May 24 2021| Leadership
by Phil Eyre Founder
One of the fundamental roles of a leader is to motivate their people. The pandemic has caused many of us to pause and reflect on how we are motivating our people. So, what do people need from us as leaders to be motivated? There are two dominant responses in our experiences with clients in the Channel Islands to date:
In our view, this is too simplistic; the more effective way is consider the question of motivation is to understand the quality - not the quantity - of motivation in our teams (and ourselves).
Motivation draws on some human basics. From a very early age, we develop habits/skills that move us towards good things and that move us away from the bad. That’s the basis for human success. You may be able to relate to some of these examples:
We can also develop habits that move us *away* from good things and *towards* the bad, undoing all the benefits and compromising our success. There are often short-term payoffs for these counterproductive skills. But they can become entrenched. In our analysis, we measured four counterproductive habits:
People who are high in the productive skills will benefit from more energy being applied; give them all the ‘rah-rah’ and challenge that you can. But those who are high in the counterproductive habits will respond negatively to the same energy; their negative thoughts and actions will be elevated, not lessened. They first must attend to their counterproductive tendencies.
Herein lies the issue, a one size fits all approach to motivation simply does not work.
Leaders need to understand the quality of motivation before applying quantity. That includes their own actions, attitudes and behaviours as well as those of their team. The quality of your self-motivation will significantly influence how you’re motivating others.
Leaders - lead yourself. If you’re having the proverbial bad day, the chances are that you’re the cause of other people’s bad day, too. Motivation - good and bad - is contagious. It’s incumbent on the leader to ensure that they are managing their emotions; applying positivity, energy and pace at the right moments and tempering frustration, anger and defensiveness - unless, of course, you want more frustration, anger and defensiveness in your teams.
The next step is to look at a number of tactics to enhance the quality of our motivation. Take a look at our subsequent article to find out more.