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Harv Bus Rev. 2013 Mar;91(3):117-20, 135.

Do you play to win--or to not lose?

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  • 1Motivation Science Center, Columbia University, USA.

Abstract

Some personality assessment tools are good at identifying what you like to do, but they tell you very little about whether you're good at it or how to improve if you're not. Fortunately, one way of grouping people into types is based on an attribute that does predict performance: promotion focus or prevention focus. Promotion-focused people see their goals as creating a path to advancement; they are comfortable taking chances, like to work quickly, dream big, and think creatively. Prevention-focused people see their goals as responsibilities; they are vigilant, risk-averse, thorough, and accurate, and like to maintain the status quo. Motivational focus affects how we approach life's challenges. It affects what we pay attention to, what we value, and how we feel when we succeed or fail. Once you know your focus, you can choose role models, frame goals, seek or give feedback, and provide incentives that will strengthen your motivation or your team's. This article details how you can create motivational fit, which enhances and sustains both the eagerness of the promotion-minded and the vigilance of the prevention-minded.

PMID:
23451530
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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