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10 Key Principles of Motivation

 1. Optimal motivation comes from the self, that is drawn from the inside, rather than by threat of sanction or promise of reward.

2. We can motivate others indirectly by creating the conditions for achievement that will be motivating. 

3. Motivation depends on both the value of the outcome and the probability of achieving it. People's evaluation of their capabilities on a particular task is the most important aspect of self-worth in motivating learning.

4. We are active and curious from birth and are naturally inclined towards self-improvement and exploration but this needs to be maintained by a supportive environment.

5. We are intrinsically motivated to meet our needs for stimulation, knowledge and understanding, self-determination, involvement with and approval of others and a sense of competence and accomplishment. 

6. The main sources of intrinsic motivation are challenge, curiosity, control and fantasy.  

7. The key to sustained development is a realistic match between the individual's capabilities and the demands of the task. 

8. When people set goals they act as representations of their future and if they matter and are attainable they will be motivating. 

9. People need structure while being encouraged to be responsible for themselves.  

10. People need the security of knowing they are valued. This doesn't imply that we should avoid negative feedback. Rather, feedback should build on strengths, and consequences should always be linked to behaviour without attacking the person's worth.  

Copyright: Alan McLean, 2006

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