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Why Motivating People Doesn't Work...and What Does

Based on the latest research and extensive work with hundreds of companies, Susan Fowler has a shocking message to leader...

Video Training Course: Why Motivating People Doesn't Work...and What Does

This video training course is all about why you should stop wasting time trying to motivate others and what you should be...

Master Your Motivation

If you want to accomplish what’s important to you, discipline and willpower won’t get you where you need to go. In this i...

  • Mindfulness at Work—3 ways to get started

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Mindfulness at Work—3 ways to get started

    Being aware of what is happening to you in the present moment without judgment or immediate reaction.  It sounds so simple.  The noticing and awareness part is one thing—but without judgment or immediate reaction?  This requires practice:  To notice when someone is pushing your button and take ...

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    April 19, 2017

  • The Not So Shocking Truth: 3 things to stop doing that undermine Optimal Motivation

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    The Not So Shocking Truth: 3 things to stop doing that undermine Optimal Motivation

    “Shocking! This is shocking.” The manager was responding to a slide on the screen that declared: As a manager you cannot motivate anyone. “Shocking,” he exclaimed again before I could put up the second part of the slide. I asked the obvious question, “Why is this so shocking?” His reply: “My wh...

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    April 19, 2017

  • The Key to Making Workplace Resolutions More Resolute

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    The Key to Making Workplace Resolutions More Resolute

    Which of the following statement(s) best describe(s) you when it comes to New Year’s resolutions at work? Don’t set them—it is a waste of time Set them—and it is a waste of time because I don’t take them seriously Set them, take them seriously, but am regularly disappointed in myself Set the...

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    April 19, 2017

  • Is Discipline Overrated?

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Is Discipline Overrated?

    Over 30 years ago I watched a TV news documentary about the animals we eat–how we treat cows, pigs, chickens, fish. By the time the 15-minute broadcast was completed I knew I would never eat meat again. And indeed, to this day, I have not eaten any meat or fish–or foods flavored with them. I of...

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    April 19, 2017

  • A Mini Case Study on Motivation

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    A Mini Case Study on Motivation

    Can you determine at least three important take-aways in this story from a plant manager in India who recently learned the skill of conducting Motivational Outlook Conversations? On his first day back after his training, the plant manager noticed a Technical Service Executive in the lab havin...

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    April 19, 2017

  • Finding Your True Motivation? Start by Being Bored! 3 Ways to Get Started

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Finding Your True Motivation? Start by Being Bored! 3 Ways to Get Started

    When was the last time you had discretionary time on your hands, wondering what to do with a gift of time where nothing was planned or expected of you? If it wasn’t yesterday, then read on. A summer morning stands out with vivid clarity in my mind. I was eight years old. My younger sister, Dee ...

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    April 19, 2017

  • “People are naturally lazy” and Other Myths about Employee Engagement

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    “People are naturally lazy” and Other Myths about Employee Engagement

    When you look at all of the stats pointing to the low levels of employee engagement in the US and around the world, you might start to believe that people are naturally lazy and disengaged—or that people wouldn’t work if they didn’t have to. But that’s not true. In fact, that kind of misinterpr...

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    September 30, 2016

  • Is Your Leadership Power Helping or Hurting?

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Is Your Leadership Power Helping or Hurting?

    If you are a manager, supervisor, or an executive at any level, I think you’ll find the latest research on leadership power relevant to your job, the people you lead, and the results you seek. Consider this story shared by a woman in a workshop I was teaching on motivation. While taking her nor...

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    July 27, 2016

  • Three Compelling Ways to Rethink Leadership Practices

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Three Compelling Ways to Rethink Leadership Practices

    Are your leadership practices based on outdated assumptions about the true nature of human motivation? Think about how you might approach leadership differently if you took into account some of the latest findings: – Our basic human nature is to thrive. No one wants to be bored and disengaged. ...

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    May 20, 2016

  • Stop Driving Yourself Crazy Trying to Hold People Accountable

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Stop Driving Yourself Crazy Trying to Hold People Accountable

    I recently flew to New York City to meet with the head of one of the world’s largest wealth management companies. He told me he’d read my book, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does multiple times and was dedicated to using its ideas to change the culture of his organization. Pretty...

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    April 12, 2016

  • Thriving in the Midst of Change: Ask 3 Questions

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Thriving in the Midst of Change: Ask 3 Questions

    Susan Fowler's book, Why Motivating People Doesn't Work.. And What Does, is on sale for 50% off from September 14th-21st, along with other useful productivity books.  Check out the collection here! When your organization and people are challenged with impending doom—I mean, impending change—l...

