In part one of this key note, I shared the first three keys to help you get your team motivated. Here, I am sharing the final three keys. If you haven’t noticed yet, these keys really focus on what you do as a leader. Motivating people, while it is about those you are trying to motivate, the work really does fall on you as the leader. How you lead and how you use your power to influence your people will have a major impact on your team’s motivation, either positively or negatively. Now, for the final three keys to motivating your team forward.
4. Encourage Others’ Strengths
There are two parts to this key. You can encourage the strengths of others with your words. Acknowledge your people when they do a good job and tell them when you identify that have above average skills in an area or do things exceptionally well. For example, if you have someone on your team who is very creative, find ways to tell them that. If you have someone who is an awesome event or activity planner, let them know. Your verbal or written acknowledgement will not only make them feel good and valued, but it will motivate them to do more of the same.
You can also encourage the strengths of others by giving them the opportunity to use those strengths. When you have a need for someone with creativity on a specific project or problem-solving, invite or assign the most creative person on your team to be involved, and let them know why you need them to be involved. When you need an event planned, ask the awesome event planner to help and, again, let them know why you need them involved. These two strategies will help you get what you need from your team to move your mission forward and it will help improve team morale, boost the confidence of individual team members, and motivate your team to give you their best.
5. Empower People to Find the Answers for Themselves
While it’s a great strategy to be available to assist your team in finding solutions, you want to balance that with setting the expectation and giving them the space to problem-solve for themselves. When a team member asks for your help, don’t rush to give them the answers. Instead, ask them what ideas they have come up with or what solutions have they already considered. Engage them in a conversation that allows them to talk through why an idea may or not work or the pros and cons of various alternatives. If they haven’t taken the time to think through the challenge themselves, give them a few things to consider as they work through the problem then send them to do the research, talk to the appropriate people, or map out a strategy with a solid time frame for when they should come back to you with a proposal or viable alternatives.
Implementing this key in your arsenal of motivation tactics will not only encourage your team to think for themselves, but it will empower them to be more solution-oriented in their thinking and result in them taking a higher level of ownership within their roles.
6. Try to See the Perspective of Others
When you find that your team is not motivated or perhaps even outwardly fighting against what you are trying to accomplish, it may be due to them having a different perspective about your plans or about where you are trying to go. Remember that your team’s view is different form yours. Yes, there are things you are going to see, know and understand that they will not be able to but there are also things that they see, know and understand that you will not be able to because of where you sit. You may need to consider the impact of your decisions on your team, the work they do, and how they perform that work. While you may not always be able to adjust your decision based on what you learn, trying to understand the perspective of the people who work with and for you will help you understand them better, demonstrate that you respect them, and make them more amenable to trying to understand your perspective.
Here are three steps to help you implement these keys into your leadership practice:
Develop a list of your team members and keep notes on what seems to motivate them. Familiarize yourself with these notes to the point that you are able, in any given situation, to respond with an appropriate motivator for any individual team member. Also, track the demotivators of your team. Identify ways to minimize or address these things when in your power to do so.
Look for opportunities to motivate others outside of your work environment and your sphere of influence. This will help you strengthen your skills in identifying the motivators that people respond to.
Commit to reading one book per month on motivation. Try to rotate between general motivational types of books and profiles of people who have motivated others. Consider looking for books outside of your area of expertise or influence to see what you can learn from other types of situations. It can be motivation in general or it can be profiles of people who have been successful in motivating others.