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Try These Science-Backed Steps To Motivate People

Updated on May 6, 2014

Though there can be a number of ways for motivating people, a few ways have the strong backing of science. These science-backed steps can help in motivating everyone including employees, kids, relatives, spouses and so on. A scientific research has been conducted to prove the efficacy of motivation over other factors like salaries, abilities or even intelligence.

In fact, motivation plays a more significant role in getting predictable career success than the other factors. Of course, levels of motivation may have a relationship with success but the source using which people can be motivated may differ from person to person and may not have any relationship with success.

Some people opine that factors like persuasion, ways adopted for improving habits and steps to fight procrastination may also contribute to success but it is motivation that can get the best out of people. Therefore, you can adopt the following science-backed motivational steps.

Stop Bribes And Rewards

There is no denying the fact that rewards do work. But the study says that it is not the rewards but the perceived self-interest that is an integral part of the rewards that may induce dedication or may motivate. Researchers feel that the equation that rewards induce motivation itself is wrong. According to them, the motivation people get from rewards is for getting more rewards. This means that when the rewards stop, people stop getting motivated. So, the idea of rewards may backfire in creative and analytical tasks but it may work in manual labor. In the case of complex tasks, people may get motivated only if they get autonomy, if they are provided with opportunities to acquire mastery and so on.

Emotions Are Great Motivators

Both negative and positive feelings can play a vital role in motivating people. Some of the negative emotions are revenge, fear, jealousy, etc. and one of the most prominent positive emotions is passion. So, the best way to motivate people is to focus on their feelings. Once people have these powerful feelings, they may not be able to resist taking the required action. When changes are difficult to achieve, this method of making people feel can yield results.

So, instead of having a formal and less emotional workplace, you should try to have an environment in which feelings of employees are addressed.

Use The Small Progresses Made To Ignite People

No other strategy will work better than focusing or emphasizing on the progresses made by people. If small wins are focused upon and frequently discussed, it may ignite creativity, joy and involvement in work. Almost all the experts unanimously vouch for the efficacy of this progress principle. Similarly, if you focus on the failures of people, it is certain to demotivate them. Progress principle should be consistently adopted. Therefore, even minor successes should be emphasized.

According to a study, those who make consistent accomplishments, though minor ones, are able to derive more satisfaction in life than those who believe only in bigger successes. Further, those who are consistently making accomplishments may be able to persist better because they have more chances to dwell upon their accomplishments.

Make People Understand "The Why"
Whether you are running your business or want to motivate your relatives or your spouse, make the employees or your relatives understand why they should take a particular action. The idea should be so provocative and compelling that it should inspire a commitment among them. In short, they should immediately swing into action. So, when you try to motivate people, focus on "the why" and educate them about it.

Adopt these science-backed steps for motivating people and succeed in life.


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    • Melinda Longoria profile image

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 3 years ago from Garland, Texas

      Great article on motivation! Voted up & sharing on my social networks. ;-)