How Do My Hot Buttons Impact My Job Performance?  

February 21, 2019 10:54 AM
Understanding your motivational style can help you be more productive.

Some days are easier than others to get revved up for work. As winter drags on, staying motivated can be a challenge. Regardless of the number of inspirational sticky notes that surround you, a Fast Company article suggests understanding your motivation style could be the key to setting yourself up for greater success.

“Motivation is a little more complicated than personality type,” says Janice Presser, PhD, founder and chief technology officer at Teamability, a team-building technology firm. “And it’s also simpler than most psychologists make it out to be.” 

Presser says understanding what personal hot buttons engage you allows you to take actions that make them work to your benefit.

What motivates you? Find out how your hot buttons can help you beat those winter blahs.

One of the strongest motivational drivers is power. Power helps us function in a challenging world and evolves into a desire for mastery, Presser says. If power is your dominant motivator, you love winning. People driven by power thrive on opportunities to prove their ability.

Kim Christfort, the cocreator of management consulting firm Deloitte’s Business Chemistry framework, calls this work style the “driver.” Drivers seek challenges and want to have that “point on the horizon” to march toward. 

Mark Epp, senior management consultant with Talent Plus, Inc., says for some, this drive is internal–a hunger to learn or develop. For others, the drive may be external, meaning they may do best in work settings with other competitive people who challenge them to up their game. 

If this is your hot button, you care about how you can affect others, and you want to be taken seriously. People motivated by power may have a specialized knowledge, skill or talent that makes them an authority in their line of work. Using those attributes to teach or impact others can be a key driving force.

Stay motivated by knowing what’s expected of you and what the objective is, Presser says. Ask a lot of questions about the nature of the work and what the best possible outcome is. Make the most of your desire to compete or influence by tracking metrics, such as sales, productivity or other accomplishments. 

Some people are motivated more by values and the opportunity to create a meaningful relationship with the world. This could be belief in a mission, product or other driving force. Management consulting firm Mercer’s “2018 Global Talent Study” found that among thriving employees, 75% say their company has a strong sense of purpose that resonates with their personal values. 

Employees who have a strong values connection to the workplace will often willingly go the extra mile, Epp says. Examples are the company owner who works long hours because he or she believes in what they’re doing, or the nonprofit worker who understands that the job has a meaningful impact on other people or the world.

Stay motivated by reconnecting with what you find meaningful in your work, Christfort says. Whether it’s your job’s mission or the fact that your job allows you to support yourself and your family or doing things that you love, think about why you get up and go to work every day. Consider how your work is connected to what matters to you as a person to boost your motivation and beat the boredom.

Work Preference
Determining the environment that best suits your work style is an important part of motivation, Epps says. When it comes to how you do your work, Deloitte’s research refers to Pioneers and Guardians. Pioneers are focused on opportunities and new experiences. They crave the flexibility to find and engage in them. Guardians, on the other hand, need stability and processes.

Simply put, some workers need a high degree of structure in the work they do, others need more freedom and flexibility. If you are someone who requires great details and solid framework and you are placed in an unstructured environment, you will likely feel overwhelmed fast. On the other hand, if like a little latitude in how you approach your job, a rigid environment may feel suffocating.

Stay motivated by adapting your workspace to better fit your work preference. If you’re a freedom-seeking Pioneer, look into flexible work arrangements. If you’re a Guardian who needs structure and details, create processes for your work functions and engage your manager and team to support those needs. 

Another hot button is affiliation. Relationships and connection are important to people motivated by affiliation. This group does best in environments where connections are encouraged and have the opportunity to be strengthened.

Deloitte’s research refers to people who have this dominant work style Integrators. People who possess this work style want to understand the needs of others and how the decisions they make affect the people around them. To someone motivated by affiliation, the means is just as important as the end if it has a better impact on others.

Motivate yourself by developing and focusing on work relationships. Network, connect people to mentors, and nurture friendships in the workplace. As more and more people begin to work remotely, this is often a struggle for people who thrive on connection. Utilize tools, like video conferencing, to build more interactions with your coworkers to get yourself reenergized.

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