We regularly work with teams to support their development, as well as deliver learning around the subject of leadership. You will find a multitude of information around how to motivate and engage as a leader, and in our experience focusing on these 10 areas will do this pretty damn well!
1. Help them get what they Need
Organisations put a lot of focus on roles, responsibilities and objectives, yet unless we work in an environment that meets our needs we will become disengaged and performance will suffer. Gaining insight into the needs of your team is a critical step to enable motivation and help them feel supported to be the best that they can be.
2. Manage Performance
It is frustrating working alongside individuals that are not performing in alignment with the rest of the team, especially when it’s not dealt with. So often the fear of conflict, or having that ‘uncomfortable’ conversation, stops performance being managed, and this can then negatively impact those that are performing well. On the flip side be sure to recognise your consistent performers and not invest all of your time focusing on poor performance.
3. Trust and Empower Them
Let them work from home (if it fits the role), be flexible, let them make decisions and most importantly allow them to learn from mistakes.
4. Set clear Boundaries and Expectations.
Avoid misinterpretation! Contract around how you will work together, state what you need from each other, be clear about what is, and what isn’t, acceptable and ensure that these messages are understood by being explicit.
5. Recognise Them
Knowing their needs will enable you to do this effectively; some will need the red carpet treatment, some a short personal email and some will want the cash! Do your best to let those that are doing a great job know that you know. Even those that want the cash will still appreciate genuine acknowledgment.
6. Be ‘in it’ with Them
Hierarchy is key in any organisation to enable decisions to be made and vision to be set, and this doesn’t mean that you can’t also be accessible to your team. Sharing vulnerability, being transparent (wherever possible) and being ‘real’ will go a very long way to enabling motivation around you.
7. Hear Them
We often talk about listening, but how often do we listen to hear rather than listen to respond? We all have a need to be heard and to know our opinion matters. Disagreement is acceptable to most of us as long as we have been heard. Having our view dismissed, or being interrupted, can destroy motivation.
8. Expect the Best from Them
Look for the best in people and you will often find it. Be mindful of the power of perception and how our preconceived thoughts and judgments will impact how we view, and therefore connect, with our team.
9. Role Model the Way!
Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. If you are expecting your team to behave in a certain way be sure to lead by example and do it first. Practice what you preach and you will inspire those around you.
10. Be Consistent
You may have different connections with individuals in your team or you might be having a bad day. Despite this do your best to be consistent in your approach. Lack of consistency impacts levels of trust and therefore levels of engagement.
So in simple terms, the way to truly inspire and motivate your team is to avoid surface level relationships, have the conversations that matter, trust, be straight, appreciate great work, be real, truly listen, look for what is working, do it first and be the same to all. Then see what happens! We believe that the impact will be impressive.