Negotiating motivation

(This is a repost from Filip’s original blog)

A couple of times per year I run a motivational seminar at university. “But you’re a negotiator – what can you possibly know about motivation!?”

Let me answer your question with another question: what is negotiation? Well, there are multiple definitions, and neither is clearly the best one.

I propose that a useful definition is to say that I negotiate when I try to influence you to work towards outcomes that will benefit me; e.g. give me more money.

So what is motivation then? Perhaps we consider motivation to be when I try to influence you to get excited about working towards a particular outcome that benefits you; e.g. quit smoking.

If these two processes look similar it’s because they are. And we can we continue our thinking – is it possible for me to convince you to pursue outcomes that would benefit both of us? E.g. making our shared business more profitable?

And taken even further, could I get you to pursue outcomes that will benefit you, me, and others? E.g. peace, security and a clean environment?

So, perhaps a useful definition of negotiation is then that I negotiate when I try to motivate you to work towards outcomes that benefit me, or you, or both of us, or everyone.

And which of these outcomes would make you most motivated..?

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