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How can you Motivate Others

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Posted 05 December 2011 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with your people management skills.

How can you motivate others?

Motivation is one of the top priorities of leaders and managers.
If your team is not motivated, then you will not get the best from them.
If they are motivated, then you will.

How can you motivate others?

Let us look....
Motivation can be split into 5 categories.

Let us make a list of some of the things that motivate people.

Things that motivate:

  1. The desire of a better future
  2. The fear of a bad future
  3. A worthwhile goal or ideal
  4. High levels of self-confidence
  5. Competitiveness

Let us take one at a time:

1. The desire of a better future

One of the fundamental human motivators is desire.

You are motivated by desire for things that will improve your life.

Most people are therefore motivated by money: because with money, you can have some of the things you desire:

  1. A better car
  2. Smarter clothes
  3. A nicer holiday
  4. A nicer place to live

So to motivate people: link the idea of them taking action, to achieving a better future.

For example:

"IF (and only if) you work hard: THEN you will earn this better future."

Create vivid "IF / THEN" statements;

"IF (and only if) you do this, THEN these nice things will appear".

This type of motivation is a positive motivator.

Next comes; the negative motivator.

2. The fear of a bad future

The second main motivator is FEAR of a bad future.

FEAR of a bad future.

It is the opposite of the first motivator. This is a negative motivator; of the form:

"UNLESS you do this, then these BAD things will happen to you".

You can be motivated by fear. You will work hard to avoid

  1. Loss
  2. Pain
  3. Embarrassment

So will most other people.

You can motivate other people by creating negative IF /THEN statements of the form:

"UNLESS you do XXXX, then you will suffer the following losses, pains, and embarrassments".

Negative motivators do work: but they are, by their nature, negative.
Many managers over- use this method and become poor motivators

They over-use threats, fear, and force, as their motivational tool: Which over the LONG run, makes them fail, because people cannot stand pain indefinitely.

Eventually the person being threatened will:

  1. Go sick
  2. Leave the organisation
  3. Retaliate

3. Motivation be means of a worthwhile goal or ideal

We will not only work for our own good: we will also be motivated by an ideal, a vision for "a better world for others".

So you may be motivated by BIG ideas such as:

  1. Education for the poor.
  2. Water for African villages.
  3. Man's exploration of the solar system.
  4. Political freedom for the whole world.
  5. Free energy for all by means of cold fusion.
  6. Freedom from infectious diseases by means of genetic research.

Many people have a feeling that they would like to "Make a Difference" to the world.
So you can inspire people by appealing to their "Better nature".
You can motivate people by making statements of the form.

"If we do XXXXX, then we are making a significant difference to others!"
"We are going to make the world a better place!"
"We can save the Planet from this Global crisis"
You can motivate people to great acts, by these ideas.

4. Motivation be means of High levels of self confidence

People will do only what they believe they can do. So self-confidence is a prime motivator.
People with low levels of self-confidence are not motivated to act, because they believe they are not capable of achievement.
People who are self-confident are more likely to be motivated, because they believe that they are capable of achieving the goal.
So to motivate others, you should do all you can to build up their self-confidence.

Self-confidence comes from believing four things:

  1. You are intelligent enough
  2. You are educated enough
  3. You are skilled enough
  4. You are a "good" person: worthy of respect

If any of these four are missing then self-confidence and therefore motivation begins to weaken.

e.g.

  1. If you don't think you are clever enough
  2. Or if you don't know what to do
  3. If you don't think you have the necessary skills
  4. If you don't think you are "worthy" of high achievement

Then you will lack self-confidence and therefore motivation.

So to motivate people, keep telling them:

  1. You are intelligent
  2. You are educated
  3. You are skilled
  4. You are a "good" person

And/or put them on a training programme that will give them the education and the skills that will feed their confidence and motivation.

5. Motivation be means of Competitiveness

Evolution has instilled into the human psyche, an element of competitiveness.
We struggle to win against the competition.
Because, in nature, winning the struggle, means survival.

SO we are fascinated by competitive situations:

  1. Team against team (Basketball, football)
  2. Man against man (Boxing, Golf)
  3. Individual against himself (Diving)
  4. Individual against the elements (Climbing)

So the desire to win:

  • Over adverse conditions
  • Over competitors
  • Over your personal best

For many people, to win is a motivator.

To motivate others, appeal to the competitive element in their nature:

  1. They can beat the odds
  2. Beat the competition
  3. Beat their personal best

Do this, and you will see people begin to feel more motivated.

5. Things that motivate

1. The desire of a better future

Create vivid "IF / THEN" statements;
"IF (and only if) you do this, THEN these nice things will appear".

2. The fear of a bad future

You can motivate other people by creating negative IF /THEN statements of the form:
"UNLESS you do XXXX, then you will suffer the following losses, pains, and embarrassments"
BUT be careful that you do not overuse this method.

3. A worthwhile goal or ideal

So you can inspire people by appealing to their "Better nature".
"If we do XXXXX, then we are making a significant difference to others!"

4. High levels of self confidence

People will do only what they believe they can do.
So self-confidence is a prime motivator.

So to motivate people, keep telling them:

  • You are intelligent
  • You are educated
  • You are skilled
  • You are a "good person".

5. Competitiveness

To motivate others, appeal to the competitive element in their nature::
Beating the odds
Beating the competition
Beating their personal best

For more information about motivational management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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