Believe it or not, it’s actually easier to demotivate a team than to motivate them, so let’s take this from what might be called a rather backwards approach. As a Contagious Leader™, how do you keep from demotivating the people you have the privilege of leading and all they might talk to or come in contact with? You see, when you demotivate someone, you usually engage their emotions and much like an angry customer will tell bunches of people, demotivated team members will tell bunches more, including fellow co-workers, customers, friends, and family. Yikes. So, how do we keep from creating that environment?
Stop using money as a motivator
Money is a bad motivator. If you’re giving raises and bonuses thinking that it creates long term performance improvement, it’s usually not. And when you use money as a motivator, you keep having to up the ante, which means you’ll eventually have to cut back or cut out the moolah and that’s even worse, cuz when you have to take it away, the reduction of money demotivates the dickens out of people.
Stop assuming all are motivated the same way
For the sake of efficiency, large companies in particular, dole out the same holiday gifts for all, the same recognition efforts for all, and the same training for all. Hmmm… if we’re really all the same and have the same needs and the same motivations, and the same way of communicating, being, listening, and living, then why are there so many choices when it comes to … well… ANYTHING we want.
Stop discounting personalities and stress
Often those in charge are the very personalities who can compartmentalize and truly “leave their emotions at the door”. They are the ones who can focus on a task forsaking personal people issues, like it’s the only item on the planet. They are the ones who also react vocally and strongly to stress. Forgetting just how much stress will induce negative behaviors in all of us and how those behaviors all look different and thus the value of understanding the personalities and differences on the team you lead can be a fatal mistake to the success of a team. Want to motivate more… learn more and treat differently?
Motivation is an internal thing, but contagious leaders sure can make a difference by caring more the internal nature, needs, and personalities of a person than just their external output. You can motivate the masses, but not if you consistently continue to ignore the elements above.
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.