Motivation is broadly classified into two categories namely external motivation and internal motivation. To further narrow down, there are seven other modes of motivation that can determine a person’s action or behaviour. Let us have a brief look at the different types of motivation.

1. Achievement Motivation:

If you are driven by Achievement motivation then you have the drive to pursue and attain goals. Someone following this type of motivation is primarily doing it to achieve an objective of some form, in many cases this is typically driven in career achievement, but it can also be associated with individual achievement in sports people or academics.

2. Affiliation Motivation:

Those driven by affiliation motivation feel the need to connect with others on a social basis. People of this type tend to work better when they are complimented by others for their favourable behaviour and attitude but generally they work well as a part of a team.  In contrast sometimes the achievement motivated indivudal can divide teams, unless they have elements of affiliation motivation also.

3. Competence Motivation:

You can see competence motivation when you notice someone who has the drive to be good at something, this usually adrives them to perform high-quality work. These kinds of individuals seek job mastery and take pride in their work and strive to be creative at all times to improve themselves. 

Those with high levels of competence motivation ae avid learners, both academically and through experience, you tend to find that they excel in specialist professions or trades but struggle more when charged with management tasks.

4. Power Motivation:

I am sure we all know someone with high power motivation, or perhaps it is us? This manifests itself in the drive to influence others with one’s decisions and behaviours and change situations in a way that is favourable to us.  Often closely coupled with achievement motivation people with high power motivation are those who create an impact in their workplace and are also willing to take risks to do so, often risks that others would not feel comfortable with.

5. Attitude Motivation:

Attitude motivation is often more difficult to spot, as attitude motivation is based around how people feel and think. It can be influenced by their self-confidence and their attitude towards life. You often see these people in more philanthropical professions, helping causes that they feel attached to. 

There are a growing number of younger people attached to causes and leveraging social media as a career to get messages delivered and companies now have to take into account, attitude motivators to attract new talent to work for them.

6. Incentive Motivation:

Incentive motivation is when an individual receives or expects a reward or recognition from performing a certain activity. It is more of a give-and-take policy that they work on.

This is more applicable to people working in sectors where there are perks, or high levels of variable remuneration, as they get motivated with rewards such as money, trips or other incentives.

7. Fear Motivation:

This kind of motivation is greatest when people are forced to act against their own will. With fear instilled in them, the motivation is instantaneous and the job is done immediately. It works great in the short run.

This kind of motivation can sometimes be found in work places with a hierarchical culture or where people fear for their jobs although as a motivational strategy it is flawed, its important to recognise thay many people are still motivated in this way. 

Consider for instance the fear of failure, or the fear of losing one’s job, these may not be managerial strategies but the motivational factors may still exist.


You can notice from this set of motivational factors that they can be broadly grouped in their direction, most of these are “toward” motivators, they drive a person towards something, whether it be achievement of affiliation for instance.  Fear motivation is most definitely “away” motivation and drives someone away from something, e.g. losing their job.  Hence in the latter you are not motivated by something you get but something you want to avoid.

It’s important to say that none of these are exclusive to the other, many different types of motivation can be present at one time.  Which are your main drivers?

If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out our other blogs including this one on making a difference in the next year.

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