Lack of motivation or despondency is like a virus. It’s catching. It only needs one bad apple in a group with poor motivation and a bad attitude to suck the life out of a project, nullify the enthusiasm of the others in the group and bring the project to a faltering full-stop.
So can you nurture it? Is it something you can have control over?
I would say a very big YES! Motivation is under your control.
You need to be aware of the cornerstones which give us all motivation in order to feel that energy yourself and pass it onto your team.
These are the fundamentals needed for good motivation:
1. Know yourself
First of all you have to be honest with yourself. What are you doing the job for? What gives you a buzz? Is it the money? The respect you will get from your line manager? The reward you feel when your customer is satisfied? Is it motivating to see your company grow? Do you enjoy negotiation and confrontation or do you enjoy balancing the books?
By understanding what you love doing and what your strengths are it makes sense you can visualise how even the most mundane task can contribute to the most mundane goal.
Once you know you and your team’s STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES and preferences you can administer tasks which suit their positives and negatives.
2. Know the road ahead
If you are sure of the journey ahead, you know what to expect and can deal with unexpected problems more easily and with less stress. You can prepare for eventualities rather than dealing with a crisis everyday which will leave you battered, frustrated, angry and exhausted.
If you live in a present day bubble you are only dealing with the task in hand. You cannot see how that may satisfy customers, boost the business, or how you can win respect.
Take time to organise and prioritise your actions, taking into account how your role affects the BIGGER PICTURE.
3. Have clear measurable goals
Without goals, work can be just a constant drudge. Committing to a goal allows you to organise your work better and gives you an end point of achievement. Meeting a goal can be highly satisfying rewarding and addictive.
But the goal needs to be ACHIEVABLE or you will end up getting frustrated and probably despondent. So it has to be measurable in some way.
Remember as well that long-term goals can sometimes be too distant to enhance enthusiasm. So find ways to break that long term goal down into smaller chunks – and with each milestone feel the BUZZ!!
4. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself
Work is just a four letter word. There is the philosophy that you are not working unless you are doing something you don’t want to do and have a really bad time doing it!!! Nonsense! If you can find work you are passionate about, skilled at, and one that you enjoy you are much more likely to succeed and have fun while you are doing it.
So when you complete a task put icing on the cake – give yourself a treat and enjoy it without any guilt – you deserve it!!
5. Be flexible
There is a tyrant and a dictator on your desk: they are called your task list and your diary. Seeing a long list of tasks first thing on a Monday morning can be terribly disheartening.
But learn to give yourself space. Be flexible in order for you to do your job to the brilliant standard that you are capable of. Stop thinking of the task list as the list for the day and prioritise and spread tasks over the week where necessary. You know you are going to have to factor in life during the day – and that’s ok. It happens, so give yourself a break deal with the now and spread your tasks accordingly.
6. Be kind to yourself when things go wrong
Things will go wrong. You are not superhuman. If you are doing your best – no one can ask more from you. You can spend too much time wallowing in frustration and anger and this only wastes time and cripples your functioning on future tasks.
Put a line under it. You are still the same capable individual. Learn from your mistakes and be even better next time.
7. Cute reminders
This is all about a change in mind-set and it doesn’t change overnight. So fill your office with reminders about wrong-head thinking.
Start with yourself. Then cascade those good feelings down to your team. Have a regular workshop on motivation and the feel good factor. Now that’s the kind of training course that may get overbooked!!
I found very quickly that motivation is catching too!! A virus we could all do with!!
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