Motivation and Manipulation

There is a real difference in motivation and manipulation. The manipulator is one who exploits, uses, and controls himself and others as things or objects. A manipulator may use active or passive methods. He will use deception, control, cynicism, or anything else that will get his will.

Manipulation vs. actualization

A manipulator is a person who exploits, uses, and or/controls himself and others in certain self-defeating ways. The real issue is control. Is the leader trying to control and get his goals accomplished, or the other person’s goals? It reduces persons to things and seeks to exploit them for good or evil ends. He may be passive or aggressive. A passive manipulator is elusive, and attempts to control by being helpless; he wins by losing. An aggressive manipulator uses active, direct methods to control, and may pick associates that he can dominate easily. The passive player usually beats an aggressive player.

An actualizator is the opposite of a manipulator. He is a person who appreciates himself and his fellowman as persons of worth created in the image of God with unique gifts and abilities. His goal is to help persons discover and release their potential. Most people are some of both. The goal of a Christian is to become more of an actualizator and less of a manipulator.

The basic strategy of dealing with manipulative behavior is not to play the game. We even need to recognize the signs that it is coming and avoid getting caught in a trap. There are four ways to respond to manipulative behavior: counterattack, withdraw, patronize, or confront.

Characteristics of manipulators

1. Deception – He puts on an act and plays a role. He picks his responses and friends for the occasion. He is never his true self. People are not themselves when around him. They try to hide their feelings and needs. He uses tricks, techniques, and maneuvers.

2. Unawareness or tunnel vision – He is unaware of the real important things in life. He never stops to smell the roses. He sees the present, but not the whole picture of life.

3. Control – He tries to understand psychology so he can control others. He conceals his motives, feelings, and attitudes. He puts on a mask. He avoids spontaneity and freedom. He plays life like a game.

4. Cynicism – He is distrusting of himself and others. He doesn’t trust his ability to cope with people or situations. He tries to play it safe in situations and relationships.

Characteristics of actualizers

The opposite characteristics apply to an actualizer. He will appreciate himself and others as persons of unique worth and potential. He expresses his actual self and accepts the expression of the actual selves of others. He is honest and can express feelings honestly and doesn’t try to be something he is not. He is alive, responsive, a good listener, sensitive, and appreciative. He has freedom, and gives it. He stresses spontaneity and openness. He trusts others and is not afraid to enter into relationships.

Examples of manipulators

1. The influence peddler – “I’ll scratch your back, if you will scratch mine.”
2. The people’s choice – “A number of people have talked to me about this.”
3. The weakling – “You wouldn’t hurt me now, would you?”
4. The calculator – “The facts are very plain to me.”
5. The omnipotent father – “If you had only listened to me.”
6. The divine messenger – “I have a special revelation from God.”
7. The martyr – “Look what I gave up.”
8. The injustice collector – “No one ever listens to me.”
9. The critical parent – “No self-respecting person would ever give less than his best.”
10. The voice of experience – “Someday you will be able to understand what we are discussing.”

Ways manipulation is used

By church members
a) Cancel giving
b) Stop attending
c) Create dissension
d) Coerce through committees
e) Cover up with clichés
– “Get back to old fashioned religion.”
– “Just preach the Bible.”
– “Politics and religion don’t mix.”
– “We’ve never done it this way before.”
f) Control the curriculum
g) Close the mind
h) Manipulate the preacher
– Make an image of purity and perfection
– Give gifts
– “You embarrass us when you stand up.”
– Tell his wife of your personal concern for him

2. By preachers
a) Power of his profession – full-time Christian, called of God
b) Weight of his authority – worship leader, vehicles of God’s grace
c) Degree of his training – years of experience, knows Greek
d) Power of his privilege – knowledge of individual members
e) Stacking of the deck – control of committees and groups
f) Scarcity of his kind – pulpit committee was here last week

Principles for Using Motivation

Some practical suggestions or principles to follow and use have been gathered from a
number of sources. These suggestions of how to use motivation should help the leader.

People are motivated more by reward than by punishment.

1. Use a carrot more than a stick.

2. Be positive and give praise frequently.

3. Focus on the strengths of the worker and not the weaknesses.

4. Let people know where they stand.

5. Give praise, if doing a good job. A worker that feels a sense of satisfaction from doing a good job will usually be a motivated employee.

