May 24 2021| Leadership

Motivation Part 2

Tactics to Enhance the Quality of our Motivation

by Phil Eyre Founder

In our previous article, we looked at the importance of quality over quantity when analysing motivation. After reviewing the link to human basics and what we count as counterproductive skills, this next section delves into tactics to enhance the quality of our motivation.


We’ve identified a number of tactics with various clients over the last month. Everyone is unique, yet one or two of these scenarios might resonate with you. (NB all names have been changed).


  • “I’ll find a way to use my experience to teach others” (strengthening ambition skill)

Helena moved to Guernsey and joined the finance sector a few years ago having enjoyed a demanding career that included teaching and lecturing. She misses the joy of teaching adults. We briefly explored some ideas and identified a number of ways that Helena can teach alongside her finance job; her eyes lit up as she began to identify the opportunity.



  • “I’ll stick to our (fee) rate card when pitching to new clients” (overcoming self-defeatism)

Vanessa is excellent with customers; she has a winsome way and clients are attracted to the business. But she consistently feels the need to offer discounts in order to win the work, often suggesting a discount before the customer has even thought about it. By choosing to stick to the rate card, she will generate more value for the business. Choosing to believe her value, Vanessa is already winning new work at the higher rates.



  • “I’ll schedule pre-deadline catch ups with the team rather than leaving it to chance” (building maintenance skills)

Martin knows what he wants his team to do, but typically leaves it too late to check in, resulting in missed deadlines and lower quality work than he would like. By scheduling a series of check-ins with team members when working towards an objective - and sticking to them - he will be better placed to course-correct and ensure that critical deadlines are met.



  • “I’ll ask my partner to do our weekly shop” (overcoming self-sabotage)

John is careless when it comes to food, with a poor diet that’s now affecting his health. He intends well and even makes lists before shopping to try to avoid buying unhealthy food, but when he’s there he can’t resist. For most of us, willpower alone is not enough to change our habits. It’s more effective if we can change our environment. By not shopping, John has removed himself from the environment that is a precursor to overeating. His partner is more than happy to do the shopping.


  • “I need to ask two or three different people for their perspectives, even though I don’t enjoy their company” (building awareness)

Ben doesn’t enjoy taking risk, but he doesn’t always see it coming, missing the nuances in executive team meetings as well as not having a strong sense of the “lie of the land”, especially when it comes to competitive issues. He’s skillful with keeping people that he finds annoying away from his day to day experience, but in doing so, he’s missing some vital information and signals. Making time to invite different perspectives will help him.


  • “I will prepare for that event at least one week in advance rather than the night before”

Jasmine is forward thinking, fast paced and direct in her style. She thrives on pressure. The problem is that it has led her to create a whole world of unnecessary pressure and she’s missing the fact that she’s not always thriving on it at all. Her performance both practically and personally can suffer unnecessarily. By giving herself a chance to prepare properly, she can draw team members into the event, relax in the run up to the event - crucial for effective team leadership - and deliver with far greater impact during the event.


  • “I’ll set myself three priorities each day and decide how to move forward on each” (building resolution skill)

James is naturally cautious and skillful at identifying risk ahead of time. However, he can also be overcautious and talk himself out of a good decision, including starting an action. By focusing on his top priorities, he will have a better chance of taking action, choosing to have the courage of his convictions and at the least, making a start.


  • “I’ll meet with my colleague for 30 minutes each week to set my expectations and review their progress” (overcoming a martyr mindset).

 Jacqui is excellent at solving problems; she’s so good that others impose their issues on her and expect her to solve their problems too. In fact, she tends to invite this, feeling a sense of importance and indispensability. The problem is that this builds resentment and reduces other people’s opportunities to learn. By meeting frequently with an underperforming colleague in her team, making her expectations clear and setting a ‘supportive’ rather than ‘controlling’ environment, Jacqui will be better able to delegate and hold her colleague to account.


We can help you understand your approach and your team’s approach, bringing insight from psychometrics and applying to your particular situation. Contact us to find out how.


About The Author | Phil Eyre

Phil is Leaders’ founder. He has an enthusiastic and inspiring style, drawing on his experience in business, academia and social sectors to help any leadership team to achieve phenomenal performance. Phil has significant expertise in sophisticated psychometrics and in the application of human data for individual, team and organisational success. He has trained with and been mentored by, global leaders in this field, notably Dr Chuck Coker in the US. Phil began his career in the UK offshore finance industry in 1994, working for a wealth management company, Canaccord Genuity Wealth International. Phil was head of the company's Guernsey division, with a staff of 120 and assets under management of £4.5billion before resigning from executive responsibilities in 2008. Since launching Leaders in 2017, Phil has worked with many senior executives and boards primarily in the Channel Islands and City of London. He regularly writes for a variety of business publications and is often invited to speak at events for institutions such as the IoD and the British Army. Phil works closely with clients on focussed projects and long-term retainers to raise leadership standards. He is a popular and inspiring educator and coach who, with the insights gained from psychometrics, is able to accurately detect the strengths and weaknesses in leadership teams and boards. Phil has served on the boards of various charities, ran the Guernsey hub of a national theology college, received accreditation as a pastor in the Baptist Union of Great Britain and is accredited in various motivation and behavioural techniques.

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