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Motivation: The Science of Motivating Yourself and Your Team

Motivation Mastery for Every Team Leader and Entrepreneur - The Critical Leadership Skill
Lawrence M. Miller
2,633 students enrolled
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To gain mastery over your own behavior and to maximize your influence over your employees and associates.
To learn a model of analyzing and solving human performance problems.
To optimize all sources of motivation. You will learn an inclusive model that includes a) spiritual motivations, b) social motivation, and c) situational sources of motivation and methods to apply each to your own life and within your organizaton.
To learn to apply the science of behavior management to yourself and others. This includes the ABC model of identifying antecedents, pinpointed behavior, and consequences that reinforce the behavior.
You will learn how Lean management (Toyota Production System), is both a technical and social system and how it employees the forces of motivation to engage and optimzie human performance.
You will learn the "Coaching Kata", a simple and proven method of coaching others to improve specific skills and behavior.

Your success is your ability to motivate and develop your team and team members. If they perform, you perform. This course will provide those skills that are critical to your success.   

Motivation is not a speech or pep talk! It is the skill of creating a worthy purpose, an effective team environment, designing work for intrinsic motivation, and using positive reinforcement in an effective way. This course will enable you to develop a system of sustained motivation for yourself and your team.   

I have authored eleven books and the key to getting books published is simply the self-discipline to sit yourself down and write! I have been CEO of two companies and consulted with more than one hundred major corporations on improving human performance. In this course I have distilled the science of human behavior down to the essential practical lessons that every entrepreneur and manager must know and practice to succeed. 

     The topics covered in the course include the following: 

  • Sources of Motivation

  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

  • Optimizing Social Reinforcement

  • Developing a System of Motivation

  • The ABC Model of Managing Behavior

  • Using Reinforcement Schedules

  • Is it a “Can’t Do” or a “Won’t Do?”

  • Managing Yourself. The Biggest Challenge!

What students are saying about this course:

  • “I love the detailed yet simple approach this course takes.” Nikhil Shah 

  • “Excellent content, actionable and well delivered!” David Davis

  • “Wow Great Course! Easy to understand with true life experience suggestions.” Carolyn Swanson

Introduction to Motivating and Managing Human Performance

Introduction to Motivating Yourself and Others

Which is more difficult: motivating yourself, or motivating others? The answer is that if you master the skills of self-motivation you will also master the skills of motivating others.

The purpose of this course is to help you to be successful at managing the behavior of yourself and others.

The objectives are:

§To learn a model of analyzing and solving human performance problems.

§To develop the skills of coaching others.

§To help your team improve their own motivation and the motivation of others.

§To create a positive environment at work.

§To gain mastery over your own behavior.

The Curriculum

Sources of Motivation

The Hierarchy of Motivation

Where does motivation come from? The answer is not from one source. We derive motivation from a variety of sources and people have diverse interests and needs. Therefore, the job of the manager is to optimize all available sources of motivation.

This lecture presents several models: First, competency + motivation = performance; Second, motivation that is derived from within versus motivation that is derived from one's environment.

Finally, this session presents the hierarchy of motivation, a pyramid that begins with spiritual motivation or the motivation of a worthy purpose, the motivation derived from social relationships, and finally the situational motivation from one's immediate environment.

The Power of Purpose - The Soul of Our Work

The need for a meaningful life and meaningful work is the most powerful source of motivation. The Purpose Principle defines the different sources of purpose in our life and how to find a worthy purpose in our work.

Attached is a PDF file that is a synopsis of my book, American Spirit, which includes a description of the purpose principle.

This lecture also describes how leaders can make use of the purpose principle to motivate others in their company or on their team.

The Power of Purpose - Exercise
The Hierarchy of Motivation
Social Motivation and the Radius of Trust

Our learning and motivation begins in our first "learning organization." The Family. It is where we learn to learn and develop our values. Most important, we learn to support and appreciate others.

For most of humankind's history we have worked in small groups, family units or family like units. The mass production model of specialized work and the divorce of decision making from the work, destroyed social motivation.

In his book Trust, Francis Fukuyama shares the research that links the radius of trust to economic activity. High trust cultures, those with an extended "radius of trust", develop more vibrant economies than low trust cultures. Similarly, organizations in which there is high trust have higher rates of innovation and economic growth.

Trust is the social bond that is the soil of innovation.

What can you do to increase social motivation?

  • Strengthen the bonds of your own team.
  • Build trust between your team and others.
  • Demonstrate empathy and mutual interest.
  • Recognize the team, large and small.
  • Celebrate together as a team.
Social Motivation - Exercise
Situational Motivation - The ABC's

Situational motivation is the motivation derived from the antecedents and consequences to our behavior. In this lecture is share my experience setting up the first free economy behind prison walls, a system to "make performance matter" for inmates, a simulated economy that rewarded good behavior. It is simply an example of how we can establish systems, either for others in our organization, or for own own motivation and self-management.

Situational Motivation - Why it Works

If you understand how antecedents to behavior gain their effect, you gain the power to manage your environment to prompt the behavior your desire. The key elements of analyzing behavior are the following:

First, pinpointing the desired behavior.

