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WIN + START: Building Intrinsic Motivation

The Big Idea

Intrinsically motivated and emotionally intelligent kids demonstrate more meaningful and engaged behaviors at school, at home, and ultimately at work when compared to the extrinsically motivated kids for whom behaving, performing and achieving to build a résumé for college admissions or to climb an achievement ladder are the defining objectives. Many kids (and adults) learn to internalize extrinsic motivation in an attempt to please others – parents, teachers, coaches, peers - but this does not confer the benefits of connection and personal satisfaction derived through self-initiated work.

Kids who fare best, becoming adults who fare best, have opportunities to discover, tune in to, develop, and align their innate Wiring and Interests and to connect these with the Needs (WIN) they discover in their family, school, community, and one day, at work. And as they do, they develop an intrinsic guide that fosters an essential sense of connection and purpose, and ultimately, a greater sense of well-being.

Tools to Build Intrinsic Motivation

By using a tool like the WIN Map to inventory their discoveries, you demonstrate the importance of the work, and your kids learn how to connect to themselves and to the world in meaningful ways.

Using the Assessment step in the 5 step Leadership Process (START), you demonstrate the importance of checking in regularly on the ways in which their Wiring may have developed, their Interests may have become more refined, and the Needs they see as meaningful may have evolved over time.

Assessment In Action

Several of these factors – connection, motivation, and assessment - are at play in the NY Times article Knowing When to Quit published on June 2, 2017.

The author shares his son’s experience playing basketball and through the examination of their respective motivations, helps his son come to the conclusion that his identity is not dependent on what his peers think of the sport he plays - or doesn’t play.

Inviting your kids to read this with you offers an opportunity to explore their motivations, the intrinsic satisfaction they experience in their selected activities, and to map their WIN as a path to greater connection and well being.

You mapping your WIN too sends a powerful message as to the importance of the work – and might lead to choices that will enhance your sense of connection and well being too.

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