Management is doing things right;
leadership is doing the right things.
With or without the title, you are now a leader. While working to get more in tune with where you want to go, who you want to be, and how you want to consciously lead people, there are certain techniques that you can use on a daily basis to help maximize your own motivation, help you stay focused and make you feel great about getting the right things done. As you begin to make different choices for yourself, and for others, there are other aspects of your decision-making that you need to be attendant to; things like consequences, reward, communication, trust, and more.
There are consequences attached to everything we do. You can choose to stew and worry about them, or you look at them in the clear light of day, and make a plan for dealing with the possible outcomes. You can logically think through the consequences and even point them out to you team members if you are trying to motivate them for a better performance. It is important to remember that you should never use consequences as threats. Threats will cause people to turn against you. There is a world of difference between awareness and threats. For motivation purposes, knowing the consequences can help many people get their act together.
Incentives, rewards and celebrations are very important. Don’t forget to celebrate your own successes as well. You probably never treat yourself to something good, and it is past time that you did. Self reward is one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated.
When your team members make steps toward achieving goals, celebrate them, congratulate them. And whether its for yourself, the whole team, or an individual teammate, just be sure that you do it after a particular benchmark is reached.
Instructions are also an important way to get the best out of your yourself and your team members. You may find that you don’t feel that you can rely on specific people because they “always” seem to let you down. Perhaps they didn’t understand your message. Instructions often need to be given in much more detailed, delivered more clearly, and more times than we realize. Do not however make the person you are addressing feel like a child, or demeaned in any way. Make the time to provide adequate instructions to help people make it through what is expected of them.
Accountability and expectations
Most people work better when they know exactly what you expect from them. This may mean that you have to write out the instructions for yourself as well. Never take on a project if you are not entirely sure about how you and your team plan to complete it. If there are questions about the steps involved never be afraid to ask questions. Clarity on projects will help everyone stay more motivated to make it to the completion.
Set goals for all of your processes of action. These goals need to be both short term and long term. Be crystal clear about which goals are realistically attainable in the short term time frame, and which goals may take longer to achieve. Goals can help you guide the process of action. Goals are also motivating. When you quit doing goal setting you will lose a great deal of your momentum and your motivation to continue to achieve.
Trust and respect
Trust and respect are two other things you need to keep under consideration. People need to be trusted and respected! When they know that they have these two things from you they will respond to you in a better way, and get more accomplished for you. If you are trying to motivate others you need to give people trust and respect because they will want to do things for you, because it is bright, and most importantly, because it is what you expect from others. Trust and respect… you must give t get!
Critique or criticize
Constructive criticism is also an important part of maximizing motivation. If you are trying to help motivate others, you should know the valuable difference between being critical and offering constructive criticism. What you have to say must always be constructive and not damaging. Beating another person down will not help them become more motivated. But it can discourage them enough that a situation or relationship that may have been salvaged goes bad.
When you provide constructive criticism you can still see and point out the positive aspects of the circumstance while you help people find useful and usable ways to remedy the situation. This applies to you too. Stop beating yourself up or down. Daily, you need to bring positive reinforcement into your mind along with truly constructive criticism.
When you are thrust into a position of leadership, your primary task is to move yourself and your team toward the joint vision. You can try to do this by browbeating people and making them tow the proverbial line. Or, you can do this by finding your sweet spot in motivating yourself and others by positive and uplifting means. The best results are usually obtained, when you try to make most situations win-win.