Do You Need A Carrot Or A Stick?

Wednesday, 15th January, 2014

carrot imageWhen you set goals/targets for the term ahead, do you stick with them or soon start to waver?

The start of a new term often throws up things we hadn’t catered for, which can impact on the plans we’d already made for ourselves and our practice.

Under these circumstances it’s often just about finding the right kind of motivation that works for you.

stickSo which approach would work best for you?

Do you prefer a carrot or stick?

Look at the following statements, and see which most rings true for you.

Group A

  • You think about your goal in terms of what you want to achieve
  • You’re good at managing priorities when it comes to your goal
  • You feel excited and energised by the goal
  • You like the idea of breaking your goal down into manageable chunks
  • You benefit from being reminded of your goal – either from others or reminding yourself!
  • You enjoy being rewarded for progress made

Group B

  • You think about your goal in terms of what you want to avoid
  • When you think about your goal – it’s usually about a problem you’ll be solving
  • You’re energised by deadlines
  • You like the idea of the added pressure or challenge that comes with working on the goal
  • You get a boost from reminding yourself of the consequences of not achieving your goal (or not completing tasks needed to achieve the goal)
  • You tend to be good at trouble shooting

So which group describes you best (for your current goals)?

Group A = The Carrot

Group B = The Stick

If you’re a bit of each, you’ll need to adopt elements of both styles of motivation to keep you going (as detailed below)!

If you’re Group A:

  1. Remember to give yourself rewards – they don’t have to cost anything!
  2. Recognise all progress made towards your goal
  3. Keep reminding yourself of what it is you’re aiming to achieve from goal completion & the benefits you’ll get from this

If you’re Group B:

  1. Set yourself deadlines for tasks related to goal completion
  2. Recognise which problem it is that you are solving
  3. Remind yourself what could go wrong if you don’t achieve this goal

So which are you? And have you other strategies that work to increase your motivation levels?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also find the following useful:

Motivate me! (Part 1)

Motivate me! (Part 2)

What creates better performance at work?

How often do you set exciting challenges for yourself?


debbie019 fThank you for taking time to read this blog.

I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.

If you’re interested in my services, please get in touch, and you can read more here.