Why Internal Drivers Matter Most in Learning Initiatives

Karen Perka

 “I’ve got more important things to do.”

“Do I really have to be here?”

“I don’t have time for this.”

If you’re involved in training for your organization, chances are you’ve heard one or more of these brushoffs.

Why the resistance? Whereas children are wired to learn, the adults in your organization (I’m assuming you work with adults, save for the occasional tantrum) aren’t automatically motivated to continue their education.

And motivation, we’ve found, is often the key to success.

My last post looked at the four Ps of driving change in your organization [link back here]. Making change meaningful and relatable is crucial. It’s the same with learning initiatives. Why should anyone care enough to participate in your learning program?

Adults must choose to learn. We need to know why it matters in terms of our role and our interests. And to really get us going, we need to enjoy the process.

This is the stuff of intrinsic motivation. Instead of outside rewards like money or grades, it’s what’s going on inside that counts.

If want to get the best results and the fewest brushoffs in your training program, here are a few pointers on stoking the fires of intrinsic motivation.

Be inclusive. Strive less to instruct and more to involve – engaging different personalities, backgrounds, roles and learning styles.

Be positive. An enthusiastic, optimistic attitude is contagious in any classroom.

Be relevant. Always start with what it means to your participants’ daily tasks, as well as deeper concerns and goals.

Help them be more competent. Put the lessons into practice because we love to feel like we’ve got this.

Good luck!



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