Everyone is different. So it makes perfect sense that what motivates one person in your team may be completely different to another.

Some years ago the following interview was broadcast on an Open University sociology TV programme.

The interviewer was talking to a female production-line worker in a biscuit factory.

The dialogue went like this:

Interviewer: How long have you worked here?

Production Lady: Since I left school (probably about 15 years).

Interviewer: What do you do?

Production Lady: I take packets of biscuits off the conveyor belt and put them into cardboard boxes.

Interviewer: Have you always done the same job?

Production Lady: Yes.

Interviewer: Do you enjoy it?

Production Lady: Oooh Yes, it’s great, everyone is so nice and friendly, we have a good laugh.

Interviewer (with a hint of disbelief): Really? Don’t you find it a bit boring?

Production Lady: Oh no, sometimes they change the biscuits…

My thanks to Shirley Moon for this lovely story, who also points out the following lessons within it:

  • Do not impose your own needs and ambitions on to other people who may not share them.
  • Don’t assume things which motivate you will motivate others.
  • Recognise that sources of happiness may vary widely between people.

If this resonates with you, please share it.

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