The Best Way To Motivate Others
How do you motivate others? What are the qualities of a good manager? How do you teach self-discipline and responsibility? How do you foster collaboration and unity in your team? How can anyone be a good listener and a great giver?These are just some of the questions we will answer in this book. You can be a great leader. You can become the best manager you can be.This book will teach you how.
Know where motivation comes from
Once, there was a manager who came in early to Steve Chandler’s seminar. He was wearing a green polo shirt and white slacks. He was ready to play golf. The manager quickly approached Steve and said, “Look, this seminar is not required and I am not planning on attending.”Steve replied, “That’s alright. But I wonder why you came early to inform us that.There must be something you want to know.” “Well, yes, there is.” The manager said. “All I want to know is how to get my sales team to improve. So how do I manage them?”“Is that all that you came for?” asked Steve. “Yes, that’s it.” “Well, you can save a lot of time and go ahead to your golf game.”The manager listened carefully. He waited for the words of wisdom that Steve Chandler would say about how to manage his team.Steve said, “You can’t.”“What?” Steve continued, “You cannot manage anyone. Now you can go and leave.”
“What are you saying?” the manager asked. “I thought this seminar is about motivating people. What do you mean I can’t?” “One of the first things we teach to managers is that they cannot directly control their people. Motivation will always come from within your employee, and not from you.”“We teach managers how to get their people to motivate themselves. That is the key.And that is what we will discuss in this seminar.”The manager thought about these words.He sat down on the front row and stayed for the whole seminar. He spent his whole life trying to manage the behavior of other people, both at home and at work. His life was full of disappointment.The manager finally learned that motivation comes from the inside and not from the outside.
Many people believe that self-discipline is something in-born. That it is genetic. Some people have it. and some people don’t. But this is a myth. It is not true. We can all learn self-discipline.We can all develop it by practicing every day.Self-discipline is like learning a new language. The more you use it, the more you get better at it. Imagine that you moved to Spain for a year and you need to do field work from there. The more you speak Spanish, the more it will be natural to you.You could always carry a little English to Spanish dictionary and use the phrases there. You could ask for directions and go around the city. You do not need to be born with special language skills.This is also the same for self-discipline. You can train yourself. The more you apply self-discipline, the more it gets easier for you. It will soon become part of your every day routine.
A sales manager cannot say “John could be a top salesman, but he doesn’t have any self-discipline at all.” That is not true. Anyone can have self-discipline. You need to help your team members and encourage them to use their self-discipline.You need to tell your people that they have what it takes to be successful. They should not be pulled down by the worries, insecurities, and excuses that they have for themselves.A good manager believes that if his team uses their self-discipline, then they can be successful. They just have to practice it, like learning a new language.
Tune In Before You Turn On
You need to listen first before you get listened to. In other words, if you don’t listen to your people’s needs first, they will not listen to you. Your team must feel that you are on the same wavelength and that you understand.A CEO once consulted Steve Chandler about his problem. His name is Lance and he is in the financial service business. Lance has four women in the major account team working under him. The problem is that they do not trust him. The women dread their meetings because Lance would only point out their mistakes.Lance asked Steve how he could solve this communication problem.
Steve said, “Speak with each of them one at a time. Set a one-hour meeting.”“What do I say?” the CEO asked. “Nothing. Just listen.” “What’s my agenda?”“There’s no agenda. Ask them these questions. “How is life? How is life in this company? What do you want to change?”“And then what?” Lance said. “Just listen.”With this change, Lance is not a stranger anymore who is just giving orders. He learned more about his team and there is better communication between them. The team is more motivated to share their opinions and collaborate with Lance.
Stop Criticizing Upper Management
Distancing yourself from your own superiors is a big temptation. You might do this to win favor with your team, to create bonding that all of you are victims, but this won’t work in the long run.In fact, when you criticize the upper management, you damage the confidence of your team.You are sending three messages here. One, that the organization cannot be trusted.Two, that your own management is against you. And three, that you as a team leader is powerless and weak in the organization.In this case, you make bonding with your team members, but it leads to trust problems and disrespect in the organization. You can do this by rolling your eyes as you talk about the CFO or saying “I don’t know why they are doing this. They don’t understand what you guys are going through here.”
