Interacting with your team requires a different skill set entirely from managing tasks, events and processes. You cannot rely on rational and logical thinking alone but must draw on interpersonal skills such as listening, relating, encouraging, supporting and empathizing.
One of the best ways to motivate a team is to find out what motivates each team member and what will enable him or her to do their job even better. To find out the answer, and to tap into your team members’ strongest sources of energy, you need to spend time with them, understanding who they are and what makes them tick. You must value each person’s contributions and do your outmost to make use of their individual strengths. When you align people’s individual aims and purposes with that of the organization and project, you will be in an ideal position to create a highly motivated team.
Some of the things that motivate your team members may be relatively easy to implement and will have a big impact on performance—for example, giving a certain person more challenging work and playing better to his strengths. Another team member might want your support and backing to promote a certain initiative on behalf of the team, while a third person would be much more motivated if she were allowed to work flexible hours. These are all things you can control and can make an effort to implement.
To emphasize your role as a motivator – and to become aware of what you can do to improve team motivation – answer the below questions as honesty as you can.
Where you answer “yes” to a question, provide examples to back up your response.
- Am I spending sufficient time with everyone on my team? (give examples
- Do I praise people when they do a good job? (give examples)
- Am I aware of everyone’s strengths?
- Do I use people’s strengths effectively?
- Do I give people the level of support and the tools they need to succeed?
- Do I delegate tasks completely when people are capable of working autonomously?
- Am I working to improve each person’s confidence and motivation?
- Do I know how each team member would like to be recognized and rewarded?
- Do I empower people to implement new ideas?
- Do I foster a culture of open communication, learning and development?
- Do I set clear performance expectations?
- Do I share the project’s vision, road map, and priorities with as much passion and insight as I possibly can?
- Do I involve team members in the decision-making process?
How many of the above questions could you convincingly answer yes to?
Which areas stood out as needing attention? In which ways can you work to improve your team’s motivation and performance?
In the next post we will look at more areas to focus on when crating a highly motivated team.
Click here to read Part II.
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