6. Give correction, if they are doing an unsatisfactory job.

7. Money or financial incentives will motivate people, at least up to a point.

8. Status and position are also important.

Workers who have a part in planning and in decision-making will be more motivated. Keep workers informed of changes that will affect them. A lack of information about changes will reduce motivation.

Set clear, well defined, reasonable, and attainable goals that the workers understand and accept. If the goals and objectives of the organization can be the same as the goals and objectives of the employees, then they will be motivated to achieve the goals and objectives. Communicate standards to subordinates, and be sure they understand them. Be consistent from time to time and person to person in interpreting standards.

Assure the workers that the leader believes in them, trusts them, and has confidence in them. People who feel they are trusted will feel more motivated.

Motivation is an individual matter, and the leader must find and use the significant motivators within each individual’s life. These motivators do change with time.

You can turn people off by giving them a job that is very narrow, highly specialized, extremely routine, dull, boring, repetitive, and lacks the opportunity for advancement. You can turn people off by using a leadership style that is autocratic, vindictive, blame-oriented, distrustful, punitive, negative, or pessimistic.

When motivating a large group, use a variety of appeals.

Motivation and pep talks

Many leaders feel that pep talks and inspirational meetings will motivate followers. Some organizations have regular motivational meetings at which programs are dedicated to uplifting the spirits and inspiring employees to do a more effective job. Some of these businesses are sending their employees to hear successful motivators like Zig Ziglar, Robert Schuller, and Wayne Dyer. The main problem with any extrinsic motivation program of this type is that it only has a short-term value. The participant leaves the meeting all excited about his potential, but in a few days the enthusiasm has all but disappeared.

Theories of Motivation

There are several different motivational theories that are a part of the leadership literature.

Maslow’s theory

Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs that has five different need levels. The key to motivation, according to Maslow’s theory, is need satisfaction. It is primarily the work of helping men fulfill their inner needs that are necessary for creative survival. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs satisfaction emphasized that lower needs were important, until they were satisfied, and then the next level of need becomes important. His hierarchy of needs includes physiological needs, safety needs, belonging and love needs, esteem needs, and the need for self-actualization. In motivating followers, a leader must recognize where they are on the hierarchy of needs.

He made three assumptions:
1. All behavior is based on the attempt to satisfy human needs.
2. Needs are arranged in a hierarchy of five levels and move from bottom to top.
3. A satisfied need is not a motivator.

In 1969, Clayton Alderfer of Yale University reworded Maslow’s theory to align it with empirical research. His theory is called ERG (Existence, Relatedness, and Growth). It is conceived today as more valid than Maslow’s theory. Existence needs are the basic material that existence requires, as given in Maslow’s physiological and safety needs. Relatedness needs reflect the drive to maintain important interpersonal relationships, as given in Maslow’s love and the external part of esteem needs. Growth needs are the desire for personal development, as given in the intrinsic component of esteem and self-actualization.

The assumptions of ERG are quite different from Maslow. First, more than one need may be operative at the same time. There is not a rigid stair-step progression as in Maslow. All three needs may be operating at the same time. Second, if gratification of higher level need is stifled, the desire to satisfy a lower level need increases (frustration and regression).

Herzberg’s hygiene theory

F. Herzberg established a set of extrinsic and intrinsic factors that motivate people. This is the hygiene theory. He was seeking to find: “What do people want from there jobs?” He asked workers to describe situations where they felt very good or very bad about their jobs. The extrinsic factors, or motivators, will motivate until they are met. If they are not met they become negative motivators. The intrinsic factors are the more important, because this leads one toward becoming a self-motivator or self-starter.

Extrinsic factors (external)

These do not motivate performance, but they do help to prevent poor performance. If these are not met, then workers are dissatisfied and perform poorly. If they are met, then you are even.

Economic. Terms used include pay, salary increase, profit sharing, social security, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, retirement, paid leave, insurance, tuition, and discounts.
Security. Terms used include fairness, consistency, reassurance, friendliness, seniority rights, and grievance procedure.
Orientation. Terms used include job instruction, work rules, group meetings, newspapers, bulletins, handbooks, letters, and bulletin boards.
Status. Terms used include job classification, title, furnishings, location, privileges, relationships, and even company status.
Social. Terms used include work groups, coffee groups, lunch groups, social groups, office parties, ride pools, outings, sports, professional groups, and interest groups.
Physical. Terms used include work layout, job demands, work rules, equipment, location, grounds, parking facilities, aesthetics, lunch facilities, rest rooms, temperature, ventilation, lighting, and noise.

