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Digital Marketing Planner, Vilnius (till December 10, 2020)
But when you think about it… a person who has come a long way just tired, burned out, sat on a stump to rest. Let him sit, breathe, enjoy peace. Let them take the time. We are not needed.
Alisa Miniotaitė: Fatigue Of Life

Alisa Miniotaitė: The Carrot and Stick Approach

carrot and stick

I often get the question – is it a good guide who follows the principle of “carrot and stick.”

It is also possible to extend – is it a good father (mother) who raises a child according to the rule of carrot and stick.

Studies in animals (e.g., mice, dogs) show that the award is one of the most effective ways to promote desired behavior. And painful punishment is an equally effective way to eliminate unwanted behavior. Voluntarily, anyone rarely puts his fingers in the fire.

What could be a “carrot” in the hands of the manager(s): a bonus, a non-monetary reward (travel, holiday), a formal thank you, and a simple “thank you.”

The most common punishment used is a harsh word, criticism, deprivation of privileges, or even more severe punishment.

A much more important question is what is being encouraged.

The goal in the family is to bring up a righteous, kind, and a good person. Thus decent, responsible, honest behavior, caring for others are usually encouraged.

In the organization? There are many different causes. The simplest – better results, higher sales. Rarely – creativity, entrepreneurship, autonomy.

Is it enough to educate a person with a whip and candy?

It is always best to answer similar questions by asking yourself. Would I like it if I was encouraged by carrots and sticks?

The feeling is not the best – like a trained bunny. It is as if my purpose is only to do some action and create a result. It seems my personality, my needs are completely irrelevant. Maybe that’s why there are still so many unmotivated people in companies?

Both fine and reward are methods of external promotion. External motivation is what you get from the outside and make an effort just for that.

Inner motivation is the desire to take action within us, the satisfaction and joy that comes from the activity you take on that you really enjoy, not the outward reward.

Research confirms that external stimulation reduces internal motivation.

Meeting and elevating the needs of one person (or a group of them) is also a flawed practice that takes on unforeseen forms. The importance falls on the balance between the interests and rules of the individual and the team (organization, society). On the one hand, encouragement and punishment are an expression of one person’s supremacy over another, regardless, the interest of the community, of humanity as a group, has always been more important. It is an eternal agreement that is reversed, challenged, and polished again.

To answer the question: to lead only by carrot and stick approach can be simple, but too narrow. Loss of sense of meaning, spirituality (an increasingly forgotten but meaningless element of organizations), inner pleasure arising from activities.

What is a society that is educated solely on the principle of whip and candy? There is no need to look far – captive, authoritarian, limited.

Probably so in the family and in the organization.


Dr. Alisa Miniotaitė is a management and leadership expert, founder of UAB ALISA MANAGEMENT LABORATORY, ISM University of Management and Economics, Leadership Program Manager

Commentary is published in the news radio show “Leader’s Dilemma” and news page

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