Motivation in the workplace is a cornerstone requirement for high productivity and efficiency. Mayfield & Mayfield (1995) suggest a theory of using Motivational Language (ML) as a means to working more efficiently, thus increasing productivity. Most of us have worked with someone who is frequently negative, affecting co-workers’ morale and job satisfaction. How then, can a manager change the behaviors of the negative employee and reestablish balance? Mayfield & Mayfield attempt to solve this issue by completely removing negativity in the workplace through the use of proper language. For example, if an employee complains about a task such as filing paperwork the manager may address it as an opportunity as follows:
“John, I understand your concerns with filing paperwork; however, this experience is necessary if you strive to be in management. You can gain organizational skills and learn about the importance of the paperwork you are filing. What else can you think of that you will gain from completing this task?”
Reaffirming an employee’s role in a project or reaffirming his or her goals will have a naturally motivating effect. The ML theory helps to explain this effect and how using positive, motivating language will help. Can you think of any other ways ML can help?
Mayfield, J., Mayfield, M., & Kopf, J. (1995). Motivating Language: Exploring Theory With Scale Development. Journal of Business Communication, 32(4), 329-344.