Does Self Motivation Exist? Or is it just another HR Term?

This question was posted on LindedIN.

A fellow poster, Arie Versluis gave this answer:

The only kind of motivation which exists is self-motivation.

Ask yourself if you can motivate a person and the honest answer will be no.

The only thing you can do is create conditions in which a person has an option to motivate him/herself and then hope they will motivate themselves.Creating conditions in which a lot of people seem to be motivated is however no guarantee that all are motivated. It is always an individual choice.

And don’t forget that motivation is not a general state of mind. Motivation is always related to specific subject. For example, people can be motivated to interact with colleagues but not be motivated to deliver a high quality of service. In this situation are they motivated or are they not?”

I agree with Arie’s point of view, when he said that the only kind of motivation is self-motivation. And we can only adjust the environment, so someone else can choose to take action. 

Communicating to an employee (or customer) how it would be in their best interest (and how they win personally) will increase the odds of them choosing your desired action.