Greetings and welcome to the New Year. 2018 has brought many changes to our planet and I am proud to say my blog is one of them. This blog is going to be dedicated to telling the truth about motivation. What does that mean? It means I am going to call it like I see it and not worrying about dressing up my opinions and observations “to help the medicine go down.”
As you may or may not know I am a sole proprietor consultant who specializes in motivation, communication and leadership. In short, it means I solve people problems. But my job can be difficult because many people, most in fact, are not prepared to hear the truth about the people challenges they face then every day. They are not mentally and emotionally prepared to hear that they are most likely the source of their people issues. And so, to help people internalize the feedback I provide I spend a great deal of mental and emotional energy synthesizing and massaging said feedback to sneak it by the ego defenses of my clients.
Truth be told, most consultants in my line of work are stating obvious truths and providing common sense solutions that you could google for yourselves in about 10 minutes time. The talent in my field is not in the elegant solutions but in actually getting your client to DO what is in their best interest and 90% of the time it starts with them being able to take a critical and honest look at themselves.
Oh sure, there are very expensive consultants out there who are going to have lots of fancy letters after their names that have elaborate processes and models gleaned from the latest research from Harvard or Princeton. But they struggle with the same problem – how to get their clients to change their behavior at some level. I know, I have worked with many of those consultants over the years.
A few years ago I worked with a consultant who had a PhD from some great learning organization and an elaborate and nationally recognized coaching program that you could purchase provided your company was ok spending the equivalent of Paraguay’s GDP. I was subcontracted by said consultant and subsequently schooled in the secret sauce of the model. We worked together for a few months on various projects and she always projected an air of supreme confidence in her technique and results. But one day, over a dinner and a few glasses of wine, I was able to pierce her professional veneer and out came stories of frustration because clients would not follow her advice.
The point here is that being an effective consultant is about finding tactful and effective ways to get your client to change their behavior but the solution is rarely a mystery. It’s actually a very simple process but it’s not easy because the human race does not take direct criticism very well nor do they change their behaviors easily, even from a nationally recognized PhD level expert.
Which brings me back to this blog and the purpose of its latest incarnation – I want to tell the truth as I see it because the truth is powerful. The truth is that we are the source of our people problems. The truth is that work can be hard and unsatisfactory. The truth is that not every job or role will be steeped in meaning and purpose. The truth is that employees can be slackers and you can honestly have a bad boss. If these ideas offend you it might be best to find another blog to read. But if you want to share in the knowledge I have gleaned from working and studying humans for almost 30 years at all levels and in all types of industries and you don’t want someone to sell you platitudes and Pollyanna ideals but will instead present the facts and science behind human behavior and apply it for everyday humans then this is the blog for you.