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    July 29, 2015

  • How Toddlers Show Us "Motivation" Doesn't Work

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    How Toddlers Show Us "Motivation" Doesn't Work

    An Interview with Susan Fowler. Can you please explain to our readers why you wrote this book? What passion drove you to write this for your readers?My dream was to build upon the compelling research of Drs. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan and the Self-Determination Theory academic community, which...

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    June 11, 2015

  • Do Incentives Make You Fat?

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Do Incentives Make You Fat?

    You receive an invitation from your HR department to win a mini-iPad if you lose weight. You think: What do I have to lose except some weight? What do I have to gain except health and a mini-iPad? You may need to think again. It seems that using these enticing incentives to motivate yourself re...

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    March 6, 2015

  • The High Price of Money (a five-question happiness quiz)

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    The High Price of Money (a five-question happiness quiz)

    Consider these five statements. True or False? Money cannot buy you happiness. Money may not buy happiness, but it will buy things that make you happy. The more money you have, the happier you are. Seeking wealth, status, or image undermines interpersonal relationships and connectedness to o...

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    March 6, 2015

  • Not All Goals Are Created Equal

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Not All Goals Are Created Equal

    I’ve just returned from the 5th International Conference on Self-Determination Theory.  The remarkable and often mind-blowing research on motivation that was shared and debated by 500 scholars from more than 38 countries will be impacting our world over the coming years.  But there are also lit...

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    March 6, 2015

  • Rethinking 5 Beliefs that Erode Workplace Motivation

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Rethinking 5 Beliefs that Erode Workplace Motivation

    Can you fill-in-the-blanks on these common workplace belief statements? It’s not personal, it is just ________. The purpose of business is to _____ _______. We need to hold people ___________. The only thing that really matters is _______. If you cannot measure it, it _________ ________. We h...

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    March 6, 2015

  • Five Beliefs that Erode Workplace Motivation, Part 2

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    Five Beliefs that Erode Workplace Motivation, Part 2

    My previous blog challenged you to complete five common statements related to motivation. It wasn’t much of a challenge. These beliefs are so deeply embedded in our collective psyche that they roll off the tongue. What is a challenge is to let go and replace these statements with beliefs that ...

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    March 6, 2015

  • If You Are Holding People Accountable, Something Is Wrong (And it isn’t what you think.)

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    If You Are Holding People Accountable, Something Is Wrong (And it isn’t what you think.)

    All together now, finish this sentence—a traditional belief so embedded in our collective psyche that I can hear your answers through the internet: We need to hold people ________. Accountable.  Cue the boos and hisses. Why Hold People Accountable? When your focus is on how to hold people accou...

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    March 6, 2015

  • The Reality about What Really Matters at Work

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    The Reality about What Really Matters at Work

    Complete this sentence: In business, the only thing that really matters is _______. The answer to this entrenched belief is so obvious that at a recent speaking engagement, I had over 300 people spontaneously fill-in-the blank by yelling in unison, “Results!” I then asked them to consider the a...

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    March 6, 2015

  • If You Cannot Measure It …Five beliefs that erode workplace motivation (Part 5)

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    If You Cannot Measure It …Five beliefs that erode workplace motivation (Part 5)

    As we have discovered with all five of the eroding beliefs in this series of posts, completing this statement falls off the tongue:  If you cannot measure it, it doesn’t matter. I was a longtime aficionado of SMART goal setting when the “M” stood for “Measurable.” However, over time, I found th...

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    March 6, 2015

  • An Optimally Motivating New Year: Two Ways to Set Engaging Goals and Deadlines

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    An Optimally Motivating New Year: Two Ways to Set Engaging Goals and Deadlines

    “As a leader, how do I set goals and enforce deadlines without people feeling imposed by expectations?” This is a great question often posed in our Optimal Motivation workshops. I understand that you are between a rock and hard place—on one hand, you are responsible for getting results; on the ...

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    March 6, 2015

  • One Time It’s Better to Take Your Eyes Off the Prize

    Susan Fowler posted a blog post

    One Time It’s Better to Take Your Eyes Off the Prize

    If you are a leader on a mission to focus the actions of your people this year, would you be surprised if I suggested having your people focus on something other than the actions you wanted them to take? It may feel counterintuitive, but the key to taking action is to shift your focus from the ...

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    March 6, 2015

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