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The Wheel of Motivation Tool

Understanding what motivates and inspires us is crucial for effective learning, talent development, and high performance, both individually and as part of a team. These motivators can include activities like research, attending conferences, financial rewards, leadership, or work-life balance.

The “Wheel of Motivation” is a valuable tool for identifying core motivators and brainstorming ways to enhance them in our work and daily lives. When we are driven by our motivators, we are more focused and energized, leading to improved performance, increased engagement, and a willingness to learn and grow.

The “Wheel of Motivation” operates as follows:

1. Identify six main motivators (or any number from three to eight) in your work and life.

2. Create a wheel with six spokes (or three or eight, i.e. as many spokes as motivators) and assign a motivator to each spoke (e.g., personal development, work-life balance).

3. Now, consider each spoke to be a scale from 1-10 and rate your satisfaction level of each motivator, (1 being at the center of the wheel (no satisfaction), 10 at the outer edge (maximum satisfaction)) and put a mark at the respective level. Then connect the dots.

4. Reflect ways to increase your satisfaction for lower marked motivators to achieve a smoother operation of the “Wheel of Motivation.”

To illustrate the practical application of the “Wheel of Motivation,” let’s consider a scenario involving Anne and Max:

Anne, a team leader, notices a lack of motivation in Max, her direct report. Max is easily distracted, struggles to start his day, and has become less active in team discussions. Recognizing the need to address this, Anne suggests using the “Wheel of Motivation” to assess the situation and help Max.

As they use the tool, Anne and Max gain new insights into Max’s motivators. When Max presents his wheel, Anne is surprised to learn that he draws great inspiration from activities like “doing music” and “writing”, both of which had scored low on his wheel (music scored 2 and writing scored 4). For instance, Max explains that his band rehearses at 5 p.m. on Thursdays, making it difficult for him to balance his work hours and the band’s schedule, resulting in a low motivation score for “music.”

Anne and Max use the ACE (Address, Create, Execute) process to brainstorm solutions. They quickly resolve the issue related to music by adjusting Max’s work hours to accommodate his band rehearsals. Additionally, they devise a strategy to incorporate Max’s passion for writing into the team’s social media strategy, which excites Max and increases his motivation.

By leveraging the “Wheel of Motivation,” Anne helps Max articulate and communicate his motivators, resulting in strategies to improve his satisfaction levels. This, in turn, leads to positive changes in Max’s work behavior and performance, demonstrating the practical effectiveness of the tool in a real-world scenario.

Key Points:

Understanding motivators is crucial for effective learning and working.

The Wheel of Motivation can help individuals and teams:

a) Identify their motivators.

b) Evaluate their current satisfaction levels for each motivator.

c) Generate ideas to ramp up low-marked motivators using the ACE process.

This tool is versatile and can also be used by teams to identify common motivators, assess satisfaction levels, and develop strategies for enhancing team motivation. Learning is a team sport!