Second, gathering data on the current rate of performance.

Third, establishing antecedents to the desired behavior.

Fourth, establishing effective consequences that reinforce the desired behavior.

Situational Motivation Exercise
Social and Situational Motivation

The Science of Behavior Management

Fact-Based Definitions

How you define terms matter in our understanding of motivation. The terms used in behavior analysis are empirically defined, meaning they are defined by the outcome.

  • Reinforcement is a stimulus that follows a behavior, a consequence, that results in an increased rate of response of that behavior.
  • Positive Reinforcement is the presentation of a reinforcing stimulus.
  • Negative Reinforcement is the removal of a stimulus that results in an increased rate of response.
  • Punishment is a stimulus that results in a decreased rate of response.
  • Extinction is the absence of any consequence that results in the eventual reduction of response.
Types of Reinforcement - Optimizing the Intrinsic

Positive Reinforcement increases the rate of a response. However, there are many different types of reinforcement, all of which can be used to strengthen the behavior of yourself or your team.

  • Intrinsic or Extrinsic
  • Tangible or Social
  • Immediate or Long Term
  • Certain or Uncertain
Lean Culture and Motivation

Lean management, or Toyota Production System, is not only a technical system of just-in-time, kanbans, etc., but it is a social system built on the twin pillars of "respect for people" and "continuous improvement." These require establishing a culture of experimentation and positive reinforcement.

Honda and Toyota both adapted their culture to North America and both employ a good dose of behavior management practices. For example:

  • Toyota compensation is 75% base salary and 25% bonus based on a combination of individual and group performance.
  • Toyota practices the 4 to 1 principle – four positive to one negative comment or recognition.
  • Honda has a point system that rewards a variety of positive behavior.
  • You need to “make performance matter.”
Lean Management Exercise
The Science of Behavior Management

How to Apply Behavior Management to Your Life and Work

Targets, Goals and Objectives

Setting goals and objectives is one of the oldest and most important means of motivation. However, management by objectives became bureaucratic and demotivating. In this lecture I present the critical elements of successfully using goals and objectives.

  • Dream Big!
  • But, Target the Baby Steps
  • MBO & Self-Control
  • Engage and Gain Commitment
  • Visualize – Employ Visual Display
  • Plan Reinforcement Along the Way
  • PDCA
  • Engage in Reflection – Process it!
MBO & Self-Control
Intrinsic Motivation and Goals
Schedules of Reinforcement

When reinforcement is delivered matters a great deal. There is a wealth of scientific literature derived from experiments with not only mice and pigeons, but in organizations as well, that provide insight into the effect of different schedules. In this video I explore the advantages and disadvantages of each of the following:

  • Fixed interval schedules
  • Variable interval schedules
  • Fixed ratio schedules
  • Variable ratio schedules
Analyzing Performance Problems

All performance problems are either ones of "Can't Do" or "Won't Do" - either motivation of skill.

It is important to analyze a problem do determine whether it is one of skill or motivation because the solution is entirely different. All the consequences, positive reinforcement or punishment, will have no effect if the person lacks the necessary skills to perform.

Exercise: Analyzing Performance Problems
Modeling and Appreciative Inquiry

It is within our nature to model the behavior of significant others - parents, managers or heroes - who display behavior that we value. For this reason it is important that we seek models in our own life of individuals who have achieved the success we desire and who display the behavior we seek to develop.

Appreciative inquiry is the practice of finding examples of outstanding performance, heroes and heroines, within your organization to hold up as examples for others to emulate.

Analyzing and Improving Performance
The Balance of Consequences

It is never all or nothing. Every day we make choices to stay late at work, read a book, or watch television, and every choice is a reflection of the balance of consequences. If you understand the balance of consequences you understand that a slight shift in positive reinforcement can completely change the outcome.


When reinforcement is delivered matters a great deal. As managers, it is our responsibility to act in a timely manner to reinforce behavior. Delay dilutes the power of positive reinforcement.

Reducing Poor Performance - To Punish or Not?

There are times, no matter how good we are at the positive forms of motivation, when we must use a negative consequence to reduce an undesirable behavior. How we do it will make the difference between constructive change in behavior and a negative influence on the entire group. Learn the skills of effective punishment.

Keys to Performance Management

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Giving Feedback to Others
Receiving Feedback from Others

Summary and Wishes for Your Success

Summary and Wishes for Your Success

After viewing the previous 20 lectures you may wish to create your own summary of what you got out of this course and what you hope to do better in the future. Here are my wishes for you:

My Wishes for you personally

  • Be clear about your purpose in life and at work. Become noble.
  • Have models and set goals (antecedents)
  • Surround your with others from whom you can learn.
  • Practice 4 to 1 with yourself. Recognize your own achievements.

My wishes for you as a leader

  • First become the model of the behavior you want from others.
  • Practice 4 to 1.
  • Always create aspirational goals and targets with your team members.
  • Analyze the environment and…
    1. Optimize intrinsic reinforcement
    2. Social recognition.
    3. Make performance matter
  • Become a great coach.
Bonus Lecture: Some Additional Resources
You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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