How to bring out The BEST in People

Whether you’re in a small team, a large organization, or a family, you will need a lot of motivation to get things done and achieve a certain level of success.  But motivation can be a tricky thing – while it’s not complicated, it certainly is not something that a lot of people have automatic understanding for.  If you are in the job of getting others excited and inspired, here are tips on how to motivate people and bring out the best in them:

  1. Find the current level of motivation of the person you wish to motivate

Each person, whether it’s an employee, a co-worker, a team member or a family member, has some amount of motivation in him.  Try to identify this level.  What makes them tick?  What do they find exciting, interesting or worthwhile?  What are their goals?  How do they hope to achieve them?

Do not try to approach the challenge in a generic way because you will be met with a lack of enthusiasm or even resistance.  Use a personalized approach if you want to motivate an individual.  With a group, look for a common denominator – a common goal or interest – that you can use to motivate them and get them to perform.

  1. See things from their point of view.

It’s easy to explain things based on what you perceive.  But what about what others see, think or feel?  Each time you present an idea or concept to the person you want to motivate, ask them for their opinions and listen to what they have to say.  You can then usen the information obtained to create a motivational plan that has real appeal to them.

  1. Use positive reinforcement

Between pleasure and pain, people will always choose pleasure.  Try to steer away from using negative motivational tactics such as fear or threats.  These could work initially but they are not very effective for motivating people over a long term.  Besides, using negative reinforcements might result to a feeling of annoyance, anger or exasperation.  If not corrected early, this could even lead to aggression and rebellion which we don’t want in any setting.

Use rewards instead.  To motivate people, give recognition, acknowledgment, gratitude, even gifts or citations.  People want to know that you notice their efforts.  Didn’t you say you expected the best?  When someone has risen to that level of excellence, give them the recognition they deserve.  You’ll be surprised at how effective this technique is in keeping people motivated.

Show and do, don’t tell.

If you want to know how to effectively motivate people, show them through example.  What sort of behavior do you expect from them?  Why not show them by doing it yourself?  They will be more willing to believe than if you just lecture and never show.

Don’t push – pull

It is said that you can’t lead a horse to water.  When you’re trying to motivate people check once in a while to see if their willingness is still there.  There is a point in every endeavor when you begin to meet with resistance.  This could happen for a number of reasons, including boredom, distraction, discovery of other more interesting things or just simply lack of interest.  It could also be that your motivational efforts have reached a plateau.

Should this happen, learn to let up, step back and if necessary, let go.  People will be more motivated if they don’t feel pressured.  If you sense resistance, stop and check for identifiable factors that might have created the resitance.  Once you have found them, create a different approach.

Copyright 2011 Barbara Hofmeister.

Basic Steps to Succeed in Anything YOU Want!

I keep getting asked to explain the steps to success and break them down so that is what I will do in the next few days. Today I will repeat what I have said many times:


That is really it. These are the basics and in the next few posts I will disect them and add more detailled steps in the hope that my readers will stop finding excuses and start moving in the direction of their dreams.

I believe in you!

I KNOW you can do it!

So let’s do it!

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Stay positive and true to yourself

I know it’s hard to stay positive when we are surrounded with so much negativity:  rising unemployment, falling revenues and hardship dominate the daily headlines worldwide. But it is exactly now that we need to focus on the positive and turn bad news into good news.

The global economic downturn, which has touched all of us in some way, presents us with a great opportunity to rethink what’s important in life and what success  really mean to us. Only when we know what we truly want can we take action and achieve the success we grave.

I believe that the only way to be successful – no matter what your definition of success may be – is to start by identifying your true values and beliefs. You see we can turn around in circles for years, trying as much as we want to reach success, but if our beliefs are contrary to what we consciously want, we are highly unlikely to get there.

In the 90s, I was on top of the world. We had just sold our business and I invested most of my money in the booming stock market.  I was sure I would never have to work again for the rest of my days. That was a wonderful freeing feeling! Finally I was able to focus only on what my passion was and that was to to give speeches and do trainings, mostly free of charge, on living your dreams as I was living mine.

Unfortunately soon after, my father died very suddenly and my Mom became very confused. I sold our home  because she did not want to stay there, relocated her and got myself a nice apartment close by.  While trying to take care of her, getting used to the new situation and working on setting up my training company, I forgot to keep an eye on our investments. The stock market crashed and we lost an incredible amount of money; money we had all worked so hard for. I was devastated but didn’t know what to do so I waited for the market to recover, which lost us even more.

I tried to recover some of our losses by investing in a business venture with my cousin.  He not only massivly overcharged me, he eventually also drove the company into bancruptcy. Not only did I lose my money, I also had to pay the banks for his losses. Meanwhile my mother spent money as if there was no tomorrow. She bought herself a new Mercedes and a mobile home, which she used maybe a half dozen times. Then she sold it to that same cousin who never paid her. Instead he sold it on and used the money for his own means. I could not believe that a family member and someone I considered a “friend”  would do anything like that and closed my eyes and ears for many years.  I kept falling into the same trap again and again. I bought some extremely overpriced real estate and sold it with massiv losses when money became tight.  A “boyfriend” twiddled me out of a valuable piece of land, another gave me false money etc. etc.

Because of my bad investment decisions I lost most of my once large “nest egg” and suddenly found myself in a situation where I could not do anymore what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. It came to a head when  the banking crisis started and banks closed on loans plus the company I did a lot of trainings for closed down. From one day to the next no more cash flow but still plenty of expenses…

It had taken just over a decade and towards the end things speed up. More and more foul opportunities came my way, each in a different format, until I finally realized that this was a repeated pattern that I had run all my life.  For a little while more I stayed stuck in a dark place feeling guilty and stupid, beating myself up because I had not seen it earlier.

Audience during Barb's seminarBut instead of giving up, I took a deep breath and checked in with my values. Integrity and persistance were some of them, so instead of hitting back in the same way these crooks had consciously cheated and fooled me, I stayed true to myself and continued to walk my road to help thousands of people find and live their dreams. Very slowly I rebuilt my confidence, finished and published my book and found people that gave me  opportunities to live my purpose. People that gave me an audience so I could show more and more people the way to live true to their values and beliefs; to actually live their purpose.

For a long time it had been a lonley road but I realized through all this turmoil that although I had lost my money, I was still blessed with many other things that were actually more important than the money. I still had my love for what I was doing and the results people were getting through my work. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to hep others truly live their life the way they were meant to.

I am truly blessed and my beliefs and values are the foundations that help me stand tall, in good times and bad, and they help me to inspire you to realize you too can live the kind of life you thought was only in your dreams.

Trust and continue to walk down your path!

Your dream is yours and only you can live it!

It is your Choice!