If you are managing a team and need to improve performance or you are in sales and need to help move your prospect along to the decision point, there is always a reason to sharpen your tools when it comes to motivating others to take action. It can be very draining to keep working with tools that aren’t getting the job done. Here are three tips to help sharpen your saw and get better results out of other people…
Tip #1: Inspire vs desire
I think it is easy to get caught up in our own desires and needs for others to take action and how their performance will benefit us. However, our desires don’t necessarily mean much to another person. A good shift is to focus the communication around the benefits they receive for their improved performance. Being clear and focused on the benefits inspires people into action instead of pushing them. Focus on keeping the end result clear and ensure they are aware of how those results will make a difference for them. You will feel a lot less like you are pushing string, while they will be inspired and drawn into action like a moth to a flame.
Tip #2: Offer incentives individually Recently, I was talking with a friend, Malcolm, and we ended up on the random topic of training whales to do big acrobatic jumps through hoops. Malcolm mentioned how silly it would be to tempt Shamu to jump through the hoop by waving a hundred dollars in the air. I pictured in my mind the whale trainer waving a hundred dollar bill yelling “Jump! Shamu jump! Come and get it.” It sounds ridiculous, but I often see leaders trying to motivate their team to produce at a higher level by offering incentives similar to giving money to Shamu the whale. As crazy as it sounds, most people are not motivated strongly by money alone. The trick is to find out what will really inspire each person individually and incorporate that into the benefits they receive for successful performance.
Tip #3: Ask for what you want Clear and precise communication is an art long left behind. Most every situation that doesn’t work out can usually be traced back to a miscommunication of some sort. In regards to motivating people to take action sometimes the simplest step is just to make sure the request has been clearly made and all the bases are covered...who, what, when, where, why, and how. If you’re clear in your request, all the basis are covered, and the desired results are still not being produced, then at least you know you’ve fully done your part and can comfortably work towards upgrading your team.
Motivating people to take action is not hard work. It is really easy and almost effortless when you use the right elements to inspire actions and focus on using the fundamentals of effective communication. Truly great leaders who have mastered these tools really find very little need to motivate others, in fact the inverse occurs. They find themselves motivated and inspired by all those who surround them. Now that is a goal worth working towards!!