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Tips for building motivation

We could all use some tips on being better motivators. What does a motivator do, after all? A motivator helps to provide motives for a person to accomplish a difficult or unwelcome task. That's one simple definition, at least, and the one we'll use for this short article. So, let's look at it closer.

I'm nobody, personality-wise; how am I supposed to motivate someone to do something they don't want to do?

First of all, rest assured that lots of folks, every day, find themselves in exactly this situation. They're shy types, mousy, who never stood out particularly in leadership or oratory, etc. And yet they're managers, say, of a company team organized to improve company sales; and they've got to provide motivation, leadership, direction, and guidance for the team. We're talking about a scary, intimidating situation here. But rest assured: you don't have to be George Patton to be an excellent motivator. You don't have to be handsome, tall, well educated, particularly talented, or dangerously muscled to excel at motivation and at building motivation in the heart of your team.

Well-how do I do this excellent job you're describing?

You can start off by putting yourself in your teams' shoes. Imagine that you're a member of the team. You're a member of the team sitting there in front of the manager, waiting for him or her to begin to speak. What would you want at that moment-besides getting out early to watch football or go hiking I mean. Would you necessarily want George Patton to be striding up and down in his shining boots, gravely barking maxims about courage with his gravelly voice and sucking a huge cheroot? No!-you want a regular guy or gal, someone like you, who understands your needs and isn't going to launch into classical oratory. You want someone who'll speak in a plain, soft-spoken voice about goals and assignments, and, most of all, you want that same person to ask for your advice and opinions. And also you want him or her to provide pizza, and not the cheap kind either. Do you think you could be that sort of person? I think you could.

But how do I motivate my team? How do I make them want to work harder?

Well, you don't want to make them do anything; you want, by example and encouragement, to help them come to such decisions (I'm going to do X and Y today) on their own. This means, of course, that you set an example. You do your work. If you tell your team you're going to do such-and-such by such-and-such a day, have it done, and call their attention to it without seeming boastful. A great way of doing this is setting weekly goals so that everyone can come in and state their accomplishments for the week. Knowing that I have to face my peers and tell them whether I've failed or succeeded on Friday is going to be a big motivator for me. Also, you could build motivation by setting up a small rewards plan for goals accomplished. Make up a plan and present it to your superiors, first, and if they agree to it excitedly announce it to your team at your next team meeting. If you're the boss of It All, of course, you can come up with a rewards system and implement it without anyone's permission.

Any final thoughts?

These really are the keys to building motivation: you build motivation through kindness; you build motivation through humility; you build motivation through setting an example of hard work; you build motivation through goal setting and weekly group accountability meetings; and you build motivation through rewarding hard efforts and good attitudes.

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