Motivation drives ambition, commerce, and choice. Why pick one job over another? Why buy one car over another? Why choose the red jacket over the black jacket when you are getting dressed in the morning, or watch a movie rather than read a book?

Understanding why you do what you do and the choices you make, both good and bad behaviors, is useful in modifying those behaviors. It’s also important to understand the motivations of your colleagues, clients, life partners, children, teachers, friends, neighbors…you get it. Businesses say that they now want to hire for people skills. I think the secret to having good people skills is to understand the motivations behind each person you work with.

For us, understanding other people’s motivations is a key element for a successful project. When we first start a project, we use our “Project Priorities” chart (see attached). We encourage our clients to make the tough choices about which is more/most important to them: Budget? Quality? Being Green/Sustainable? Having all the tech toys? Design? Authenticity?

If you are motivated by money, Budget may be most important to you. Within that budget category is the question: should we consider resale value of the improvements or just fulfill the current needs and desires? Should long-term payback of energy savings be considered or only initial cost?

If we come to a common understanding of our clients’ motivations and priorities, decision making is simplified and our chances for a successful project conclusion are greatly increased.

Now have you guessed my inner motivations yet? Although design is one of my top motivators, my number one motivator is that priceless feeling we get when a project is judged a success, not by our peers with awards, but by the people who will use the space, and by our clients (not necessarily the same people).

What motivates you? When you have your next architecture and interior design project, give us a call! Perhaps we can do for you what one of our clients wrote in his testimonial:

“Leslie should have been a psychiatrist.  I ask her to come up with design proposals for a new lobby in an office building or the layout of a larger tenant office.  During the process, she identifies my deep-seated motivations, fears, and goals and make tactful but firm suggestions for a solution.  Cautiously at first, I ease myself into the process and before I know it, I feel much better.  It works!” -John Kiger, Graystone Corporation (The Dupree Company).

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