Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Using SCARF to understand motivation

Sometime you come across a new model that just seems to explain so much. The SCARF model, authored by brain researcher David Rock, is a model of the basic conditions that motivate.. or demotivate... us. Without these in place we will feel some level of discomfort or disengagement, with them in place we feel energised and a sense of possibility.. motivated in other words. Here's what SCARF stands for:

S - Status: we all need to feel recognised and valued by those around us. Status might come from our position or expertise, or it might come from a simple thank you from a boss.
C - Certainty: we all need a sense that we can predict how things will turn out. Without certainty we can become stressed and unsure of ourselves
A - Autonomy : we like to feel we can make  decisions for ourselves .. think back to what it was like when someone micro-managed you
R - Relatedness: a sense of connection with those we work and live with
F - Fairness: a feeling that the decisions that affect us are made fairly, and we are getting our fair share of rewards and opportunities.

Think back to a career lo-light - which of the above were missing for you? Think back to a career hi-light chances are all five elements were present for you. A very helpful model to share with clients, particularly those experiencing difficulties and uncertainty.

If you get interested here's David talking about SCARF as a model of influence in leadership click here

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