There is the repeated use of the word “they” to refer to the upper management. This further implies that you as the manager and your team are victims in the situation.But a good leader represents the upper management. He ensures his team that the problem would soon be solved and that the upper management is working on it.Furthermore, a good leader never uses the word “they” as he talks about the senior officers in the company. A good leader always uses the word “we.”The word “we” means collaboration and unity. It includes the upper management and everyone in your team. Using the word “we”, strengthens the confidence and trust that your employees have in the organization. They are more likely to be loyal and motivated to work.
Do the One Thing
To do the one thing means to focus at what’s in front of you one at a time. Even if you have many tasks to do, put your mind on the one single task that you are doing right now. If that is a phone call, then focus on that one phone call. Be in a good mood so that you and the caller will have a positive feeling afterwards.The cause of being overwhelmed in life is trying to think of many thoughts at once.The great source of stress in the workplace is having many worries, many concerns, many future scenarios at once.The mind cannot do all that. Starting today,choose the one thing that you would focus on at every moment. When you are doing paperwork, do not let your mind wander and just do that one thing that’s in front of you. Jason is a national sales manager. He just finished a long video conference with his team.
Jason urged his team to reach higher numbers and he warned them that they are well behind their goals. Jason called this meeting because his own superiors are also asking him about his team’s poor performance.He is already working 12 hours per day and still it’s not enough. The worries of his superiors are passed down to him. And that is what Jason is also doing with his team.This is not motivation. As a leader, you need to be calm. You need to focus at one thing at a time. You need to set a good example to your members.
Keep Giving Feedback
People crave for feedback. If you ignore a 3-year-old boy, he will ask for attention in a positive way. But if you ignore him continuously, he might shout, scream or throw things. That is because negative feedback is better than having no feedback.This is also true for adults. In prison, the worst kind of punishment is solitary confinement. You would be left in a cell which has nothing in it, not even windows. Prisoners confined here will do anything. They will show good behavior just to escape that situation with no feedback.What happens with people locked up alone in a small dark room is they develop hallucinations about their worst fears. This is their mind creating its own feedback. The absence of feedback can lead to insanity.
Consider this example. A couple is getting ready for an evening party. The wife asks, “How does this dress look on me?” The husband just replies, “It’s fine. Just fine. Come on.” The wife says, “I knew I don’t look good in it. I just can’t find something else to wear!”In this conversation, the husband told nothing about the dress. But the wife took it as a negative comment anyway.Feedback is important, especially in building a productive team.
The managers who have unmotivated and low performing members are the ones who do not give feedback.Imagine that a team asks, “How are we doing?” and the manager answers,“Well, I don’t know. I haven’t looked at the reports. I think that we are doing good this month.But I don’t know.”Do you think the members will be motivated with this manager? People need feedback to improve. It should be timely. It should be well-thought of. It should be encouraging.As a manager, you should keep track of the results and explain what they mean to your members. You should be like a coach or a parent who is always there to guide and inspire.
Get Input From Your People
A good leader continues to seek input from her team members. This practice is not only good for the whole company. It also motivates the employees.A good leader will ask these questions. “How can we improve our customer service? What are your thoughts on this?” If you ask the right questions to your team, you increase their motivation.Compare this to a mediocre manager who is asking questions like this. “How ya doin? Wassup? How is your department today? Are you maintaining? Hang in there, bro. I’m just dropping by to check some stuff out. You guys are cool. Don’t worry too much. I won’t be too hard on you. You know the drill.”The team of this manager has a low performance. And he cannot figure out why. The truth is that the quality of his questions directly affects his performance as a manager.
A great leader will ask very different questions. She will ask questions that lead to great ideas.For example, “How can we make our buying experience different than the competition?How can we get our people to be like friends with the customers? How can the customers hang out with us more and buy more? How can we reward our people for remembering a customer’s name? How do we get our people to be more involved in the success of our store?What are your thoughts about this?”Asking good questions shows that you value the ideas of your team members. This motivates them to think, brainstorm, and collaborate. It shows that their voice is important in the company.
