Team Building Coaching: Inside vs. Outside Motivation

awareness“Outside motivation” typifies the rah-rah, pump-it-up, get-out-there-and-attack-the-world approach. There is nothing wrong with this motivational approach; many excellent trainers use it. I find that it wanes over time and requires periodic tune-ups.

“Inside motivation” begins on the inside. Tougher to achieve, inner motivation lasts because it becomes part of our belief system. Experts say that is the key to behavioral change. Beliefs guide our behaviors. My definition of beliefs:


A belief is a certainty that we create. It is something we believe it true.

Beliefs incorporate our views about the work place, religion, family, money, honesty, failure, happiness, life, death, etc. We believe them until something happens that challenges them. Some beliefs serve us well; many do not. That is why all my beliefs are on probation.

Example 1:  I used to believe that I had to be perfect before becoming a Success Coach:  my speaking skills, my facilitation skills, my activities, and my credentials. And of course, I had to make zero mistakes in front of people. This belief delayed my career 8 years.

I changed that belief when I observed other motivational speakers and trainers making astounding mistakes, facilitating weakly, and choosing ineffectual activities. Some had Ph.D’s; others did not finish high school. I learned that beliefs can be dangerous. Right or wrong, good or bad, they guide our behaviors. I learned that following my passion was more important than my needs to be perfect and look good in front of people.

Example 2: I facilitated 2 rival groups within the same team: sales vs. technical. The CEO was having nightmares with their lack of both communication and mutual support. Each thought they were above the other. Back-stabbing, minimal teamwork, and disharmony ruled. I was called in to work miracles.

The turning point activity was “Back-Talk.” Mixing the groups together in teams of 4, they had to create different ways to communicate with each other without talking. They could choose to work together or not. With their pride, egos, and  competitive spirit kicking in, they choose to work together.

Outcomes were hilarious, frustrating, extremely creative, surprising, and successful. Old beliefs were challenged because new awarenesses pushed them aside. This was the beginning of a new culture in that company.

It is learning new awarenesses about ourselves and others that trigger challenges to old beliefs. When we start to fine tune and adjust our beliefs so that they work for us instead of against us, we start creating a powerful and lasting inner motivation.

In my team building programs, my goals are to create compelling activities and ask moving questions that ignite our creative juices and stimulate new ways of looking at things. I cannot change people. I can only start the awareness process.

Awareness is the starting point for giving us the wisdom and courage to change all our need-to-do’s, would-like-to-do’s, and maybe-I’ll-do’s…..
to MUST DO’S. And that starts from the inside out.

Larry Lipman
Larry Lipman is a Success Coach specializing in TEAM BUILDING!

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