Motivational Mix

What motivates people? What are the different types of motivation?

4 min read
Motivational Mix

Motivation causes people to do or not do something. It can be both constructive and destructive.

Everyone is driven in different ways to do or not do something. It depends both on the respective context and on the type of personality in which way(s) a person tends to be able to motivate themselves or can be motivated. In the seminar context, it is the task of the trainer to recognize this motivational mix in the individual participants in the respective situation and to awaken the best possible motivation in the participant.

A basic distinction is made between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is a person's inner, self-generated motivation, eg fun, joy, interest. She is characterized by genuine interest in and enjoyment of a specific task. For example, it can be recognized very well by the fact that the person with intrinsic motivation burns for the task and can develop a real passion from it and about it.


Lena is fascinated by artistic portrait photography. Her fascination is so pronounced that she decides to delve deeper into the subject. She buys a camera, attends various workshops and spends 90% of her free time making various portraits of different people. Her intrinsic motivation made her eventually able to turn her hobby into a career.

Extrinsic Motivation

With extrinsic motivation, people are motivated by external circumstances, such as more money, job loss, social belonging, expectations, or the search for recognition. In the case of extrinsic motivation, the person does not act on their own initiative, but is motivated by external circumstances to complete a task, job or similar without really having any desire or interest in this topic. In the end, it's all about the "profit" from this thing.


Hans is a student and also works as a waiter. But now he would like to go on vacation with his friends. Since the money from his part-time job is not enough to finance his vacation, he has to look for another part-time job. He finds one as a harvest helper in the neighboring village. Actually, he doesn't feel like working physically in the fields all day, but the motivation to then be able to afford the vacation drives him to accept the job and do it. Here the motivation is the salary or the holiday with his friends that he earns from it.

Some types of extrinsic motivation are explained below.

Towards Mmotivation

In Toward motivation, you are driven by a specific goal you want to achieve. This can be, for example, a career advancement, running a marathon or completing the training with top marks.


Frieda has been working as a branch manager in a large supermarket chain for many years. She finds out that a position as district manager will soon open up. She has been waiting for this opportunity ever since she finished her apprenticeship. She's been working hard for years to eventually fill this position. That's why she always worked a lot of overtime over the years, was always there when there was a need and put her entire private life on the back burner.


With this type of motivation, the desire to change a state is the driver. Most of the time, away-from motivation is triggered by strong emotional needs. This can be, for example, dissatisfaction at work, moving to another apartment due to problems with the landlord or problems in the marriage.


Years ago, Max moved away from his home country to a city 250km away because of a job offer. He gets along well with his colleagues, but hasn't really been able to make friends in the city all this time. As time went on, he became more and more lonely and unhappy. One day he can't stand it anymore, quits his job overnight and moves back to his hometown.

Logical-Rational Motivation

With logical-rational motivation, a person does or refrains from doing something because it makes sense at the moment. However, (positive) emotions are missing. With this type of motivation, you act from a purely factual and logical perspective.


Fred wants to buy a new car. First and foremost, this should of course get him safely from A to B. A mid-range small car would do for that. But Fred is also a fan of fast and stylish cars. These are actually not quite in its price range. Now he weighs all the advantages and disadvantages for the respective cars and finally makes a rational decision in favor of the mid-range car. Because he actually only needs the car for useful things in everyday life, such as shopping or driving to work. So he does without the fast and chic car.

Emotional Motivation

Emotional motivation is feeling-oriented. People do something to evoke or avoid a certain feeling, e.g. doing something for fun and joy, doing something or not doing something for love, doing something or not doing something to avoid pain.


Lilly would like to do a Travel & Work in Australia for a year. She has read a lot about Australia and loves koalas and kangaroos. What she doesn't like at all, however, are poisonous spiders and snakes. Since she would be traveling all year alone and she is a rather introverted person, she carefully weighs all the advantages and disadvantages of Travel & Work. In the end, she decides to dare the adventure after all, in order to grow in character and personally with the task.

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