What is Motivation:
Definitions of Motivation suggest it is a process that initiates, guides, and maintains behaviours and actions. It is what causes you to take action, to get going and keep on going …whether it is to put the bins out or to take up a new course of study to further your personal and professional development.
This is a case study about motivation in continuing lockdown. Is that possible in lockdown?
Yes! I interviewed Chris about his motivation to continue with his work in continuing lockdown.
Motivation involves the head, heart and body in a mind-body connection. Thoughts lead to emotions that lead to actions. Motivation involves the whole-body system - biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behaviour.
I put these questions to him:
1. What motivates you to do your work?
2. What emotions do you experience in your work?
3. What is your desired outcome from your work?
4. What do you know/believe about your work?
5. How do you know when your work is going well?
Chris is living and working abroad. He has been working from his home – a studio apartment since February 2020, with occasional visits to his place of work. He works as a Teacher/Tutor of Accountancy – training people to pass their Accountancy exams. He is very experienced and highly qualified and skilled in this work. Most of Chris’s teaching is delivered online at the moment.
Q1. What motivates you to do your work?
Chris explained that he wants to help people. He wants to help students to find the ‘missing piece’ in their learning journey – the thing that they need to know to pass their accountancy exams. Chris experienced challenges taking exams when he was a student and he found that, whilst he had been taught ‘content’ in the curriculum at school, he feels he was not taught exam-techniques and he calls this, ‘the ‘missing piece’ in the puzzle of passing exams.
Chris became an ‘overcomer’ and successfully passed many exams to become the highly successful Teacher and Tutor that he is today. He said, ‘I noticed techniques that could help people. Everything I do is to help people pass exams. I have developed alternative ways to help people in this. I am now branching out to include providing support for student wellbeing and emotions during the exams process’.
Q2. What emotions do you experience in your work?
Chris said, ‘This makes me tearful’, and his passion for helping people was very clear. He told the story of a student who was ‘written-off’ by one colleague who said ‘You’ll never get her through’ and ‘Guess what, I did get her through!’.
Unlike his colleague, Chris has high aspirations for all his students and said,’ I never write anyone off’. Chris experiences strong emotions such as anger and frustration when the exam system fails students. This motivates him to help students to become an overcomer and to win despite all the obstacles.
Q3. What is your desired outcome from your work?
Chris said the overall outcome he is looking for is, ‘the way to teach students how to answer the questions effectively, especially questions that require student analysis, evaluation and discussion’ – aspects of learning that he has found the students find challenging. His ultimate aim is for all of his students to pass their exams.
Q54. What do you know/believe about your work?
Chris has a ‘top value’ of ‘fairness’ – he wants all students to get a fair go at getting their exams. He believes all students must be given the opportunity to learn in their different learning styles. After teaching hundreds of students, Chris has evidence that often students don’t always answer the question in the expected way – he knows they are not ‘stupid’ but rather that they just haven’t been taught adequately how to answer exam questions, in exam conditions.
Chris knows that his work positively impacts on this – helping students to answer the questions successfully. He believes that everyone has the ability to pass exams and he would love to get his innovative learning techniques into the training package for future Teachers and Tutors.
Q5. How do you know when your work is going well?
‘That’s an easy question!’, Chris said. ‘When I read the student’s answers!’. He is a firm believer of the NLP principle – ‘The meaning of communication is the response you get’, meaning … if the student’s answer the questions well, he knows his work is going well. Chris has introduced a culture of ‘sharing’ good answers to help all students – in this, he seeks the permission of students who have written a good answer, to share their answer with other students - so that all learn in a collaborative way.
Chris is now moving into the area of supporting students with their emotions when taking exams, integrating new wellbeing techniques into his teaching and this is proving highly beneficial for his students – there is evidence of his students achieving higher marks since he started to address their emotional needs in exam conditions. Chris uses humour in his teaching, to make the content ‘stick’ for students – he is very inclusive and walks around as he teaches in the classroom to help students individually according to their needs. Since most of his teaching is delivered on zoom at the moment – this is challenging – but Chris is very determined and is keeping up his high standards of teaching online.
Chris’s story shows us how he continues to be motivated to help his students to pass exams after all these months of home-working and online teaching. His passion for his work and his aim – to help all students to pass their exams, is a great driving force for him. He keeps going.
Chris shows us that motivation is a work of the mind, heart (emotions) and body … He thinks deeply about his work and how to improve things for the students. He has clear guiding values, attitudes and beliefs – he espouses fairness for all and has high aspirations for all students. He thinks and knows that his work impacts positively on the outcomes for his students.
Chris is passionate about his work and his emotions are involved in his success. Anger and frustration (with the exam system) and passion for teaching move him to constantly improve the quality of his teaching. Chris involves his whole body, moving around the physical classroom ( when the classroom is open) and using humour to make it as easy as possible for all students to access the curriculum.
Lockdown is a continuing journey for us all. In continuing lockdown, could you consider how well you are addressing your motivation – are your head, heart (emotions) and body motivated?
What’s the smallest viable motivation experiment you could do that might be a big winner for you?
It is useful in lockdown to practise getting and staying motivated. Being even more motivated as lockdown continues, can produce feelings of contentment, connectedness to self, achievement, satisfaction, happiness, productivity and creativity. Motivation is particularly experienced during ‘in flow’ activities. Getting in Flow can help in lockdown to improve your motivation, manage your mental, physical and emotional state and improve your overall wellness.
Shared Inspiration Blog December 2020 - In Flow in Continuing Lockdown https://www.sharedinspiration.co.uk/post/getting-and-being-in-flow-in-continuing-lockdown
Don’t delay – get motivated!
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We would love to help motivate you in continuing lockdown!