Bonuses, Motivation and Happiness

I have been discussing motivation in youth with ADHD in the past week, pointing out the need to personalize the motivator to connect to the individual.  In coach training, we create personal coaching agreements (PCA) directed toward the individual client’s goals, action steps and resulting incentives or rewards. In a recent Washington Post Leadership Blog post, “Bonuses for others tied to happiness, report finds”, the author discusses recent research on job satisfaction levels when a bonus (reward) is given to others.  One would expect that getting a bonus to spend on oneself would be the most satisfying. However the study clearly indicates that ” pro-social incentives – a novel type of bonus spent on others rather than on themselves”, were more motivating and created higher job satisfaction.  This was a small study and we have much to explore, but it begs the question for me – “what would it be like for a young coaching client to create incentives on a PCA that were pro-social versus “me-centric”?? I plan to ponder this for a while and welcome your thoughts.