Intrinsic factors (internal)

Achievement, or completing an important task successfully. Terms used include involvement, goal setting, planning, problem-solving, and performance appraisal.
Recognition, or being singled out for praise. Terms used include merit increases, discretionary awards, and profit sharing.
Responsibility for one’s own or others’ work. Terms used include delegation, access to information, freedom to act, and atmosphere of approval.
Advancement/Growth, or changing status through promotion.
Terms used include company growth, promotion, transfers/rotations, education, and memberships.

The primary things that motivate today are praise, promotion, goal setting, delegation, increased knowledge, recognition, feedback, sense of accomplishment, merit increase, freedom to fail, challenge, and company growth.

The primary things that do not motivate today, but may de-motivate are lighting, employee handbooks, coffee groups, job titles, fringe benefits, company newspapers, unemployment compensation, office furnishings, work layout, bulletin boards, bowling teams, work status, Christmas turkeys, social security, paid leave, seniority rights, office parties, and wages and salaries.

If a person is dissatisfied (extrinsic motivators) with the job, then he may perform at 60–70% of his performance capacity. However, if a person is challenged with intrinsic motivators, he may not only perform at 90% of his performance capacity, but he may actually increase his capacity as he grows to do the job given to produce motivators (challenging work, increased responsibility, growth and development, etc.).

McClelland’s achievement model

David McClelland believes that people have three basic motives or needs: achievement, power, and affiliation. Everyone has all three needs which act as “valves” for personal energy to flow through. The valves vary in size and use from one person to another. The strongest motive, or need, has a large valve that is used a lot. A weak motive has a small valve that is seldom used. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) will show the presence and strength of motives in an individual.

Achievement motive

The goal is success in situations requiring excellence. This person will want to get concrete feedback on how well he is doing. The feedback is to be task related feedback. He is best at organizing new problems and solving problems. He will want short meetings, quick decisions, and little socializing. The characteristics are concern for excellence, likes personal responsibilities for solving problems, is restless and striving, is a risk taker, and is a better organizer than maintainer.

Affiliated motive

The goal is to be with others; he enjoys friendships. This person is best at nurturing and caring (visitors, counselors, hosts, ushers). He wants long meetings, lots of coffee and food, and a time to socialize. He is very concerned with being liked and accepted. He needs warm and friendly relationships; he does not want to be separated from people, and is not a loner.

Power motive

The goal is to have an impact on others. This person is best at moving and shaking. He likes to make policy, raise money, and negotiate with city hall, or deacons. He can be positive and socialized––I win–you win. He can be negative and personalized––I win–you lose. He is concerned with reputation and positions. He likes to gives advice. He wants his ideas to predominate. He has strong feelings about status and prestige. He is also verbally fluent, even argumentative.

Vroom’s expectancy theory

Victor Vroom believes that motivation is choosing among alternatives. We want to achieve in order to satisfy unfulfilled needs; but to reach these needs, we must choose from several courses of actions that we “expect” will meet the need. We choose the action that has the highest probability of achieving the need. For example, if there is an unfulfilled need for more responsibility, a person could decide to work harder, produce more, agree with the boss, recommend a change, polish some apples, complain to the boss, file a grievance, or take more initiative. He would select the course of action with the highest probability of achieving his desire to meet a need.

This theory is considered by many to be the best explanation of motivation. The strength of a tendency to act in a certain way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome. The theory has three variables: attractiveness, the performance and reward linkage, and the effort and performance linkage.

There are four steps in the theory:

1. What perceived outcomes does the job offer?
Positive outcomes are pay, security, companionship, trust, and opportunity to use talents. Negative outcomes are fatigue, boredom, frustration, anxiety, and threat of dismissal.

2. How attractive are the outcomes?
The outcomes may be viewed as positive, negative, or neutral.

3. What behavior must be produced to achieve the outcome?
It is important to know specifically how one is to be evaluated.

4. How does the employee view his chances of doing what is asked?
Here the concern is with the probability of success.

McDonough’s theory

Reggie McDonough was an important person in the Church Administration department of the Southern Baptist Convention for a number of years. He has a delightful little book called Keys to Effective Motivation, where he gives four “keys” to effective motivation. He basically feels that the leader’s job is to build a climate in which the followers can build and sustain motivation. He believes strongly that motivation must come from within the individual.

