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  • Writer's pictureRicki Braswell

Beyond Words: Expressing Gratitude & Exploring Motivation

angry jack o lantern

The gratitude that I feel to be an American is, well, beyond words. Today, I am thankful to each of the Veterans of our United States military. We honor those who are still with us and the families of those who have passed. These men and women fought for us, regardless of our color, our gender, how much or how little money we make, our religion or what political party we vote for. They fought for us because we are all Americans. Although we are reminded of our many differences, our bond is our shared belief that everyone deserves to live in freedom.

Thank you for your bravery and your service.

The Truth About What Motivates Employees

"We find that financial incentives can result in negative impact on overall performance."

Yep, you read that correctly. According to the London School of Economics, after extensive behavioral studies, they concluded that people perform poorer in situations where financial rewards were offered. This study isn't alone. There are many others, carried out over a span of 40 years, which support the same finding. These studies have spanned the globe, cross cultures and economies.

In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink shares the findings and suggests that what really motivates people to perform at their best is autonomy, mastery and purpose. Autonomy he defines as the human need to control our own destiny; mastery as the need to become better at things that interest us; and purpose as doing something which is meaningful to us and the rest of the world.

One of the things that most interested me about these findings is that they seem to reinforce my own belief that engagement is the key to improved performance. A traditional method of management is to tell people what to do. When I work with leaders, I suggest is that they practice asking their team members what they think they should do. This allows the team member to have a sense of autonomy - directing the conversation and, ultimately, their own work. This act supports Pink's trio of motivation. I have found that if provided with a safe environment to share ideas and grow, team members will tell you what they need in order to learn and perform better. In Pink's terms this would be a path to mastery. And finally, there is purpose. I believe that if you want to motivate people to do a great job you have to help them connect what they do with the why. If they understand the importance of the job or task, ie if you explain the why, then they are more likely to recognize the importance of the what.

Neither I, nor Daniel Pink and the folks who conducted these studies, are suggesting that anyone should ignore the issue of money. You have to pay people a fair wage. But once you do that, you basically move the money challenge off the table and you can focus on engagement. Pink and I agree, when it comes to engagement, being self-directed supports high level performers!

Don't despair if you've used money as a primary motivation. You are certainly not alone. Most businesses agree with you, even with all of the studies. "There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does," says, Pink. But it isn't too late. I encourage you to continue to explore by picking up the book or watching the TED talk because the subject goes so much deeper than I touched here. Click here to watch Daniel Pink's TED talk. I promise, this will change the way you think about motivation techniques! And of course if you would like to explore how to improve your leadership skills, book a complimentary exploratory call with me and let's chat.

It's no secret that I love quotes and greeting cards, basically anything that provides an encouraging reminder of why I do what I do. So it should come as no surprise that I fell hard for this bracelet from little words project.

This amazing company is a self described, "community of Nice Girls" who list these as their truths:

  1. Supporting women is always the way to go

  2. Collaboration always wins over competition

  3. Kindness builds confidence and fosters self-love

How can I not have fallen for these sisters of my heart and yearn to be in their gang?!! Bracelets comes with all kinds of messages or you can create something customized.

As if you needed even more reason to order one of these for your very own self, each bracelet features a tag inscribed with a registration code. This code is used to register your bracelet which enters you into the Nice Girl Gang - heck yeah! Their website invites you to wear your bracelet for "as long as you need it to remind you of just how freakin' great you are." But, when you run across someone who needs that reminder more, pass along the bracelet so that they can benefit as well. She too can register under the same number tag, join the Gang, and use it as long as she needs it and then she too can pass it along. Thus the "little words" touch many women and Nice Girl Gang expands all while we watch our bracelet move as it is passed from one amazing woman to the next.

By the way, I've had my "hustle" bracelet for about a year and I'm no where near ready to give it up yet. But I love sharing the love so I've bought a whole bunch of these for some of the amazing women in my life.

Let's catch up over a virtual coffee!

This has been the longest month ever! I'm so glad its almost to a close. Wait, it's only November 11th! Isn't this how all year has felt?!

I would love to hear how you're handling things and share what I've been up to as well.

and let's chat.

If you are enjoying Beyond A Pep Talk please share with friends and suggest they sign up! Also, I'd love to hear what you want to learn more about so that I can create content just for you. Email me at with your thoughts, comments or just to share a chuckle.

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