Imagine what you could accomplish if you taught your people how to inspire themselves? It’s possible you’d see more independent thinking, courage, greater initiative, creativity and innovation, an improved culture and increases in productivity and results.
Everyone in business talks about motivation levels but motivation is just not enough, people need to be inspired to act and keep acting. Thankfully, there is a way you can inject such inspiration and then observe your people driving it through to achieve the results you desire.
You can teach your people to take more responsibility for their own levels of inspiration, help their childlike enthusiasm return so they’re willing to take the chances others shy away from and armed with this know-how, are able to achieve results more easily and make your life easier too.
Before I take you through this simple but highly effective Mind Hack though, let me answer a question you may have in mind: Why Inspiration over Motivation?
Whilst the two are intrinsically linked, motivation alone is limited and usually a short –term tactic that runs out of steam. Most often, it’s created through incentives & rewards or fear & punishment, which can and often are viewed as self-serving manipulation from management.
These ‘motivational tactics’ are typically based on logical reasons (not very inspiring ones at that) whereas inspiration provides a far stronger emotional connection.
Inspiration is what makes people become more creative, they think differently, act differently, achieve differently, they stand up and stand out rather than blend in like vanilla to achieve the ‘norm’.
Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something special, it encompasses inventiveness, innovation, ingenuity, imagination, originality, individuality, artistry, expressiveness and genius.
It’s the fire that lights the motivation and holds the momentum to persist to the end to get the desired results.
I think this vital ingredient in success is vastly misunderstood as only something that can be created by an external source, i.e. stimulated, encouraged, caused, influenced, stirred, spurred on by someone or something else.
This is often the case but it can also be created from within and this is the most potent of any inspirational forces, i.e. teaching people how to inspire themselves is uplifting and exciting for them because it gives them control to improve their situations.
UNDERSTANDING SELF-GENERATED INSPIRATION & HOW TO CREATE IT.
The clearest explanation of inspiration I’ve ever heard and which, I’ve pro-actively applied in my career to accomplish some (if I may say) pretty impressive results is this:
INSPIRATION is really made up of two words, INSPIRE & ACTION, in other words the inner urge and ability to feel something that drives behaviour to achieve something special, ‘it’ inspires action but what is this mystical ‘it’?
Very simply, this is where you link your team or company objectives to satisfy the individuals highest values, i.e. those that inspire them to act in a way that corporate objectives alone are unlikely to muster.
With this in mind, it’s critical to understand that self-generated inspiration based on their very own and unique inner values as opposed to external motivation or manipulations from others, is the strongest of all inspirational factors, for the following reasons:
a) The inspiration to act is pre-determined by the individual.
b) It will have more meaning to them personally because the drivers will be their values even though they’re aligned tightly to corporate objectives, win-win.
c) They won’t just be driven by money but also intangible things like becoming a subject matter expert in their chosen field, respect and admiration from colleagues, a giant leap up the ladder rather than a single step and so on.
d) You give them more inner control than they’ve probably ever felt before because they’ll continually be able to call on their own inspiration to act at will. This is crucial when and if times get tough for them or you in fact.
e) Ultimately, they will always carry this vital mind hack with them wherever they go in future; it’s a timeless and fundamental truth.
There are two points to emphasise with the above:
1. The most powerful levels of inspiration will come from the individual and so, they will not rely on others like you, to lift them all the time. They will be able to take more responsibility on their shoulders and less on yours.
2. Being inspired on it’s own is a start but full inspiration (inspire-action) moves them into doing something special. In effect: being inspired by satisfying their innermost values and desires is the ignition key and action is the fuel.
“If you’re working on or towards something that’s exciting, that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision (Inspiration) pulls you” Steve Jobs
ASSESSING THE VALUES THAT STEER SELF-GENERATED INSPIRATION
As mentioned, inspiration is driven by inner values more than anything else so they must align with what the individual wants to achieve and the team or company objectives. If they’re not aligned, you have a problem!
Whilst the individual should consider values across all areas of life, this Mind Hack is not the place to cover them all but they can be accessed via my online course if you’re interested to know more. LINK
For now, let’s cover the obvious area of career & financial.
