People who get less than six hours of
sleep per night are twice as likely to die from heart
disease or stroke.
of the American Heart Association
"The Pleasure Principle".
That's the term Sigmund Freud made famous.
psychologists call it the "Pain or Pleasure" principle". Still
others call it the "Pain or Gain" principle.
what you call it, it works because there are two reasons people
1. They want something positive
They want to avoid something negative
dollar question is "Which is the more powerful motivator?"
And the answer is that the vast majority of people will do
more to avoid something negative than to gain something
Imagine that you're trying
to lose weight because it's getting close to summer, and you
want to look good in a bathing suit.
That's the desire
But after months of eating rice cakes and
not seeing any noticeable changes in your appearance, it's
understandable how you might lose your motivation.
imagine that your best friend who is morbidly obese suddenly has
to have his right leg amputated because of complications from
his obesity. Seeing your friend lose a leg because he wouldn’t
lose weight would make you more motivated to lose weight than
you've ever been in your life.
This is the principle the
Centers for Disease Control used in a series of very
controversial but highly effective anti-smoking commercials
titled "Tips from Former Smokers".
They were very
explicit in showing how people had lost their hair, their
voices, their teeth, etc. as a result of smoking. The one that
still resonates in my mind is the guy who says "When you have a
voice box, you have to stay away from spray paint and be very
if you haven’t seen them. Warning: They are VERY explicit.)
Here's how this applies to you as a manager.
company may offer the most wonderful incentives, fringe
benefits, and compensation package in the world. And that will
appeal to some people.
But you're always going to have
at least one employee who’s the proverbial underachiever. He'll
do the least amount of work he can do to keep this job, and
nothing more. He is not going to respond to any of those
The only thing that will get through to him
is when he is in fear of losing his job and not being able to
feed his family.
This is why studies have found that
money is a motivator, but only up to about the $50,000 mark.
When somebody is struggling to feed their family and keep a roof
over their head, that fear will motivate them. But once people
reach a point where they're able to pay their bills and feel
relatively secure, more money has appeal, which means it has
less power to motivate.
While you shouldn’t use the
threat of termination as your primary motivator, it does have to
be part of the equation. (If you don’t believe me, ask anyone
who's ever worked in an organization where it's virtually
impossible to get rid of employees, how hard it is to motivate
people in that situation.)
If you want people to do what
you want them to do, there has to be a reward for good behavior.
But there also has to be a reward for bad behavior, because one
without the other doesn’t work very well.
Terrie Hall, who is the woman in the
video and possibly the best Poster Girl anti-smoking advocates
have ever had, died shortly after filming that commercial.
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