Key 1. Stability, consistency, order, or predictability
Key 2. Teamwork, belonging, giving and receiving of love, and acceptance
Key 3. Affirmation, respect, esteem, and competence
Key 4. Challenge, achievement, success, and fulfillment

More Motivating

Here is some more thoughts on motivation within the church.

Motivation and performance

Motivation is from within a person. There is little a supervisor can do to motivate a person directly except to provide a good environment for motivation. The essence of leadership is helping people to become motivated. The process of motivation is need, goal, act, and satisfaction.

Performance is a function of ability and motivation. Satisfaction increases when the worker is able to perform a job effectively, when his performance is equitably rewarded, and when the rewards match the needs.

There is no inherent relationship between performance and satisfaction. It is usually agreed that satisfaction will increase performance, but not necessarily.

There are four possible combinations:
1. High satisfaction and low performance
2. Low satisfaction and high performance
3. High satisfaction and high performance
4. Low satisfaction and low performance

William James of Harvard found that hourly employees could maintain their jobs (not be fired) by working at approximately 20–30% of their ability. Employees work at 80–90% of ability when highly motivated. If motivation is low, then performance will suffer as much as if ability was low.

The percentage of ability that is affected by motivation is about 60% of a person’s ability. Many church volunteers are really performing at only about 20–30% of their ability because of a lack of motivation, not lack of ability.

Motivation and probability of success

People are not highly motivated if a goal is seen as almost impossible or is seen as virtually certain to be achieved. The degree of motivation and effort rise until the probability of success reaches 50%, then begins to fall even though the probability of success continues to increase. The curve is a true bell shaped curve. Goals that are set should be challenging (not certain to be achieved), but also attainable (not impossible) to have the maximum of motivation.

Motivation, learning and reinforcement

Leaders can influence the behavior of followers through learning and reinforcement. Most behaviors are acquired through learning. Rewarded behaviors are repeated often enough to be learned. Unrewarded behaviors are discontinued. Learning is ultimately a change in behavior. Behavioral learning is based on stimulus-response (S-R). Operant conditioning is based on receiving rewards or avoiding punishments. Behavior can be controlled by consequences––rewarded or punished.

Reinforcement through behavior modification can be accomplished in two ways. First, increase the rate of desirable behaviors. This can be positive reinforcement using primary reinforcer (food, water, love, work, play) or secondary reinforcers (praise, pay increase, promotion, or status). This can be done by using negative reinforcement and removing the punishment. Second, decrease the rate of undesirable behaviors. This may be through extinction by not rewarding behaviors, causing them to disappear. This can be done by withholding a pay raise, ignoring the behavior, or even by giving no response. This may also be done by punishment through harassment, reprimand, rejection, or discharge.

Reinforcers or rewards can be scheduled and administered in several ways:

1. Through continuous reinforcement. Each time the correct response is given, it is followed by a reinforcer, such as with vending machines, water fountain, and teaching machines.

2. Through intermittent rewards. This is commonly used to administer organizational rewards. It might be with a fixed interval such as regular paychecks and fringe benefits. It might be through a variable interval where the timing is unpredictable or not scheduled, such as promotions, pay raises, or pop quizzes. It might be a fixed ratio as in piece work, rate incentives, or sales commission. It might be through a variable ratio where there is a differential piece rate ($12 for first 100, and then $15 after that) or a progressive grading system.

3. Through partial reinforcement where the amount of reinforcement and time interval vary significantly. This is used in gambling and in contests, but rarely in administration.

There is an established procedure for behavior modification using the operant conditioning learning theory. First, define the target behavior that will have the greatest impact on organizational goals. Then set performance goals or standards that are based on targeted behavior and expressed in quantifiable terms. Next, measure the performance progress. This provides feedback and relates performance to rewards. Now one is ready to reward good performance. An immediate reward is better. If rewards cannot be given, then use punishment but sparingly. The punishment should be commensurate with the severity of the undesirable behavior. Give immediate punishment. Administer the punishment by a person other than the rewarder (a hatchet man). Give suggestions for improvement along with the punishment.

Intro to Motivation

Motivation is a key part of leadership.  Without motivation, it is hard to get someone to do what they wouldn’t normally do.  There are many forms of motivation some good, others less effective, and some even dirty and manipulative.  This section looks at how motivation is and should be done within the church.

