Motivating Others at Home, at Work or at SchoolWhether at home, school, or work, motivating others can be a difficult task to undertake.  To some, leading, guiding, and energizing others comes naturally, however; almost everyone faces challenges at some point when it comes to motivating certain types of people or motivating in specific types of situations.  The goal however, remains relatively the same no matter what the environment — to keep people striving for success and to achieve goals through various motivational techniques.

Keeping a family functioning properly often offers different challenges than maintaining focus for employees in a work environment or motivating classmates during a team project.  Each person is motivated differently, and while there are similarities among different groups of people when it comes to motivational factors, you must typically view each person, group, and situation separately when it comes to pushing for that little something extra through motivation.

At Home

Motivating the ones you care about is sometimes the most difficult.  It can be hard at times to motivate family members or friends since you don’t want to hurt their feelings, step on any toes, or push them from you in some way.  However, in many instances, motivating at home can be done with love, understanding, letting someone know you are disappointed in them, or through explanations.  These techniques can be especially useful with kids since children often don’t understand the consequences or repercussions of their actions and are trying to please their parents through their efforts in school, sports, or extracurricular activities.

While at times, tough love and punishment are necessary for almost any child, trying to enable the child to motivate himself through positive reinforcement can be a useful technique.  However, reconsider monetary rewards, since this can set a dangerous example for the child that doing something positive is only worth doing for money and not for reasons such as fulfillment, self-satisfaction, or to help others.  Instead, consider making rewards focused upon activities with friends and families.

During School

Motivating your classmates and peers is often difficult in school or educational related environments since you really have very little real hold over them.  In these instances, peer pressure can be a useful tool to getting people motivated and accomplishing things.  Competition among groups or classmates, setting goals, and emplacing reward systems can also be healthy motivators.  Reminding your group or team that your accomplishments will be reflected in your grade or rewarded by beating out competitors can push team members to go that extra mile.  At the same time, sometimes simple goals or rewards like going out for a bit to eat after you finish your project, or reminding classmates that they can go home, sit on the couch and watch television after your team completes its work are easy ways to motivate your classmates.

In the Workplace

Motivating those in the workplace is probably the easiest environment in which to encourage others, simply because in many cases there is structure on which to focus team efforts.  There are more often set rewards, goals, and incentives, as well as the threat of disciplinary action, performance evaluations, even job loss to help motivate.  What often differentiates motivating people in the workplace when compared to other environments is the same thing that can cause the techniques to fail.  The structures or systems in place to motivate can at times backfire, and the restrictions of many of these reward/punishment systems are sometimes circumvented or ineffective.  If goals and rewards are set by those who do not understand what is motivating lower level employees, the goals might be unattainable and the rewards for reaching those goals insufficient.  Therefore, it is important to constantly re-evaluate goal and reward/punishment based structures in the work environment and attempt to provide feedback on the effectiveness of those systems to those who create, maintain and modify them.

If you feel you have the ability to motivate others, there is a wide variety of career and degree options available to you.  You might want to consider an online business degree or get a degree in education, leadership, or related area.  These types of degrees can lead you to a career as a manager, entrepreneur, teacher, or into work in law, politics, the military, social work, coaching, and a variety of other occupations.