As a manager, it is your job to keep your people cheered up and optimistic in the face of change. They need to be ready for it. But most managers do not see this as their job. They think they are problem-solvers, firefighters and babysitters. And so, what they have in their team are problems, fires, and crying babies.In the face of change, the weaknesses of your team would be fully revealed. That’s why you need to prepare your people for it. There is what we call a “Change Cycle” that employees go through. It is predictable. These are the four stages and the reactions that people say.The first is Objection. “This can’t be good.” The second is Reduced Consciousness. “I really don’t want to deal with this.” The third is Exploration. “How can I make this change work for me?” The fourth is Buy-in. “I have figured out how I can make this work for me and my team.”
Sometimes, the first to third stages take a long time for people to go through. They are resisting change and it is natural to resist change. We hate to get into the shower, but we also hate to get out. A great leader will guide his people. She will understand the change cycle so that she could help his team to reach stage 4. So, what exactly does a good manager do?First, she would explain the change in the most enthusiastic and positive way.She will prepare and really inform himself about the change so that she could be a spokesperson in favor of the change.The problem is that most managers don’t do this. They even join the people in their resistance to change. They sympathize and talk about how much a hassle the change is.
Some managers even apologize for the change. This should not happen.Internal change is meant to improve the effectiveness of the company. It strengthens the organization. A good manager influences his team to look forward to change. The team should understand that the change is for the better and not for the worst.
Know Your Owners and Victims
There are two kinds of people in your team. These are owners and victims. The owners are the people who take responsibility for their happiness. The victims are the people who always have unfortunate stories. Victims blame other people. They blame the situation. Victims are difficult to deal with.At one seminar, Steve Chandler met a CEO named Marcus, who is asking for advice.Marcus said, “I have a lot of victims in my team. How can I make them see their victim tendencies?”“Try something else.” Steve answered. “Get excited when they are not acting like victims. Point out their ownership actions. Acknowledge them when they are being responsible and proactive.“I have owners in my team too. How do I treat them differently?” asked Marcus.
“You don’t need techniques with the owners in your team. Just appreciate what they’re doing.” Steve explained. “But with the victims, you need a lot of patience. Listen to their feelings but do not let them continue the victim behavior. Show them the other point of view.”“Can’t I just invite you to give my team a seminar on ownership?” Marcus said. “In the end, as the manager, you still need to guide them every day. There is no magic formula to turn victims into owners.Managers who are committed to have a team of responsible motivated people will get it. But leaders who are not willing to work hard will fail.There are three things you can do to encourage ownership in your team. One, reward ownership when you see your people do it.Two, Be an owner yourself. And three, take responsibility for your team’s performance and morale.”
Tell the Truth Quickly
Great leaders share a common habit. They tell the truth quickly than other managers do.On training sessions, people would tell Steve Chandler about their limitations. He would listen to them and help them see that they have no limitations at all. But the people would still believe in these limitations and let it limit their potentials.One day, Steve was with a salesperson in a one-on-one coaching session. The salesman was talking about his limitations and suddenly, Steve just said, “You know what, you are just lying to me.”“What?” the man said.“You’re lying. Don’t tell me there is nothing you can do because there are many things you can do. So let us work on this truth. If we do, we can get faster to your success.” Steve explained.The salesman was shocked. He just stared at Steve for a while.
But Steve was tired of hearing people talk about their limitations when it is not true.Steve thought that the man would be mad. After all, he called him a liar. But instead, the salesman smiled. He sat back on his chair and said, “You know what Steve, you are right.”“Really?”“Yes. You are right. There’s a lot I can do.”You hear this lie everyday in the world of business.Another version of it is “I am helpless and powerless.”Now what if a salesperson asks herself in the morning “If I were to coach myself, what advice would I give myself right now? What action would bring the highest return to me? If I were my customer, what would I want me to do?”
The answer is to GIVE. The most successful salesperson, in fact, the most successful person is the one who is a great giver. The one who gives, gives, and gives all day, the ones who puts the clients needs first is the one who will succeed.What is there to give? It can be helpful information, sincere acknowledgement, cheerful friendly encounters, or offers of service. It could be anything at all. Again, it’s not true that there is nothing you can do. You can always give.
1. Know where motivation comes from
2. Practice self-discipline
3. Listen to your people
4. Never criticize the upper management
5. Focus on the one task that’s in front of you
6. Give immediate and encouraging feedback
7. Get input from your people
8. Be the spokesperson of change
9. Turn the victims into owners
10. Be a great giver
Thank You . . .
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