What motivates you? What pushes you to excel? What pushes you to put forth the extra effort? How can you motivate others?

Motivation is recognizing and utilizing the inner motives (drives or needs) of a person to get him to want to do what needs to be done. The leader should recognize that there is a cause (usually an identifiable one) for the way people think and act. People act the way they do because of a cause, and good leaders will seek to understand the cause-effect relationship behind the actions of people. The causes for actions will be based on a person’s value system, needs, and goals.

The Christian’s value system should reflect his relationship to Christ.

Motivation comes from within a person. Motivation is a product of the will of a person, and not the will of a leader. To increase motivation, the leader must stimulate the followers to feel dissatisfaction with the status quo. Then the follower is ready to do something to change the situation.

Motivation is different for paid workers and for volunteer workers. In the church, much of the work must be done by volunteers. The job role is primary for paid workers, and only secondary for volunteers. Dedication and commitment become much more important motivators for volunteer workers.

Motivation and need

People join and work in organizations to satisfy their needs. They are attracted to organizations that have the means of satisfying their needs. These means are called incentives or rewards; organizations use them to induce people to contribute their efforts toward achieving organizational goals. The continued existence of an organization depends on its ability to attract and motivate people to achieve these personal and organizational goals.

Motivation is goal directed behavior. It concerns the level of effort one exerts in pursuing a goal and is related to satisfaction and performance.

Almost all theories of motivation are built on need satisfaction. There are many different needs in life that we satisfy.  There are physiological and safety needs.  There are social and self esteem needs.  There is also a need for growth which includes competence, achievement, independence, and self-actualization.  Studying needs helps to understand the internal causes of behavior.

When needs are not met a number of potential consequences can occur. Stress, anxiety, and frustration are produced. These then can produce a number of different possible consequences.

1. Invigoration where the blocked goal becomes more attractive and the worker works harder.
2. Aggression, which results in fights, strikes, accusations, sabotage, or displacement (blaming someone else).
3. Psychological withdrawal which produces apathy, low morale, carelessness, depression, and aloofness.
4. Physical withdrawal, resulting in tardiness, absenteeism, and turnover.
5. A recovery mechanism, which results in rationalization, substitution, reinterpretation, or reaction formation.

Motivation and behavior

There is a relationship between actions and causes and effects. People act as they do because of a cause or reason. To change actions, understand and change cause. Causes are based on value systems, needs, and goals. Study of motivation involves analysis of the factors which initiate and direct action.

What you do and the intensity with which you do it is caused by goals and need satisfaction. Needs provide pulls that cause a person to act as he does. A child of 3–4 begins to engage in purposeful activities. He moves for a purpose. Painting is with a purpose. Activity, behavior, or actions are motivated by a desire to attain a goal. Desire may be conscious or subconscious. Goals are the whys of behavior. To understand, predict, and control behavior, we must know what motivates people to behave. People differ in desire and ability. The strength of a motive can change.

1. Behavior. Behavior is motivated by a desire to attain some goal. Desire may be conscious or subconscious. Behavior is a series of activities or actions. To understand, predict, and control behavior, we must know what motivates people to behave.

2. Motives. People differ in ability and desire to do. Motivation depends on strength of motives. Motives are directed toward goals––they are the “whys” of behavior. Motives are needs.

3. Goals. Incentives that are outside of an individual.

4. Changes in motive strength. The need (motive) with the greatest strength causes activity.

Changes can be caused by:

Need satisfaction

Blocking need satisfaction. If several attempts to satisfy a need are blocked, the person will substitute goals that satisfy the need (shift from athletes to academics).

Cognitive Dissonance. When a person fishes all day and catches nothing, he talks about how pretty the day was.

Increasing motive strength. Some needs are on a cycle. Food is not much motivation right after a big meal, but five hours later it is.

Frustration. Cannot achieve goal, produces:

Aggression – hit something

Rationalization – makes excuses, someone else’s fault

Regression – revert to more primitive and/or childish behavior (i.e., temper tantrum, kick car that won’t start).

Fixation – continues to do same thing, although has proven unsuccessful. Excessive punishment can cause a fixation (or eliminate the behavior), but is hard to predict.

Resignation – or apathy – occurs after prolonged frustration when people lose hope of accomplishing goals.