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APEN 2001 International Conference

Toowoomba, 4th-5th October 2001

Report No:


Title of Topic:

Choosing to Choose – Motivation to be!

Name of Leader:

Robert Chaffe

Names of Participants:

Lee-anne Mintern, Helen Clarke, Rob Nielsen, Alison Medhurst and Cathy McGowan

Main points of discussion

Maslow in 1954 identified a hierarchy of needs. Although extension officers are familiar with this hierarchy the principles are not always included extension programs and events.

The suggestion was made that Motivation to be an effective part of a program was important. A model was proposed to help identify ways of effectively motivating people.

“Motivation = Interest in the Goal times Faith in success”

“interest comes from tapping needs of;

  • Survival
  • Belonging (loving, sharing, cooperating.)
  • Gaining power (achieving, accomplishing, being recognised and respected).
  • Being free (free to make choices)
  • Having fun (laughing and playing)”

“Faith in Success –developing solutions not wallowing in problems.

  • Resources – so many we cannot fail
  • Change made already – we are on the way
  • Exceptions – we have been there already.
  • Success with similar matters - piece of cake!”

The discussion focused on the facts that if I want to do something I will really work hard to get there while if I am forced by regulation of others I will travel at the pace that gets the minimum necessary to comply. In selling (ref The Stibbard model) if we don’t tap into the current needs we will not succeed.

The outcomes of poor need targeting is that participants drop out and become frustrated making it very hard to get them into new programs.

We need to move beyond the information seekers to tap community needs. One on one is the best way, develop relationships with the community so that a network of information providers is developed. This allows assumptions to be tested and to identify the best pathways to reach certain groups.

The extension team needs to be motivated to deliver the best product and this in itself requires effort by all the team members. In Helen’s paper she identified the need for diversity within teams as well as inviting contributions to program development for sources not directly related to the particular program.

Major outcomes (what have you achieved from this discussion; how can this make a difference; what else do you need to do?)

  • Reference that all should read “ Who moved my Cheese” “An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life” by Dr Spencer Johnson.
  • Build diversity into the way we gather data.
  • Use the motivational model as a way of dealing with the needs identified by Maslow.
  • Incorporate regular checks and evaluation to check direction and value of the program.
  • We need to have the courage to change ourselves, to accept feedback and do something about it. “Sometimes we are too scared to face the need to change because it is good to have a job.”
  • We should develop mentors in our community that will tell it as they see it. These mentors should be divers and not only within the “industry” we are working in. Having a simple network is easy but can develop complacency as well as stereotyping.
  • Part of our role is to maintain our networks and to ensure new staff are actively encouraged to develop their own. The use of community people to Mentor new staff is one way to help develop robust and divers networks.
  • Being an extension worker is a task that requires continuous work and practice. It also requires that such a person is open to change him or herself so that s/he is motivated to choose to choose to be an effective agent positive future development of regional communities.

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