Being able to motivate a team is an essential skill for any manager and yet most of us are not trained to do it. We get to lead a team because we are good at our job but being promoted to lead a team needs totally different skills. How do you manage, nurture and motivate your team? Here are 6 ways to help you.
1. Setting Goals
Most of us find setting goals incredibly difficult to do but if we don’t set goals then how do we know when we’ve achieved them? In 1979 Harvard Business School asked its MBA students how many of them had set clear, written goals for their future and made plans to achieve them. Only 3% had done so. 13% had goals but hadn’t written them down and 84% had no goals at all. 10 years later the class members were interviewed again. 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the rest of the class. The 3% who had written down goals with specific plans were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together!
In spite of such research most people don’t have clear measurable goals, yet goals can be a great way for us to measure our performance. Achieving or not achieving goals can help us (and the people in our team) review what is working and what we need more help with. Sharing goals with others can increase the importance of what we want to achieve and make us accountable to someone else rather than just ourselves – so take the time to set goals – what do you want to achieve today, in 6 months time, a year, 5 years?
2. Positive Language
If we are not passionate about our business/company how can we expect anyone else to be? When we are passionate we automatically use positive language. Research suggests when we talk to ourselves 70% of what we say is negative – so we need to spot when we are talking like this and change the negative to the positive. Change: ‘I can’t that report to you until Friday’ to: ‘I can get that report to you by Friday.’
Change: ‘I failed in that situation’ to: ‘I learnt from that.’ Change: ‘I was lucky’ to: ‘I worked hard for that.’
Positive language really helps us and the people around us to succeed.
Praise your people for a job well done – it’s empowering!
3. Lead By example
If we want to motivate others we need to be a shining light ourselves. We need to make sure that we are respected and valued – so first of all respect and value the individuals in your team.
Be reliable – if you say you are going to do something – then do it. If you say you are going to be somewhere – then be there. Show people that your word is your bond.
Be a great communicator – keep your people in the loop – make sure you filter down relevant information.
Learn to be a good listener so that we can understand what really drives and motivates an individual within our team. We can then offer the correct support and advice as we can really focus on their specific needs and challenges.
4. Share Experiences
Sharing experiences can be a great way of bonding a team. As team leaders it can be really helpful to share a bad experience with the team. This shows vulnerability and that you have been in a similar situation. This in turn can help them to tell you when things have gone wrong for them. Make sure you also share good experiences – success stories. When someone does well, has a good result, makes a big sale share it! This can inspire and motivate others to do the same. Sharing experiences in a safe environment really helps to build trust and loyalty in the team.
5. Continuous development
As team leaders and potential team leaders we should encourage our team to be constantly developing themselves – to learn as much about the industry/company as possible. So make sure relevant articles and new information is shared with the team. Encourage them to attend networking events, attend seminars, speak at conferences, participate in seminars, listen to webinars. Stress the benefits of any training that is on offer.
6. Celebrate success
One of the best and easiest ways to increase morale in your team is to celebrate success. Too many team leaders forget to do this. When the team has done a great job – reward them. Take them out for dinner, to a show, to the pub, a skittle alley, buy them cakes!
Why not take a couple of these tips and put them into action this week and see if they are effective within your team. If you’re an aspiring team leader use some of these tips with other colleagues and see what results you get.
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