Why People Don’t Do What You Want Them to Do – Part 1. Motivation.

Has this ever happened to you?

You ask someone to do something at work, they say they are going to do it, and then they don’t do what you want, the way you want.

If this has happened, did it trigger an upset in you such as frustration, disappointment, anger, or any of 200+ emotions that we can experience?

If the answer is yes and you’d like to know the cause of why they didn’t do it, there is some good news.

That’s because there are only 4 potential causes.

They are:

  1. A skills and/or knowledge issue
  2. A goals and/or communication issue
  3. An organizational issue
  4. A motivation issue

This means that one or more of these are in play:

  1. They don’t have the skills and/or knowledge to do it
  2. The task/goal/result/objective has not been clearly defined or effectively communicated
  3. There is some organizational barrier that is stopping them from doing it the way you want
  4. They are not motivated to do it

When you look at the list above, which of the 4 reasons do you think is the most common that people focus on?

The answer probably won’t surprise you.

Most people say it’s because the person wasn’t motivated.

However, this is far from the truth. It’s not even close to #1.

And, this is really important. Because there is so much misguided focus on motivation in business that the more important reasons are ignored.

Research consistently shows that out of 100% of the cause of why people don’t do what you want them to do, less than ½ of 1% of the time it’s because they weren’t motivated.

How can this be true? How can all this focus on motivation be misdirected?

Here’s why.

Because all human behavior is driven by motivation.

We couldn’t get out of bed, get dressed or eat a meal if we weren’t motivated.

Which means that motivation is innate. In other words, we are always motivated as a species.

In fact, it costs us more energy to “not to be motivated” than to be motivated.

That’s why when you say you are “not motivated” you are actually “motivated to not be motivated”. Which means you’re still motivated.

And, that’s why it’s so rare that lack of motivation is the reason people don’t do what you want them to do.

Once you realize this, you can focus on the other 3 causes of why people don’t do what you want, which will help you better understand what’s really going on and help you to focus on what you can do to change things.

To read Part 2 on  Skills and/or Knowledge as a second reason why people don’t do what you want them to do just click on the link.