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Category Archives: Speech Therapy Motivation

What Motivates You as an SLP?

What Motivates You as an SLP?

Not too long ago, I had dinner with a few of my close friends who are all involved in the field of speech-language pathology. We got on the subject of motivation and more specifically, “What motivates us, as speech-language pathologists, to do great work?”

In this profession . . .

  • You don’t make millions of dollars (you make enough to live of course, but no one I know is pulling in a lawyer’s salary).
  • There is no such thing as year-end bonuses (at least not to my immediate knowledge!).
  • You don’t ever really get a promotion or a title change (you pretty much enter as an SLP and retire as an SLP).

So . . . what motivates us?

It’s obvious to me that it clearly is not any type of external motivator.

After doing some digging online, I ordered a book called Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink, where the author actually debunks the power of external motivators, and expands on the intrinsic motivators that inspire us to do great work. He mentions three key points that drive creative thinkers: autonomy (self-directed work), mastery (getting better at stuff), and purpose (serving a greater vision). Super interesting information and I recommend you purchase his book.

Ah-ha moments!

There is nothing that gets me more pumped than when I notice a student’s “ah-ha” moment — when that child finally produces that sound perfectly. He looks at me and says, “Wow, I never knew I could say it that good.” Then I look at him and I say, “Pshh. I ALWAYS knew you could.” I used my creativity to put together an individualized approach to specifically target that child’s communication difficulty — and it worked. The child is smiling, I’m smiling, and for that brief moment in time, all the stars are aligned. That, in a nutshell, is what drives me. It’s a combination of the three intrinsic motivators that Daniel Pink speaks about. The work that a speech-language pathologist does is extremely purposeful and as cliche as this might sound, we truly make a huge difference.

What about you?

So with all that being said, what motivates you to be an awesome SLP? What gets YOU pumped? Why do you love this job so much?

In closing . . .

I believe it’s important for us to step back and truly think about these questions. Reflecting on these thoughts can make us even better service providers. In the end, we all want to be the best for our students because they are depending on us, and that’s what truly matters.

Someday I Am Going to Start a Speech Therapy Blog

Someday I Am Going to Start a Speech Therapy Blog

Hi there. My name is Erik. I’m a speech-language pathologist that works with school-aged children who have various communication difficulties. It took me a long time to get this SLP blog up and running, but it’s now live and I couldn’t be happier.

One simple idea . . . start an SLP blog.

Back in 2008 when I finally graduated with my Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, an SLP acquaintance asked me a very valid question, “So what’s next for you?” With a half smile, I genuinely said that I had been thinking about starting my very own SLP blog. She looked at me surprised and then spoke about how a few years ago, she too told herself that she was going to start an SLP blog. So I asked her, “Well, what are you waiting for?” The response I got from her was, “Meh, someday I’ll start one. Someday.”

No more somedays. No more!

Have you ever heard yourself say,“Someday I’m going to (insert amazing goal here),” but before you know it, years go by and you have not even scratched the surface? Well, that was me! I didn’t think it could happen to me, but it did! Like I said, I wanted to start an SLP blog as soon as I graduated back in 2008, but I didn’t. Just like so many before me, I too got bit by the someday bug. I ended up saying the same thing that my SLP acquaintance said, “Meh, someday I’ll start one. Someday.”

The year is now 2011 and it’s time for me to wake up.

The word someday is a heavy anchor that will keep your hopes and dreams held hostage at the dock. I’m done. No more somedays for me. From here on out, I’m making a very conscious (and very public) effort to eliminate someday from my vocabulary. It’s time for my SLP blog to break free from that someday anchor and start to sail into the vast ocean where ANYTHING is possible.

So, what about YOU?

Everyone has something they want to do. Yeah, even you. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Making this SLP blog wasn’t easy, but I did it. So, what is that thing YOU want to do? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to start your very own SLP blog like me? Well, get started!

But how can I get started?!

Here’s my rule of thumb: plan small. Remember, Rome was not built in a day, and your project doesn’t have to, either. Your project may take time, and that’s fine. To make your project more manageable, create a list of small steps with specific due dates. For example, it was WAY easier for me to get started with “write 1 post before next Tuesday”than “create my SLP blog sometime this year.” Repeating this over and over again gave me the feeling of progress and before I knew it, my SLP blog was ready to go live!

Some final thoughts . . .

Whatever you’re thinking about achieving or creating, embrace the fact that you have big plans and understand that simply dreaming up your idea is half the battle. I’m proud of my SLP blog and I look forward to posting tons of original speech therapy ideas on it for the world to see.

In closing . . .

Thank you for joining me on this SLP blog and I hope that you and I can become good friends in the future. I promise you that I’ll consistently post a variety of speech therapy related blog posts on here – speech therapy ideas, speech therapy humor, speech therapy motivation, and everything in between. I promise to post quality and not fluff. I know that you’re a busy professional and I respect you, so I mean it when I say that I’ll never post anything just for the sake of posting. Only the good stuff will go on this SLP blog because that’s what you deserve.

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