Just as positive information can lead people to higher levels of productivity, negative motivation can help you to achieve more in life. People usually proceed along a specific path in life because they believe that their actions will lead to a desirable outcome. Taking this approach uses the opposite concept.
Under the scope of negative motivation, a person’s behavior is motivated by fear or anticipation that an unwanted outcome will occur if they fail to take specific actions.
Fear is a useful motivator when it relates to self-survival concepts. That is why it is sometimes used in the workplace. Employees need income to survive, so a real or perceived threat to take that away can create more motivation to be productive.
When Is It Suitable to Use Negative Motivation?
Negative motivation only works when there is an environment which requires accountability. You must communicate that failure is not an option, and that it will be punished in some way if it occurs. Instead of offering rewards to those who succeed, you are giving out consequences to those who do not.
People must be painfully aware that their unacceptable behaviors will lead to an undesirable outcome to have their behavior change. That is why negative motivation often picks out the worst performer or choice to make an example from it.
If you are in charge of administrating this accountability program, then you must always keep your word. Should you bluff and someone calls you on it, then any perception of fear that existed in that environment will be gone.
Outcomes with Negative Motivation
People can be motivated through fear to change numerous behaviors. From weight loss to improved workplace productivity, the survival instinct of humans offers a powerful result when implemented correctly.
The dangerous aspect of this tool is that it creates a lack of morale internally or within a workforce. People don’t like working in environments where they are constantly faced with the threat of a consequence. At some point, individuals reach a breaking point where they refuse to return.
That is why people can fail when working toward their personal goals just as easily as someone decides to quit a job under these circumstances. Negative energy can push you toward a result, but it will not create loyalty to the outcome.