Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A conversation on motivation between educators


There is great book on motivation, "Drive" written by Daniel Pink that everyone should read.  ----- nailed it with, 
"those of you in --------- this summer will remember talking about motivating staff members. I believe the group came to the conclusion that you cannot motivate someone to do something."  
After reading, "Drive" and being in the educational profession for almost ten years I believe we cannot motivate all people.  People are either extrinsically motivated or intrinsically motivated.  You may be able to inspire to motivate some staff.  Other staff will see right through the smoke and mirrors and go back to doing what they have always done.  Pink, writes further about motivation, for people to be motivated they must be given autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Autonomy: How often do we actually give people the freedom to do their job?  In education autonomy is rarely given from policy makers let alone individual schools.  Here is an example from “Drive.”
“You must paint this sort of picture. You must begin precisely at eight-thirty A.M. You must paint with the people we select to work with you. Andy you must paint this way.”
Mastery: How do we change compliance to engagement? --------, talks about how he has some teachers that “clock in and clock out” and do very little extra.  They are compliant.  “Mastery is an asymptote.” I am preaching to the choir here, but we are all here to reach mastery.  We are an asymptote, we are always seeking to reach that line, but we can never get close enough.  Mastery is pain, Mastery is a mindset.  How do we instill this into our staff?

Purpose: We all have purpose as to why we went into education.  What is yours?  How do we grow that purpose into our staff?  This is the challenge!   Without purpose we are nothing, we come every day and collect a check. 

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose motivates people, not individuals. 

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