Saturday, December 08, 2012

advice: how to motivate your project partners

Recently, two different friends talked to me about motivating their project partners.

Friend: "I want my partners to work hard.  Does this mean I have to work longer than all the rest of them?"

Me: "No, you just have to set clear goals.  If I told you that tomorrow we might go on a run, you wouldn't be sure how much to prepare, so you'd watch me and follow my lead.  But if I told you that tomorrow at 10am, I'm coming over to get you and then we're running 5 miles, you'd drink water and go to bed early.  No matter what I'm doing, you'd be stretching and getting ready on your own."

Friend: [agreeing noises]

Me: "Being clear makes it a lot more motivating.  If I told you that we're running 5 miles at 10am, it's very likely that we'll do it.  If I just said that we're running tomorrow, we'd look up at 11pm after a day of playing Starcraft and say, 'Weren't we supposed to go running today?'"

Friend: "LOL true."

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