, you are using only a narrow set of skills on your team and this can be de-motivating. How about raising awareness of each others key motivators and discussing how you could better work together? Allowing each other to step out from your narrowly defined team roles and job descriptions can improve everyone’s team morale and ultimately can help you as a team get more work done.

Bring your motivator cards in to your office and play it as a team. When each of you have ordered the cards in front of you, pair up and start discussing the ‘why’ question for each of you. Be open minded and listen to the individual needs of your colleagues to better understand their aspirations and motivation levels.

A team discussing individual motivators

By asking the following questions, you can coach them to express deeply what is going on for them at work and how could they feel more fulfilled.

  • What are the motivators important for you right now? Why?
  • Do you feel that these motivators are fulfilled in your daily work right now? (move cards up and down the line)
  • What could be done to help you feel more engaged as part of this team?

Then switch pairs and go through the same conversation with your partner.

You may want to even visualise your team’s motivator profile on a flipchart.

This will help you recognise individual differences, and talk about similar and opposite needs co-existing in your team.

I usually encourage teams to end this session with a set of actions they agree to put in place to ensure everyone’s needs are acknowledges and fulfilled a bit more. For example, it can be as simple as the team committing to replay the game and access improvements after a months. Equally, it can be allowing team members with higher need for autonomy to work a few days per week from home or their preferred location.

By managing your own role in relationship with your team members, you can effectively improve your daily work conditions and motivation.

Have a 1:1 with your manager

The fact is that at least 40% of employee unhappiness stems from their managers (Gallup Survey). Do not wait for getting disengaged at work. Your happiness matters now!

You are responsible for raising your needs and suggestions to your manager on how you could be more motivated at work.

A simple way to drive this discussion is to introduce the cards to your managers. You can talk about your top 3 cards and why they are important to you right now. You can also consider a new role or a new way to contribute to your wider business area and see how it would impact your motivators and way of working.

Ready to facilitate this conversation and help others?

Once you have reached a state that you are mostly happy about your own Mondays, you might be interested in helping others on this journey. You can join our upcoming management3.0 workshops for facilitation training and practice taking charge of your life!

Andrea is a management 3.0 facilitator and a digital change agent. She writes about creating a better future of work and self-management. She runs workshops monthly around developing leadership mindsets and drive for people ready to take charge of their careers and lives.