Success or Failure? - 3

More unpacking motivation

This and the following blog are based on research by Collie and Martin*.

The best fit to the research data based on 519 staff from 18 schools created five distinct motivation profiles.  Two of these fall into the ‘high on success orientation and low on failure avoidance’ quadrant.  The first of these the researchers labelled ‘Success oriented’ as they fit the characteristics of this quadrant very well.  The members of this profile have very high self-efficacy, they value the work they do and have a strong orientation towards mastery.  They are clear in what work they must do and how to do it and have little anxiety or performance avoidance.  In terms of well-being, they have high levels of enjoyment and easily bounce back from setbacks or challenges, they are highly engaged in their work.  In this research this group represented 13% of the whole sample and represent very competent and motivated teachers.  Within this group will be found the 5% or so of outstanding teachers.

Sunset - Icarus.jpg

The second profile that falls within this quadrant, the researchers label as ‘success seeking’.  Members of this group have lower levels of self-efficacy, they value the work they do less and have lower levels of orientation towards mastery.  They are less clear in what work they must do and how to do it and are less resistant to anxiety or performance avoidance.  In terms of well-being, they have good levels of enjoyment but their ability to bounce back from setbacks or challenges is much less, however, they are engaged in their work.

This second group represents 27% of the total surveyed and gives the impression that with empathic leadership and greater role clarity would continue to develop over time to join the first group.  However, without such leadership, this group may well continue as they are, well-meaning and competent, but not growing to their full potential.

These first two groups represent staff who operate largely in the blue zone, the first group, almost all the time, the second group having moments of red zone triggering where they will doubt their own abilities and consequently perform below their best.  Thus, about two fifths of staff are modelling blue zone behaviours quite a lot of the time.

* Adaptive and maladaptive work-related motivation among teachers: A person-centered examination and links with well-being - Rebecca J. Collie, Andrew J. Martin – UNSW February 2017

John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.

John Corrigan