Coke or Pepsi? Cats or dogs? I’m all ears. – SCN Encourager 1/14/2014

Or do you prefer to knit rather than crochet?

I probably should ask you about this as well.

There’s so much to learn about you.

And Daniel Pink is the one to blame for pushing me to give you the third degree.

He’s the one who kicked off the broader discussion  in yesterday’s Encourager about our intrinsic “motivation” for getting things done at work.

Remember, he’s the one who said that the benefits of merit pay and performance based incentives are negligible at best.

I was just the poor communications sap who emailed Pink’s TEDx video out yesterday at 5:45 am – only to have my own superintendent email me right back with the news that due to internal district budget adjustments “merit pay” is now on our chopping block.

Dang, what happened to just shooting the messenger?

That’s always been the traditional response.

Not a pay cut.

And it may get worse.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 8.25.57 PMYou see, there’s even more research out there about what gets us “inspired and engaged” as we carry out our duties.

And it all has to do with the specific questions we ask people at work.

Apparently, if I routinely ask you about only our shared work-related projects or bring up topics that only interest me, I’ve fail to plant seeds of trust, caring, and loyalty within you.

Even if I extend praise about that “great presentation” you gave at the staff meeting, I’ve barely advanced our relationship beyond the courteous banter stage.

The research is clear that leaders who take the extra time to ask co-workers about their individual lives and interests “outside of their work” will be the most effective in inspiring others to go the extra mile “inside of work.”

Give extra time. Get the extra mile.

This seems like a straightforward and fair exchange.

But let’s not give up on those cash incentives just yet, okay?

Or I may need to find the Daniel Pink video where he describes how he’s going to pay for his daughter’s wedding!

Tom Page, SCN
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