EQ Component 3: Maintaining Motivation

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”St. Jerome


This is part of my ongoing series of blogs about Emotional Intelligence (EQ).


The third component of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the common framework of understanding the subject is MotivationDaniel Goleman, acknowledged as the thought leader in this field, defines Motivation as:

“A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status; a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.”

Most experts agree that the hallmarks of Motivation are: Maintaining Motivation

  1. A strong drive to achieve.
  2. Optimism, even in the face of failure.
  3. Organizational Commitment.

Let’s consider each of these qualities in turn and how to address them as part of your EQ Action Plan:

  1. A strong drive to achieve: In my experience, building a drive to achieve is best accomplished in small doses.  For example, instead of starting to exercise 6 days a week, start with 3.  Put these sessions on your calendar.  Don’t schedule anything right next to them.  Reward yourself when you accomplish this goal for a month.  Then move to 4 days the next month, and so on.
  2. Optimism, even in the face of failure: Practice the technique of reframing when you are facing a difficult challenge.  How else can you look at the problem?  Usually, there are at least two or three ways you can look at it, and one of those will likely be more positive than the others.  Adopt that one.
  3. Organizational Commitment: How dedicated are you to the “greater good” of your team?  Your company?  Ask your peers how you can become a better team player.  I’d encourage you to read Patrick Lencioni’s excellent book on the subject, The Ideal Team Player.  He cites three descriptions of the ideal team player – “Humble, Hungry, and Smart.”  In your daily audit, give yourself a score in each category.

At a dedicated time each week, update your EQ Action Plan.  Enter the days and times you specifically worked on these three components of Motivation.  Cite examples where you employed them.  These consistent actions will help you develop “a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.”  As I mentioned in our previous blogs, start teaching your leaders how to build their EQ Action Plans, too.  It will take some time, but I think you’ll see measurable results – in yourself, and those you serve.

Enjoy the journey!

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