Shelley Row

A professional engineer and former executive, Shelley Row, is a leadership decision-making expert…and recovering over-thinker. She is the author of Think Less, Live More. Lessons from a Recovering Over-Thinker.

Is there someone you work with who could use a little motivation?  Could you use a little motivation? You can’t motivate someone else if you can’t motivate yourself and, frankly, we could all use a little motivation sometime. Too often we think of motivation as money or a promotion but intrinsic motivation comes from inside and is powerful.  How can you leverage findings about brain function to connect with intrinsic motivation? There are five ways to aid your brain or other’s brains to feel motivated by feeling rewarded. 

checklist

Pilots use it; some doctors use it.  The benefits of its use have been documented.  What is it? A simple checklist. Are you taking advantage of it? 

My sister and her husband are pilots. Each time I fly with them they pull out their pre-flight checklist.  Even with hours of experience, they use a checklist.  Why would experienced pilots who have initiated flights hundreds of times, still use a checklist? They know that for complicated activities, the brain needs support be to accurate.  Look at these research results.

The brain has two important electrical circuits for motivation. One activates feelings of reward and the other, feelings of threat. Whether staff, teams or clients, the reward circuit is the more reliable, long-term motivator of behavior. Unfortunately, the threat circuitry (via the amygdala) is more easily activated. The good news is that you can, with practice, consciously activate the reward circuit (via the ventral striatum). Here are five switches —the five Cs —that you can flip to activate the brain’s reward circuitry.

elephant

The workplace is filled with awkward situations that are hard to discuss. Perhaps there’s been an unpleasant exchange between co-workers and there’s a lingering undertone of anger. Maybe someone didn’t get the expected promotion and remain disappointed. Perhaps market conditions mean that bonuses were cut out this year. Maybe it’s best to not say anything? Maybe it will create an upset if we mention a touchy subject? Maybe it’s best to pretend like there’s nothing wrong? We are tempted to brush a big upset under the rug except that it doesn’t fit under the rug.

wheelchair

I'm not a care-taker. I seem to have missed that gene even as a woman. But then came the diagnosis - lung cancer - again. It was my husband. Now I push his wheel chair into radiation; fetch whatever he needs; and run errands while he focuses on recovery. As I dash to and fro, it caused me to reflect on what I can learn from this since every experience holds a lesson - if we have the mind and heart to see it.

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