40+FAB Blog

Manipulation or motivation

Motivation is a great way to get people to do stuff that they are supposed to do. I have two boys and have had to develop the art of motivation by giving rewards that measure up to the tasks they are being asked to do.
If they get all their work done, they get extra time to watch their favourite programme or a small treat.

There is a point where the thing used to motivate can turn into a tool to manipulate. This can be instigated by the motivator or the motivated. I laugh when my sons come back to tell me that I should give them their sweets so they can do their work, if I give in to them, then I have changed motivation into manipulation.

I could also be the one that changes the bar by offering them the sweets so that they give me some peace and quiet, so I am not doing it for their good, but for my comfort.

The problem with turning the point of motivation into manipulation is that the reward will keep growing bigger and bigger feeding a defective habit to the point that it cannot be sustained. At that time things get out of control and it ends badly for everyone.

Work on the fine balance of keeping people motivated for their own good and never manipulated for your own comfort.