This week…Your 10 Keys To Motivating Others

Your 10 Keys To Motivating Others…

Right now, I’d love to be able to motivate my eldest daughter to learn all her times-tables.

My first approach, not surprisingly, was to use the motivation style that I use with myself and this is a key factor in understanding motivation. We tend to use the same approach with others that we use with ourselves and we also tend to make the dangerous assumption that everyone else is motivated in the same way and by the same things that motivate us.

Anyway, threatening dire consequences if she doesn't (how I generally motivate myself) has not worked. We’re now working on building a big enough incentive and in the end a blend of benefits and consequences with a very strong WIIFM will probably work. On the other hand, you only have to wave a certificate or a gold star or a small reward in front of my middle daughter and she is off after it like a rocket. Lessons in motivation are everywhere when you pay attention!

I was in an interesting experiment once - we were asked to say what we thought motivated other people to come to work.

Our list included things like “for the money” & not much else. We were then asked what motivated us to come to work and, of course, our list included noble things like “achievement”, “progression”, “social contact” etc.

The point was that people don't just come to work for the money - they come to work because it helps them avoid the painful consequences of not working and it meets their deep need for the pleasure of social contact, finding meaning in their life and having a laugh.

The crucial thing for you is, do they see the organisation as getting in the way of meeting these needs or do they see helping the organisation get it's goals as an integral part of meeting their own needs? In other words, what is in it for them to help your business exceed it's goals. If the answer is "not much" then motivation will continue to be a struggle.

Here are some other thoughts:

  1. You can't motivate other people, at least, you can't create self-sustaining motivation for others. What you can do is create a situation where they motivate themselves. How?…
  2. You could just ask them. Wild idea but it might work. The Tao Of Coaching (see below) has a questionnaire that you could use.
  3. When you communicate, give equal weight to the benefits of acting and the consequences of not acting. Make sure that you have something in your communication for those who focus on what they don't want as well as those who focus on what they do want.
  4. Personal attention is a good way of giving people pleasure - do you know and care about their family situation, names of spouse and children, personal circumstances, dreams, ideas, hobbies etc.? (By the way - you can't fake this.)
  5. People need a because. They need you to explain why. To provide meaning. You role as a manager is partly to give the context for the behaviour that you want to see.
  6. If you are a manager who motivates yourself by beating yourself up, being strict with yourself and holding yourself to impossible standards then guess what your motivation technique with others is likely to be.
  7. If you’d like to be the kind of manager who creates pleasure for others by connecting with them, giving them attention, treating them with respect and including them as far as possible in decision making then guess who you need to start treating like this first. That's right. You.
  8. Many will give up if the way seems too hard. Help people to understand the route to the next step.
  9. You’ll probably get more of what you measure and reward. Make sure that you reward the behaviour that you would like to see more of in your boss, your clients, your team, your family.
  10. Have you got your people on an appreciation diet? When you’re on a diet what do you think about all the time? Food! When you’re on an appreciation diet, what do you most long for? Appreciation! (Doing a good job round here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit, it gives you a warm feeling but nobody notices!)

Bonus Idea. Use the logical levels as a checklist - make sure your motivation affects all the levels: environment, skills & ability, beliefs & values, identity, spirit & meaning etc.

Above all, create for yourself a personal motivation model. Observe groups who are motivated and those who are not. Understand when you are motivated and when you are not.

Understand how (not why) you became motivated. What is the difference that makes the difference?

It's this that you’ll be able to use most effectively with others.


I recommend you read this…

There are so many self-help and personal development books around these days, where do you go if you want to make a good investment of your time and money? I´ve recommended the books in these reviews because I have read them (some many times) and found them to be personally useful or useful at work.

The Tao Of Coaching

I've recommended this before and no apologies for referring to it again.

Practical, cheap, easy to read and has a very useful motivation exercise that you can get your team to complete and discuss.

The link below takes you to Amazon where you can read more…

Read More…