Intrinsic or extrinsic – or both?
Some of us are driven by inner goals and needs (intrinsic motivation) and others by extrinsic needs such as recognition and awards.
Most of us enjoy satisfaction from both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. But some of Toastmasters’ extrinsic awards are delayed deliberately (to be given at a Conference), while others are immediate, such as speech contest trophies.
Which do you think has the most effect? Psychologists opine that the more immediate the reward, the more impact it has on behavior. Intrinsic awards like satisfaction after completing the Competent Communications program are immediate. They can be reinforced by extrinsics such as club ceremonies, lapel pins or certificates.
Some awards, like Founders District’s “Distinguished Member” pin, and TMI’s (District-awarded) Triple Crown pin can demand a lot of time and lots of follow up by club officers. (Think about “visiting the DMV without an appointment” to grasp the officers’ frustration.) Sometimes they are awarded without drama, though. It’s not easily predictable.
(In Founders District, Triple Crown pins are awarded for completing three educational goals in one year, while Distinguished Member pins go to those completing at least one communications and one leadership goal – or level – in a year.)
We can encourage and support members by recognizing their accomplishments with a club ceremony and perhaps a ribbon or certificate. Clubs with flush budgets can even commission a club “attaboy” pin as an extrinsic reward.
If and when the District recognition comes through it will be a delayed reward for progress. However, if the member was feted and congratulated for the accomplishment in his/her home club, it’s still a positive reinforcement.
Other extrinsic awards are the communications and leadership levels, such as Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB), Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS) and Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). If the VPE gets info about completions into the TMI website rapidly, the award of ALB, ACS, etc. will arrive quickly and should prompt a club celebration. And for the new members completing their first 10 speaking projects? How about a “Halfway There” ribbon? They’re available from World Headquarters.
Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards encourage more commitment, build enthusiasm and support perseverance. What’s not to like about rewards, from inside AND outside?