Lately a lot of people have asked me about a good strategy on how to motivate people. 

External motivation (carrot and stick) is a method that used to work well during the industrial age. Motivation by fear (i.e. threatening them) or by desire (i.e. paying more money or promising them a new/higher position) won’t be effective in the long run. 

In short, “You don’t have to motivate your team members, just make sure that you don’t demotivate them.

If you lead a group of people, here are some action steps for you:

  • Create a motivating environment – make sure the people have all the tools they need to do a good job and that they feel to be a part of what you’re trying to achieve
  • Be friendly and respectful (so basic but powerful)
  • Observe your own energy that you bring to work – the energy you see in your team members is a reflection of your own
  • Be clear what you expect and communicate your expectations on a regular basis
  • Get your team-members involved in the goal-setting process – Help them understand the “Why?” and WIIFM (what’s in it for me)
  • Provide regular constructive feedback – what they do well and how they can do better (people will be as motivated as you are willing to spend time with them to help them build their skills – avoid micromanaging, judging and criticizing)
  • Allow them to use their own “thinking power” – the mind is like a muscle; if they never use it, they lose it
  • Expect the best from your team members – you will get what you expect

What would it be like if the people around you would do what you want them to do? 

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