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THE ROOT OF MOTIVATION AND PERFORMANCE

Every one wants to perform, except those who self-sabotage. They self-sabotage because heir conscious minds want to succeed, but another programme deep within does not, and – critically – does not really believe that they can.

Why is performance so important? Because we are all being judged by everybody else every minute of the day on how we perform in every area of our life. Worse, we are being judged by ourselves. The truth is: all the rewards in life are correlated to how we perform, certainly in the long run, although the correlation is not as straightforward as many believe or would like.

At Motivational Maps we have a simple, three stand model to explain the key elements of performance. They are: first, Direction. In terms of the organisation the posh word for Direction is Strategy; in terms of the individual it is probably career. No matter what else you have going for you, if you are going against the grain of your own being, then you are not likely to succeed.

Second is what we call Skill, by which we mean both skills and knowledge, and would accept other phrases like competency. It’s the ability to be able to know and do – this makes us efficacious – and has a direct bearing on our self=esteem. Organisations have TNAs – Training Need Analyses – to uncover what skills and knowledge their staff are going to need to be effective and to compete in the market place. Young people go through a process called ‘education’ in order to establish a knowledge and skills base to set them up for their futures.

Finally, the third and least understood component of performance is motivation, the area Motivational Maps specialises in. So let us go back one further step and ask: if motivation is at the root of performance, what is at the root of motivation? And again, there are three components. Briefly, motivation derives from three core aspects of our internal configuration: our personality, our self-concept, and our expectations. I would like to comment on the last two. For our self-concept boils down, basically, to our beliefs about our self; and our expectations boil down, basically, to our beliefs about future outcomes. Put another way, our motivation is critically linked to our internally focused beliefs, and our externally focused beliefs. In short, our beliefs per se play a staggering role in our motivations or lack thereof.

Thus it is that if we want to improve our performance in any area we need to consider what we believe about self and about the external environment in which we operate. It is no accident that the word ‘confidence’ comes from the Latin root, con-meaning with and fidence-meaning faith, so ‘with faith’, or ‘with belief’ underpins all motivation, all performance, and so all achievement. The question, then, we have is: how as coaches, mentors, consultants, leaders, managers and so on, can we effectively change our beliefs, internally and externally, to create optimum performance?

The irony cannot be lost: to achieve the results we want in the real world, we have to enter the nebulous realm of un-being – belief!

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© Dr. Richie Achukwu 

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