It is no secret that successful managers, are effective motivators of the people with whom they work. Managers are mostly judged by their results, and to a major degree their results are achieved through people. Motivated people achieve better quantitative and quality results quicker.
Can the secrets of motivational skills and capabilities be learned as part of the successful manager’s toolkit? The answer is yes! In fact it’s considered to be an imperative.
This article is the first in a series of articles for the “people manager” to assist in developing and honing their motivational skills. This one focuses upon the basics or fundamentals of managing people.
To start in a non-assumptive fashion, before proceeding, please take a couple of moments to firstly consider what you know about motivation and where you have seen a successful motivation in operation … And secondly – it’s sensible to try to define the term that we are using. So let’s consider how to define “motivation” – what does it mean?
Here are a few thoughts and prompters about motivation:
- Motivation is the force or energy that drives people to do things, to complete tasks effectively and to achieve and be successful.
- People are motivated to satisfy their own needs first and foremost.
- To motivate means to encourage, to influence, to stimulate or inspire people to work well. It’s to give them compelling reasons to work above and beyond their current perceived level.
- Motivation is in making or assisting people to feel good or experience above average satisfaction about the work that they are doing.
You may not have learned this, but everyone needs to motivate others as part of living, we all do it, whether we realise it or not. A few obvious examples –
- Parents are motivated by their babies or children crying. The crying mostly stops when the baby is picked-up. Crying can become a child’s learned motivational technique to attract attention.
- We are motivated to eat to satisfy hunger pangs, signals from our bodies to fuel-up.
- The instinctive motivation to learn is intense from an early age, and children driven by curiosity can be into everything, with constant questing and questioning.
- The word SALE is a prime advertising technique playing on peoples’ emotions and their motivation to get some cut-priced or cheap priced merchandise
Motivation is natural to us all, except so it seems, in business management.
The two main styles of motivation that are often spoken of here are –
- The “CARROT” scenario (often called positive motivation). Examples are – inducement, reward, praise, or greater satisfaction.
- The “STICK” method (called negative motivation) Examples – motivating by fear, pain, threat or punishment.
In the business context today, managers try to use the “CARROT” methodology to cause workers to feel better about what they are doing, so they can increase productivity or efficiency. Using praise, inspiration, or calling attention to a positive outcome as a result of their work, they attempt to induce workers to do better today than they did yesterday. What some managers don’t always realise, is that workers mostly want to do well, to succeed and progress beyond their current role and that when they are ‘motivating’ people, they are feeding fuel to a fire that’s already lit.
In a future article, we will examine both the “STICK” type of motivation and also avoiding demotivators as a cautionary area. We’ll highlight the secrets of How to successfully motivate, ….. How not to demotivate and how to motivate teams, yourself or your boss and perhaps most importantly, motivating difficult people.
3 June 2017