Leadership Development Training Question: How do I motivate my team?

After the age old “Is a leader born or made?” the question “How do I motivate my people?” comes up over and over again in our training programs.

Answering this question is both simple and complex.

3 Dimensions of Motivation

First we need to recognize there are three distinct dimensions of motivation:




Internal Motivation

Certainly the most powerful of the three and frankly the only one that can be made enduring. Growing internal motivation involves many aspects. In our training programs we bring these to life in a practical way. For your benefit we include a sample of some of the aspects of internal motivation.

First embrace the 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. A powerful and wise book that teaches the basics of self motivation.

Second hire your employees based on their existing level of internal motivation. Gaining expertise in this skill is powerful. Developing Leaders teaches a course in behavioral interviewing. This is not a theoretical course but a nuts and bolts how to course. To learn more contact us here.

Finally Learn how to delegate. The ability to delegate effectively will enhance the growth, learning and ultimately the motivation of your employees. This is an advanced technique however and the skilled leader knows who and how it will work effectively. Want to learn more? You know what to do :)

External Motivation

External motivation is the most common form used by managers and leaders and yet many do it recklessly. Motivational seminars and inspiring stories have their appeal and place in motivation. However the skilled leader knows the power of goals and relationship on the motivational equation.

Goals are arguable the most effective tool for leaders to motivate their team. There are many aspects of goal setting effectiveness. For instance setting a difficult yet achievable goal will motivate the most confident of employees while a less confident employee may be shut down by the same goal.

Relationship effectiveness is probably the most powerful strategy for motivation. Not that the relationship itself is motivating, rather the development of a professional trust based relationship is a vehicle to impart motivation. In many of Developing Leaders training programs this is step number 1.

Environmental Motivation

You can’t be present 100% of the time so the design of motivation into the workplace can be a subtle yet effective way to maintain performance. There are a number of ways to achieve this. The maintenance of a performance board is critical to this approach. Other techniques include the implementation of Lean 5S and use of motivational color and decor.

Performance feedback is arguably the most effective form of performance improvement and motivation. A regularly updated performance board with effective communication strategy can work wonders for employee motivation.

Lean 5S instills pride and eliminates employee frustration. These two ingredients make for a more motivated workforce.

Finally it is well known that color and light are powerful forms of motivation. Motivational posters tastefully and culturally relevant too can provide inspirational motivation.

Wrap Up

The is so much to this discussion. So much more that we cover in our training programs. We would love to discuss these with you and offer practical ways you can achieve more through your team ultimately leading to improvements in your bottom line.

Contact us if you want to learn more

Lead well


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Posted in leadership, leadership development, Leadership development Questions, Leadership Roles and Responsibilities, Self Leadership Development

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