May 9, 2007

Games for Motivation Exercise

To illustrate that motivation is internal, but that external incentives can initiate action in humans.

Since motivation is an often maligned subject, stress that the dictionary definition of motivation is something "from within, not without, that prompts or incites an action."

To illustrate, ask the group to "please raise your right hands." Pause a moment, thank the group, and ask them, "Now why did you do that?" The response will be, "Because you asked us to," "Because you said 'please'." etc.

After 3-4 additional responses, say, "OK, now would you please all stand and pick up your chairs?".

In all likelihood, this will get no action. Continue, "If I told you there were some dollar bills scattered around the room under the chairs, would that motivate you to stand and pick up chairs?". Most still will not move, so say, "Well, let me tell you there are indeed some dollar bills under some chairs." (ordinarily, two or three participants will rise, and soon most everyone will follow suit. As dollar bills are found, point out, "There's one over here; here's one in front." ect.)

Discussion Questions:
1. Why did it take more effort to "motivate" you the second time?
2. Did the money motivate you? (Stress that money often does not act as a motivator.)
3. What's the only real way to motivate? (Acknowledge any something is to make a person want to do it. There is no other way!)

Material Required:
Several one dollar bills hidden (taped) under participants' chairs.
Source: unknown

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