Weekly Thought Archives > Motivation or Manipulation?

Motivation or Manipulation?

Weekly Thought - April 18, 2017  

Fred refused to sacrifice his integrity for the sake of winning.  He believed in the value of moving people to action, but never tricked them into action which only benefited him.  His dear friend Zig Ziglar dedicated his life to inspiring and motivating others.  They shared the joy of seeing the wood catch fire.

Motivation or Manipulation?

There is a critical difference between motivation and manipulation.  One is getting people to do something from mutual advantage.  The other is getting people to do what you want them to do, primarily for your advantage.  If the person benefits, it's purely a secondary goal.

Manipulation carries a hidden agenda; motivation carries an open agenda. 

We all agree that motivation is good and manipulation is bad.  But sometimes only a fine line separates the two, and it's difficult to know which side of the line you are standing.  The issues aren't always clear-cut.  Intent is the key.  What could be motivation in one instance could be tainted by self-interest and turned into manipulation.

A psychiatrist friend chided me one night by saying, "You businessmen mistake manipulation for motivation.  The difference is you can substitute the word "thirst" for motivation, but not manipulation." That got my mind working.  He was saying unless you are satisfying someone's thirst, you are probably manipulating rather than motivating.  What a simple, yet effective, measurement.  Bottom line for me: I can motivate with integrity when I am bringing to consciousness a genuine thirst in another.

Whenever we try to motivate without the other person's knowing what we are doing we need to be very careful.  We can try to bring out a latent desire a person doesn't even know exists.  But we must always keep in mind: 1) recognize how close we are to manipulation; 2) set a checkpoint, and be willing to stop if an authentic thirst doesn't develop; 3) never resort to immoral means even for righteous ends.

My good friend Zig Ziglar reminded my daughter one time to be sure and understand the difference between the "need to" and the "want to."  He was saying to her she must move away from her clear vision of what someone needed until she satisfied their own desire and want.  Remember the little boy whose obedience was not willing?  "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside."  Manipulation often results in silent rebellion. True motivation is a path to growth and maturity.  

This week think about: 1) What motivates me to take action? 2) How do protect myself from manipulation? 3) Who can I help find their "thirst" this week?

Words of Wisdom: "Bottom line for me: I can motivate with integrity when I am bringing to consciousness a genuine thirst in another."

Wisdom from the Word: "This is the reason I do my best to always have a clear conscience toward God and toward people." (Acts 24:16  NET Bible)    

>> The book "Breakfast with Fred" by Fred Smith, Sr. is an excellent gift that will last a lifetime. Buy it at Amazon by clicking "http://www.amazon.com/Breakfast-Fred-Sr-Smith/dp/0830744762/ref=pd_%0Abbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196780533&sr=8-1"  

>> The book "Divine Confinement: Facing Seasons of Limitation" by Brenda A. Smith is also on available on Amazon by clicking "http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DHRYUWM"