Sales Bzzt! Issue 3 - What inspires you?
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
By Sue-Ann Grant
What is inspiration? What inspires people? For everyone it is different. It could be a set of chords played on a guitar, the laughter of a child, the acknowledgement of colleagues and acquaintances, awards and rewards, the success of others, the punishment, the humiliation and sometimes the failure. What matters is that we need to identify whether positive reinforcement (praises, awards, incentives, recognitions, pats on the back, etc,) or negative reinforcement (punishments, rebukes, humiliation and failures, etc.) motivate us.
If we are motivated through positive reinforcement then we tend to repeat whatever it was that got us the recognition and reward. People who are inspired into action by positive reinforcement like to be surrounded by people with the same attitude, these people contribute to teams that strive for successes always. Their charisma makes those they are in contact with work with the same zeal and vigour and results in similar passions. The more achievements and triumphs that are celebrated the more those around are inspired. Competitive spirit amongst colleagues is encouraged.
If we are inspired by negative reinforcement we become obstinate and last moment doers. We wait until we are told to pull up our socks before we get moving. We can still achieve but often think “why bother”? We might also be jealous of others’ accomplishments. We revel in negativity and we are not usually team players preferring to do our own thing. But conversely we are normally the most vocal person in the group.
What triggers us is important in our self reflection. Experience has shown that people acknowledging others’ successes are far more effective in sales environments than those waiting for something negative to happen to make them work.
The message seems clear ― inspire others and you yourself will be inspired.
So with that in mind I have a confession. Nothing has ever inspired me to go to gym. A year ago I was inspired to give up smoking and kick a 60-a-day smoking habit that I had had for over 20 years. I acquired 15 kilograms in my valiant effort which I now want to lose. If I take my own advice I need to inspire a whole bunch of people to go to gym which will in turn inspire me to enrol as my enthusiasm builds.
So ― anyone for gym?