No-one else can dictate what values an individual decides on for themselves but by way of example, the following considerations should help stimulate ideas and remember, values are the things that are most important to each unique individual and not what we believe they should be:
This career & financial values assessment is therefore by way of example and I suggest you use it, amend or create your own before taking any of your people through it. This way, you can tailor it more closely to your business environment and culture.
An important thing to bear in mind here is that you should be creative, try new versions, don’t be afraid of doing an assessment and not being happy with the first cut… tweak it, change it, add to or remove from it but don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Few things in life are perfect and especially where our innermost values are concerned so understand that this will be an ongoing process of reviewing and refining.
You might even surprise yourself by what comes out of it.
The following template is in a simple list form and broken down into various categories. Here, you just need to rate each one from 1 – 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
TEMPLATE 1 – CAREER & FINANCIAL
Values Importance 1- 10 (10 being highest)
Relaxed Work Environment
Exposure to Nature
High Level of Interaction with People
Changing the World
Creating New Things
Intellectually Demanding Work
Opportunity for Advancement
Opportunity to Lead
Opportunity to Learn New Things
Collaborating with Others
Two-Way Contribution or Sharing Ideas
Income Based on Productivity
Job Security Moral, Ethical, Spiritual Satisfaction
Prestige, Status as an Expert
Work Life Balance
TYPE OF WORK
Variety of Tasks
Whilst this list looks long, it could easily be longer still as the criteria for what satisfies a particular person’s career or work values can have knock-on effects on other parts of their life too so it’s critical to cover all values in this area.
Add, remove or change any of the above so they’re specifically relevant to you and then once you’ve rated each one, pull all the 10’s, 9’s, 8’s into separate lists.
By grouping them together like this, your list of prioritised values (career requirements) will become clearer to you and it will be obvious to see where they’re not being met right now and importantly, what you need to focus on changing so they’re satisfied going forward.
For example only: Let’s suppose that within your ratings, you marked an item in each category as a 10 like so:
Environment – High Level of Interaction with People
Growth – Changing the World , Diversity
Fun – Problem Solving
Rewards – Moral, Ethical, Spiritual Satisfaction
Type of Work – Variety of Tasks
Currently however, you’re working in a high pressure environment that offers challenge, competition, innovation, high income, with routine work and you can’t quite understand why you’re not feeling satisfied…Um?
The list of values above might now suggest you work instead in non-profit or charitable sector, i.e. patterns like this give clues to the type of careers or direction you can take.
This example is an extreme case of course but I use it to make the point.
From this type of exercise, you (and your people when they do it) can also identify the things that you find uninspiring and start the process of changing these so you can use your strengths to excel going forward.
This exercise also give you as a manager vital clues as to why someone may not be performing to the standards you need from them or why people with adequate capability are not raising their game and continually improving.
“When your highest values are in priority order, your direction becomes clear, your choices wiser and your decisions easier to make”
I’ll guarantee you this, very few managers or individuals for that matter will ever have done this exercise or understood the value in helping people understand and create their own levels of inspiration in the way that you now know.
Everyone will tell you they know their work values but ask them to articulate them and you’re likely to be met with silence or ambiguity. Taking them through this exercise however, people become clear about what inspires them and what doesn’t and you’ll know it clearly too.
You can now coach your people to take conscious control of what inspires them from the inside so that they get far more effective results on the outside. They will rely on you less to lift their spirits and improve their performances.
You should find they exude more confidence and self-assurance because they’ll know clearly, what’s important to them, where they’re heading and how it fits with your objectives.
Self-Generated Inspiration is a fascinating thing, and in the right hands, can be an absolute superpower once acquired because you and they will be able to pass it on to others too.
One of the kindest and wisest things you can do for others is to enable them so they don’t have to rely on anyone else to inspire or motivate them any longer.
“I understand myself only after I have examined myself and only in the process of understanding who I am now, can I decide who I will become”
I’ll leave you with the above quote and bless you for reading about this important Mind Hack and being one of the few that empower people to inspire themselves more often.
Author of Strong Minds E-Playbook, Online Program & Podcasts on Mind Hacking
Strong Minds e-Playbook: The Brain Science of Mind Hacking & Much, Much More.
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Originally published at reecepye.com