How to Motivate Your Team
That simple statement represents a profound shift in thinking for numerous of us. I'll admit that when I'm thinking about motivating my husband to wash the dishes, I'm really thinking OK...how can I get him to do what want him to do? That sort of thinking may elicit short term results (or not), but it absolutely will not yield the longer term results I'm looking for. In numerous ways that is the precise challenge that team leaders, managers, and executives have with their teams - how to motivate in a way that is really lasting?
Even more daunting is the thought of trying to motivate throughout hard occasions. These challenging occasions usually come in the form of a down economy, layoffs, organizational changes, etc. The good news is that many of the ideal motivation tactics still hold accurate even in the course of these tough occasions. In truth, in several methods motivation becomes even more crucial during these instances. Let's discover a few secrets...
It sounds straightforward and basic, but this principle is truly the basis for most motivation techniques. Motivation is quite private. What is motivating to 1 person may well be viewed as a punishment to yet another. You basically can't successfully motivate people with no realizing them as a individual - their likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, way of life, and so on.
A buddy of mine was attempting desperately to launch a line of soaps and lotions out of her apartment. Despite the fact that her heart was in her own enterprise, she kept her corporate job to pay the bills even though her organization was obtaining off the ground. When she gave out some of her items as gifts throughout the holiday season, her manager asked her a lot more about her enterprise. Even though she initially was a little hesitant to talk about it, she eventually beamed as she talked about her new item line. Seeing her level of excitement and natural motivation, he asked her if they may possibly discover some new responsibilities that she may well take on that would build her skills in a few areas helpful not just in the workplace but equally useful to her as she grew her enterprise. This method was amazingly successful. She attended a couple of courses in net marketing and advertising and was able to not only use these expertise in her primary job but also to aid grow her company. She was extremely motivated and also appreciated his taking an interest in some thing so critical to her.
Indeed, managers will naturally differ in their level of focus on process and relationship in everyday interactions with our team members. In the course of tough instances, it can appear even much more essential to "crack the whip" so to speak and focus on job, but to really motivate the team, focusing on the relationship component can often yield longer lasting advantages. This does NOT mean that you ought to invest inordinate amounts of time socializing with team members or becoming overly personal. It does mean that in nearly any interaction you can strive to strike a balance in between process and relationship.
As a management consultant, I typically worked really lengthy hours. But no matter how late I stayed up perfecting a presentation, I knew my director Jim was up just a small later. I also knew that he would in no way ask me to do one thing that he wasn't willing to do himself. That straightforward fact produced me extremely motivated to do whatever he needed. In contrast, years later a new director joined the organization. Shortly thereafter the company sponsored an all employee retreat and asked staff to room two to a room to lessen expenses or pay an additional amount for a private room. Most members of our team roomed with someone, and a few paid a bit extra for a private room. The new director decided that she did not want to stay in the designated hotel at all (a 4 star hotel on the Las Vegas Strip) and paid for a room at the Four Seasons instead. That 1 choice caused irreparable damage among her and the team...indeed her actions spoke loud and clear!
A wise man gave his young daughters very sage dating guidance, "Ignore every little thing they say, and just pay attention to what they do". That is specifically what team members are performing...watching what leaders ! If you're continuously telling your team that times are lean and every person requirements to do much more with less, let them see you doing it!
Portion of what makes leadership so difficult is the fact that team members are not robots and are constantly dealing with personal concerns and problems that impact them substantially (and can spill over into the workplace). As a team leader, the reality is that you're wearing a number of hats and 1 of those hats is friend/mentor/confidant. Do not ignore the reality that occasionally crises strike, and at those occasions team members want assistance.
As a public school teacher in the Bronx in the 60s, my mom struggled with the every day challenge of how to motivate her students. She taught the "drop out" class - those who had performed the worst academically and were just expected to most likely drop out as soon as they reached the minimum age required to drop out. She'd decided to use the DMV's driver's permit exam prep materials as her course materials simply because her students were all 15 years old and Extremely motivated to get their drivers permit. Her thought was that she could use virtually any reading material to teach reading skills she just necessary the right topic to actually motivate them. This method was incredibly useful...with 1 exception. One student (Melissa) seemed impossible to motivate. Soon after utilizing every single motivation technique in her arsenal, she decided to have a heart to heart with her following class one day. She asked about her house life, and Melissa right away burst into tears. Evidently, her mother was gravely ill and needed a kidney transplant. Melissa's mom had asked her to donate one of her kidneys, but Melissa's own health problems made that selection quite risky. She was torn and couldn't concentrate on something else. Right away, my mom shifted from teacher to mentor/supporter.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs clearly indicates that a person's physiological and security wants should be addressed before greater level motivation tactics will be efficient. As team leaders, we need to remember this and check in with team members who seem to be particularly unmotivated or distracted. No matter whether the crisis is private or generated by workplace difficulties, any actual crises must be addressed proactively.
Keep in mind that during hard instances, it's vitally important to be honest about the organization's well being/present state. Most managers make the mistake of decreasing communications throughout difficult instances when just the opposite is what is genuinely needed. In the absence of details individuals produce their own information, and it is usually not positive (feel rumor mill). If the group's project is genuinely an "ugly baby" or if budget/headcount cuts are most likely, be honest about it! Folks are motivated to function in an environment where leaders will be candid and honest...even if the news isn't very good.
Motivation is undoubtedly 1 of the keys to successful leadership, but figuring out how to do it in the midst of a challenging environment can certainly be challenging. The reality is that there is not a bag of tricks - just a couple of proven secrets that will enhance your ability to motivate your team in practically any environment.
Dana Brownlee is President of Professionalism Matters, Inc. a boutique expert development corporate training firm. Her firm operates http://www.professionalismmatters.com and http://www.meetinggenie.com, an on the internet resource for meeting facilitation ideas, training, and instructional DVDs. Her most recent publications are "Are You Running a Meeting or Drowning in Chaos?" and "5 Secrets to Practically Cut Your Meeting Time in Half!" She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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