Posted 06 November 2013 by Chris Farmer
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How can I motivate my team?
As a leader, one of your jobs is to motivate the team to achieve goals and targets. But some people are not very motivated. And worse still, some people are actively de-motivated; they are cynical and negative.
But you don't get much productivity out of people who are not motivated and, or, cynical. You get more productivity from people who are motivated and energetic.
So, the question stands; how can you motivate the team to be more energetic in the pursuit of the goal?
Here are the steps.
Recognise that there are three primary motivators: desire, fear and anger.
Motivation by desire is a positive motivator
It means that you are acting in order to achieve a pleasurable consequence. That pleasurable consequence may be of two main types: Material or non-material.
Material values such as money or a nicer car, or a better house, will motivate people into action.
Non-material pleasure values include things like praise, approval, love and respect. So you will be motivated to act in order to gain money, love, and respect; All the positive things in life.
These are the best motivators. These are the powerful motivators; positive motivators and they produce pleasant emotional states.
2. Motivation by fear is the second motivator
It means that you are acting in order to avoid a painful consequence. That painful consequence may also be of two main types: Material or non-material.
Material pain values are things such as disease, injury, the loss of money, the loss of property. Movement to avoid loss, or prevent pain, will motivate people into action.
Non-material pain values include things like rejection, ridicule, loss of respect or social status.
So you will be motivated to act in order to not lose respect or retain money or property or mitigate a physical threat.
These too are powerful motivators. But they are negative motivators and they produce unpleasant emotional states.
3. Motivation by anger is the third motivator
It means that you are acting in order to express anger or revenge or injustice; based upon a perceived violation of your rights.
That violation of your rights triggers a negative emotional state and you call it anger, revenge, bitterness and resentment.
You act in accordance with these feelings in order to "settle a score". So, you will be motivated to act in order to purge your anger and exact revenge. These are powerful motivators. But they are negative motivators and they produce unpleasant emotional states.
Since we are all human beings, we all are motivated by these three major types.
At work, if you want to motivate others you can often use the first two major options.
- Motivate people by desire.
- Motivate people by fear.
Both will work and there are managers who use both methods.
- Some managers motivate by positive desire and rewards.
- Some managers motivate by negative threats and punishment.
Both work in the short term.
But the second, "fear option" fails, badly, in the long term. The reason "motivation by fear" fails in the long term is that it induces negative emotions in the mind of the receiver. And over time, these negative emotions pollute the working atmosphere and create the third negative motivator; a sense of injustice, anger and revenge. Over use of threats, punishments and fear as a motivational tool is bad for business, it is bad practice because it creates bad blood.
To the degree possible, at work, and at home, use mostly positive motivators
Desire. Rewards. Incentives. Praise. Respect. Pride. Self-esteem.
Dish out your appreciation. Set some goals. Offer rewards. Express recognition. Give frequent praise and set up some friendly competition.
These are the best options for long range, positive motivation. And as they create positive feelings, they are sustainable over the long stretch. Whereas, the fear motivators, whilst they do work in the short term, fail in the long term.
- My recommendation is that you don't use threats and fear as a motivator, as it sets up a sense of injustice and revenge, in the long term.
- My recommendation is that you use positive motivators.
The top six positive motivators are:
- Job security
- Personal achievement
- Team spirit
- Personal pride
Make use of the above list of six positive motivators.
Then you will motivate the team in the best way possible.