No Wonder We’re Not Motivated

Feb 3, 2021

There seems to be a lot of struggle in the workplace to get and keep ourselves motivated and proactive – let alone helping others. But it’s no wonder many of us are feeling a bit demotivated at the moment.

Over and above the obvious issues and anxieties that we’re facing at this strange time, there may be a chemical problem too!  We could be missing three of our most important hormones – dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.

  • Dopamine – also known as the “feel-good” hormone, dopamine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that’s an important part of your brain’s reward system.
  • Seratonin – helps regulate your mood, so you can feel more focused, emotionally stable, happier, and calmer.
  • Oxytocin – regulates emotional responses and pro-social behaviours, including trust, empathy, positive memories, bonding and positive communication.

The happy hormones may not be coursing through our veins at the same rate as they would normally be.  So we’re not getting the same buzz of excitement or achievement, the laughter and the connection with our friends, family and colleagues.

Not only can this affect our day to day life, it can also affect our work meetings.  Many clients are mentioning how their online meetings are work-focussed, but not enjoyable.  No-one is laughing, so there’s no joy.

And that means there can be an increase in demotivated individuals who lack creativity and innovation at a time we need it the most.  A constant air of negativity around us can keep us in an anxious, stressed state – which also reduces the likelihood of being motivated!

So how can we inject some much-needed fun and happiness into meetings?  What ideas have you introduced that have helped before?

It needs to be natural and not forced.  We don’t want to make people do things that they don’t want to do, or impose “entertaining events” on them – that can just reinforce anxiety.  But if we can encourage those who want to bring some fun elements to the meeting, then even those who want to just listen can feel better for it.

We’re looking to get that positive buzz – firing up the “reward” part of the brain.  Think about making sure the team celebrates achievements fully and effectively, and sharing something positive that’s happened in the last 24 hours.  Or short anecdotes with a fun element.

Getting mentally prepared before we go to the meeting can be just as important.  If we’re in a good mood beforehand, then we can bring others along with us.  If we’re negative, it’s likely to bring everyone down too.

Work out what really makes you happy and increases your happy hormones.  It’s not likely to be scrolling social media or “treating” yourself to unhealthy food.  Consider what kids do to make themselves laugh – any silliness you can take from them?  Have a look at my previous article Tool Kit for Keeping Spirits Up for some more ideas.

Showing your fun side will encourage others to contribute. It’s not about spending hours wasting time during the meeting.  It’s about getting the feel good factor working effectively again, and encouraging motivation to build from there.



Karen Goold

For more advice on Executive Coaching visit Assiem