Saturday, 21 April 2012

The surprising truth about motivation - Daniel Pink

Here is a talk by Dan Pink on motivation through our friends at RSAnimate. Although it is primarily focussed on motivation in the business setting there is some really interesting stuff here that can be applied to the sporting world. I particularly like the framework around the 3 primary motivators. 
  1. Mastery - the desire to get better at things. 
  2. Autonomy - the desire for self direction and finding your own path.
  3. Purpose - the sense of achievement derived from doing something that makes a difference to you or to others. 
A couple of implications for the world of sports coaching spring to mind here...

  1. Get out of the way - In 'The Talent Code' by Daniel Coyle he dedicates a significant proportion of his book to what he describes as 'master coaching'. According to Coyle's definition one of the key attributes of the master talent coach is that they have the skill to agree with the player or athlete  a challenge that is in the 'sweet spot' that is just beyond the athlete or player's reach and then get out of the way while they try to achieve it making only very focussed and short interventions to help guide the learning. According to Dan Pink's model this would hit both the desire to master and to be autonomous in doing so.
  2. Sell the 'why' - One of my mentors in the world of coaching is a guy called Mark Bennett. He founded 'Performance Development Systems' a number of years ago and was awarded an MBE for the work he did in transforming some of the officer training in the British army. Mark has been working with a lot of sports coaches and he talks about attaching whatever goal a person has to an emotional tag through a process called 'selling the why'. When doing this the coach always refers back to the purpose of the activity or course of action which in turn keeps the athlete or player more motivated to go through the hard process of achieving the goal. 
Enjoy Daniel Pink...

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