Tuesday, 25 November 2008


I have railed before against those who claim you need to be highly motivated to successfully undertake e-learning or distance learning or any form of self-study. It’s not that it isn’t true, it’s just that it’s economical with the truth. You need to be motivated to learn. In any way, using any method. Anyone who thinks part of the teacher or trainer’s role in the classroom is to provide the motivation is making a big mistake.

The only person who can motivate you is you. Others can lead, influence or inspire, but only you can provide the motivation.

I like the story of the football coach who shared his approach when taking on a new team. I paraphrase: “The first thing I do is find out which players need motivated – then I get rid of them”. The point being if they haven’t managed to motivate themselves up till then, they probably never will.

It never ceases to surprise me how much of an industry there is around motivation, including self-promoting gurus of motivational speaking, sources for inspirational quotes and superficial puff, and producers of tacky merchandise to make the workplace feel uncomfortable. In this context, I have been delighted to discover the web offers many posters subverting all that.
There are lots more if you Google “demotivational”. You can even make up your own at http://diy.despair.com/motivator.php

And now seems as good a time as any to plug the Business Balls website, which gives a light-hearted overview of any business topic you care to name. Their take on motivational theory is here.

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