Thursday, 15 September 2016

Can we motivate people the same way?

This morning at the gym I was talking to a visitor. Because Crossfit is the same all over the world you can drop in to the various gyms (boxes) around the world and get the same kind of workout that you would get at your home box.

One of the visitors this morning was a guy from Hong Kong who was really nice, he had a great sense of humour and he seemed to be enjoying his holiday here in Tokyo.

One of the things I noticed about him and I was joking about it with him was that we take a few minutes to start the workout of the day while he was so keen to start it. "Can we start now? Can we start now?" he said excitedly a couple of times.

I told him to calm down, relax. We will get to the workout shortly. He told me that in Hong Kong they just get started, go balls to the wall and do it. I laughed because he was perpetuating a stereotype that I had in my mind.

Anyway, one of the things that he told me was that he had come on holiday to try to slow down. It sounded as though he was the boss of a company or a team and he said that he liked to push them, I mean really push them. He said he likes to go balls to the wall (he didn't use that expression) and so he expects the people in his team to go flat-out as well.

It got me thinking. He was a really friendly guy. He was very talkative and we got on very well. I'm sure that he is very successful in his work but I was wondering whether he completely understood his work colleagues.

Not everyone is built the same. I know that is obvious and it is not exactly earth shattering news however I do believe that not everyone remembers this and that you do have to adapt your approach to different people.

Some people will react well to the push, push attitude of our aforementioned friend while others will just crawl into their shell if that happens to them. Introverted people, I'm looking at you.

The gung-ho attitude will work well with some people. They like the kick in the ass and the constant moving pace while others need the slow but steady approach.

You are probably going to get the better results with the slow but steady guy because they are focused and they are not going to make the same mistakes as the balls to the wall guy but this guy looks impressive and because you have all of this activity going on you would think that something good is going to happen, and to be fair it could. However, it isn't really that focused and mistakes could happen.

So, what are the main takeaways here? (For New Zealand readers, I'm not talking about fast food.)

  1. Not everyone is the same.
  2. Not everyone is motivated the same way.
  3. You can get the same result with different processes.
  4. Just because it looks impressive it doesn't mean that it will work all the time.

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