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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.