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Motivation: What The Research Says

Motivation: What The Research Says2013-04-01T07:49:59+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Strategies for Work Motivation: What The Research Says

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    Of all the life issues that frequently bedevil ADDers, motivation is near the top of the list. The following article discusses how various strategies tend to impact “The Big ‘M'”. While it was written for a largely “neurotypical” readership, I think ADDers struggling to get things done will find it interesting.


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    My wife is a leading expert in ADHD (licensed psychologist), I also do executive coaching and consulting with people that have ADHD (having ADHD & Asperger’s) and we work with several doctors that do specialized forms of treatment.

    Since I was a senior executive at a F100 company, I write a lot about AD/HD in the workplace. So…here is goes…

    Motivation is far down the road. We do not become motivated for the sake of motivation.

    I spend a lot of time understanding what drives an individual client at their core. You have heard it said “Begin with the end in mind.” This is literally true for people with AD/HD in the workplace. One needs understand the emotional end-game for oneself.

    Your boss and/or the company’s motivation may not be yours. You have to mesh your “why” with that of your job, the task, your business or your employer.

    We work with an individual understanding their core drivers, what really makes them tick. This is driven by the personal psychology we all developed by age six-ish. It is something you learned from your parents…even if they did not teach it to you, you acquired it. (Reference the works of Carl Jung)

    This means that YOU must understand WHAT you want and WHY you want it…at a very deep level. You can than associate everything you do with that motivation.

    For instance. We found one of our clients grew up with a highly driven mother and passive father, he was a competitive athlete in a solo sport…eventually this lead to us seeing that he loved the attention/applause he received while growing up, this was manifested in his sports activities. (Over-simplification.) Right now he loves the parts of his business where his customers lavish praise for the good work of his company. Things not directly tied to this recognition he finds boring and is not motivated.

    However, he must do those boring and uninteresting tasks to operate his business. So, the coaching is helping him understand how to connect the boring tasks to his “why.” (Our psychologists work with him on his medications, etc.) Through various cognitive behavior modifications, he has been able to make his own adjustments in focus…after some time. This is learned.

    I did this same thing through all my college degrees. I kept a 4.0 GPA, because I made boring classes, interesting. I used a series of games to challenge myself, as well. Essentially, if I wanted to become a great person in business and achieve my core goals, I had to create my own STRONG motivators to get good grades.

    We also use some specialized “meditation-like” exercises. (I say that because the exercises teach us to mimic our natural brain function for ADHD.) These reintegration therapies (scientifically proven) help with the addictive qualities of the emotions we display and break the old patterns and provide clarity.

    Bottom line, we do not become instantly motivated. It is something we must learn or create in light of our own personal psychology.

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