Growing into adulthood often means becoming more independent in different aspects of our lives. Despite, knowing how to do certain skills, some people still fail to take the lead on their own lives and activities. If you are struggling to help someone increase their motivation, here are some things that may help.
- Identify what is a skill deficit or motivational deficit. Someone may know how to do a task, but may not have the motivation to complete the task. Consider wanting to pay your bills. Do you have the skill to pay your bills or do you sometimes put this off until the last minute because you don’t like it? It is important to know which scenario the skill is to find the proper approach to the skill area.
- For motivation deficits…Take a look at the purpose of the skill. First ask, “is the skill important?” When we spend time teaching skills that have little to no meaning to the person’s life, we are wasting valuable time. Move on to something more valuable, then set the person up for success by adding structure, reinforcement, and make it fun!
- We all use reinforcement! Do you hate grocery shopping, but love eating? Do you find joy in checking something off a list? This is reinforcement and what reinforces us may be different for everyone. Identify the person’s preferences including social events, foods, or types of praise that they like. Save the favorites for the harder things!
- If a skill is missing… Consider the skills the person already has and remember in teaching, “one size does not fit all.” Individualize! Some people learn better with online video instruction while others prefer feedback and encouragement at every step. Matching instruction to the learner’s style will help to make your instruction more effective and efficient.
- Plan to overcome barriers. First, take a broad look at what the person is learning and identify the barriers. Is there a physical barrier you can remove or accommodate? Do you lack the resources to teach the skill? Consider different ways to overcome these barriers before you start teaching.
- Time is a major barrier to overcome. Consider how long it takes a fluent performer to complete the skill. Then, add time for discussion, demonstration, and then several feedback sessions. Select times of day that not only match the skill the person is learning, but also prevents them from feeling rushed.
One more thing. Always ask the question… Am I preventing the independence? Sometimes our own fear or need for things to go rapidly prevents others from growing. Prepare yourself to allow for independence and begin to support the person rather than take the lead.
If you are interested in our summer webinar series linked here