What really motivates humans?


What really motivates humans?

Before we get can resolve conflicts, we need to understand what is really going on.   My colleague, James Cawood teaches and consults in major hostage situations.  He teaches that there are only two basic human motivations:  

        Seek Stimulation

        Establish (or Re-establish) Perception of Control

It is somewhat hard to comprehend that there are only two reasons we humans act.  But viewing many of the conflicts that I have helped resolved through mediation, it does become clearer. 

We humans are always seeking stimulation.  We are not a passive group at all.  Conflicts can be generated through or by this motivation to seek stimulation, it is slightly less important that the second motivation.

We all want control over our own lives or at the very least a perception of control.  Historically, this is always the cause of wars.  One group wants to control another group.  We have not completely matured from the past.  Today we at least want the perception of control. 

Team leaders have been given by society real control of the team.  To head off potential conflicts with team members, the team leader must be confident in their position and to help everyone else develop their perception that they, too, are in control of the situation. 

**For the last decade I’ve been involved with leadership development of tomorrow’s leaders.  Using my expertise, I am training the youth leaders in conflict resolution.  This blog is adapted from my training materials. 


Ken StrongmanAbout the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

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