Y and I took the Euronight train from Prague to Poprad which is the starting point for High Tatras. On the way back, we had almost one whole day to explore Prague. Y and I went to the Prague castle and we decided to climb the Black Tower. There were many steps up the tower (as we have expected) and we felt rather dizzy from climbing up the spiral staircase too quickly. However, the view from above was rewarding and we could see the whole of Prague from there.
After taking enough photos of the view from the top, we decided to make our way down. On the way down, we met 3 old Chinese ladies who were climbing up. They asked us in Mandarin if they were close to the top.
Y and I spoke at the same time. I told them that they still had a long way to go while Y told them that they were reaching soon. Y and I later discussed which response was more motivating. My point of view was that I was giving them a realistic picture of just how far they were from the top so they would know what was lying ahead of them. Y’s point of view was that they would feel more motivated if they knew they just needed to put in a bit of effort to get to where they wanted. My question remains: will they be disappointed if they realized that it was further than they thought?
This episode reminds me that there are many motivation styles and some people prefer one style to another. When I want to motivate other people, I need to not just think about what I need if I am in their context but also ask explicitly in order to understand what they may possibly need. What works best for me may not be best for another person.