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Uncovering the Root Causes of Low Motivation: How 'Five Whys' Can Help Analyse Motivational Maps



One of the most powerful ways to use Motivational Maps is through coaching. Our Practitioners tell us that Motivational Maps uncover underlying issues and feelings that their traditional coaching methods would take weeks to identify.

When analysing a client's Motivational Map, using the Five Whys technique can be a powerful way to uncover the root causes of issues or concerns that might be affecting their motivation levels or performance. This technique encourages the coach to ask 'why' questions that drill down into the previous answer, peeling away the symptoms of the problem until you get to the bottom. Usually, the first reason for the problem leads to another problem, and another question, et cetera.

For example, a coach might ask why a person is feeling low satisfaction in the Friend Motivator, which is related to belonging, involvement, and rewarding relationships.

Here's how the conversation might go: Coach: Why do you think your Friend Motivator is so unsatisfied? Client: I don't feel like I have any real relationships at work. Coach: Why don't you feel like you have relationships at work? Client: People don't take the time to get to know each other. Coach: Why don't people take the time to get to know each other? Client: We are all so busy with our own tasks that there is no time to socialise. Coach: Why do you think there's no time to socialise? Client: There is no designated time for socialising, and no incentives for employees to do so. Coach: Why is there no designated time for socialising? Client: I don't think our management sees the value in socialisation, and don't want to invest resources in it.

So clearly, this is a manufactured example, but it is an example that’s highly relevant right now. We’re hearing more about the lack of social events, and that’s increased because of hybrid working. This line of questioning can help to uncover the underlying reasons for why a person is feeling a certain way about their work, and why their motivation satisfaction is low. It can also help the coach identify cultural issues in the organisation. For instance, using the example conversation above, the coach could feedback to the client's organisation and ask how they encourage people to work and socialise together, e.g. wellbeing walks or facilitated problem-solving sessions. Alternatively, the coach could ask the client how they’d feel about organising or taking part in social events during or after work hours. The Five Whys technique can be an incredibly useful tool when analysing a client's Motivational Map. By encouraging the coach to dig deeper into the reasons behind a person's motivation level, they can uncover the root cause of the problem and provide more tailored solutions to the client. This will help the client to reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

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