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Friday Resource: You Can’t Motivate Your Team, But You Can Inspire Them

This week’s Friday resource comes from Forbes and lists ways leaders can inspire their teams.

There are two types of motivation: external and internal. External motivation often comes in the form of rewards, money, fame, or praise. Internal motivation, on the other hand, is driven by our deeper values and needs.

Leaders can create external incentives, but these efforts are short-lived once the reward has run its course for the receiver. The best way to produce sustainable results within an organization is to tap into each individual’s internal world and inspire in a way that leads to long-lasting and self-directed action.

When leaders have the right kind of conversations with their team members, it can inspire, engage, and drive employees to act. Here’s what to address in these conversations, according to Frances McIntosh, Forbes Coaches Council:

1. Connect with their core values. “By identifying what’s important to them and what their core values are, your people will have a better understanding of how to motivate themselves in their role because they’re better able to connect what they’re doing to their internal self. When something—a project, specific task, conversation, whatever—aligns with one’s core values, this acts as a catalyst for further motivation. A sample exercise of how to discover your team members’ personal values can be found here.”

2. Provide clarity on everyone’s expectations. “As the leader, it’s important to not get caught up with ‘everyone should be able to do everything’ thoughts. Rather, approach projects with the mindset of how to utilize each person’s skills, along with their values, so your team can meet deadlines while providing quality work and results. From there, it’s about assigning specific tasks and offering clarity and support accordingly. One question you should ask your team as you begin a new project is, ‘What would motivate you to focus on the end goal of this project?’ This helps you get clear on what values your individual team members need met to find their self-motivation within the project.”

3. Support them to self-manage. “By understanding the individuals on your team, you’re better equipped to support them in their own self-management, recognizing what they’ll need along the way to stay motivated on specific projects and individual responsibilities. By offering support rather than telling them to get motivated, you add humanity back into your projects because you consider the person behind the work and what it will take for the person to complete the work rather than just the work itself.”

Read the last tip and the rest of the article here.

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