What is inspiration and motivation? These words are often used interchangeably, but they mean two different things. As a manager or team leader, these are techniques that should be implemented at specific times because of their meanings and how to apply them based on my experiences. Before we get into when it is right to use it and why, we should start by explaining what each word means.

Motivation (Noun):

·The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
·The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Inspiration (Noun):

·The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: “flashes of inspiration.”
·The quality of having been so stimulated, esp. when evident in something: “a moment of inspiration in an otherwise dull display.”

How to Motivate and Why to Inspire

Let’s start with motivation. Motivation is an interesting facet of life that only happens in spurts. This may sound strange but motivation is only a ‘temporary boost’ of production.

To show this, let’s use a dog as an example. You teach a dog a trick by rewarding it with a treat. The dog will continue to do it because it is conditioned to do so. The dog in this case is doing the minimal amount of work for what is required to receive the treat but does the act (temporary boost) to receive it. The same works with salary and incentive based tactics in business. It is merely a short and temporary production boost that is only effective until the next incentive.

So now we’re wondering, what is inspiration?

Inspiration is unique and can only be found by digging deep into who you are. Being inspired is not only caring, but it also drives you. There are many things that can drive an individual, each of which fuel specific desired outcomes. Remember, each person is different so while one person may love problem solving and his or her reward is recognition, another’s may be teaching a young students and seeing them flourish. Everyone has something that drives their inspiration.

The key is finding what your inspiration-driver is and how to use it. Now that we have an understanding of motivation, let’s dive into how to use each in the workplace.

It would be ideal for every employee to be inspired behind the company and its purpose. Inspiration increases productivity and efficiency and removes the idea of doing the bare minimum for a pay increase. To inspire those around you, it is important to figure out their inspiration-driver. By finding out what drives their work, managers can create a work system around them that lets their employees thrive off of it.

Critical projects with exceedingly short deadlines create a dynamic workplace that can thrive off of motivational tactics after they have been inspired. Inspiration and motivation together builds a strong team when time is short and projects need to be done.

What inspires or motivates you?


About the Author

PCG Digital Marketing is an award winning digital agency headquartered in Eatontown, NJ. We help our clients get found online through innovative search, social and online advertising campaigns.