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Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Frustration - Motivation

I've somehow resisted my temptation to write another post for the past so many days. Almost a fortnight, if I am not wrong. I am aware that I am yet to answer my friend Rastogi's questions. But if answers were so readily available and if things were so perfect, then the world would not be an exciting place to live in. It would more be a very dull place. So, I shall put that to a later post.

Sometime back I remember, I remarked - "Frustration plays a key-role in motivating people" and let me see why I felt so. This idea came to my mind on the spot as I was walking a talk (yeah, that was more like an interview then :p) with a very good friend of mine, and I said this is the way I felt it is.

There are a good deal of motivation theories available for reading, and they form a very key component to many in the corporate world who always wish to get the very best from their employees. And it becomes really important for them to motivate their employees to work on their job however routine/boring/mundane/ it is. At the same time, for every human on earth, it is necessary to get themselves motivated for doing some action - because unless there is some "driving" force, accomplishing things becomes a distant reality. For all practical purposes, I take this "driving force" as the motivating factor - or the motivation itself.

In all popular motivation theories, be it

- the Mc. Gregor Theory of X/Y - wherein there is a classification of employees widely into X and Y groups based on their interest and their work pattern. X is uninterested, does not like work whereas Y is interested and likes work - The theory says that for X you must show him some incentives in terms of money or in terms of some reward to get him motivated - whereas Y needs a good work culture which challenges him to do better work
or
- the popular Maslow's Theory of Motivation and Human Needs - wherein there are 5 levels of a pyramidal structure defined each defining a particular human need(s) and the corresponding behaviour or the kind of mannerisms that would make them motivated to fulfil their need. This is a motivation theory for self development and self-motivation.
or
- the Equity Theory - social comparison with their peers is a very important motivator here - e.g A person feels motivated more if he is working with Google as compared to let's say Satyam because the social comparison factor here tells you that Google is more respected than Satyam
or
- the Expectancy Theory - People work with some expectations - some reward or bonus or a promotion etc.

All these theories stated above have one thing in common - if you have noticed. All of them talk of the behavioural patterns of people. They try to categorize people and try to deal with how to motivate them or suggest what is expected to be done to motivate them. It is precisely here that I wish to start my point with. That is about "Frustration".

Frustration - is one of the few emotions that put one off from work or rather one would look it as one of the biggest unmotivating factors when one finds some work failing or apparently unsurmountable in front of them - but is it?

Thankfully it is a feature that is a part of almost everyone's life. Going by the company-employee format and the productivity of the employee being important to the employer - the source of employee's frustration and the ways to improve the situation of the employee form a very important part in motivating the employee. hence Frustration plays a key-role in motivating people .

But I would also like to take the framework to a personal level. Identifying the cause for frustration is a very important thing for anyone to overcome that and accomplish the task that they set out to perform. Here again, but for a frustrating moment, the chance of taking a look back at what you are doing and getting a new lease of life is not possible - how important frustration is! (one may look at Cognitive Dissonance way of motivating people to see this point)

But is that all that I have to say? No. I think I still have scores of stories to tell to justify the same. If one looks at motivation to perform/act as a dynamic thing, and if one keeps doing a host of activities ranging which are highly different in nature, then a series of frustrating moments relating to one action, is an indicator to move over to another activity and start working on that. Here again, frustration plays a key role in motivating one to do something else as compared to doing something which may not be productive at that stage of time.

Wonder what'ld be of the world if it were free from all frustrations!

7 Comments:

Blogger mythalez said...

It would be a frustrating place :P

Thursday, April 28, 2005 8:05:00 PM  
Blogger Arvind Krishna said...

Then no one is motivated.. :-P

Monday, June 06, 2005 1:00:00 PM  
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