The daily truth on Motivation
Many experts being heared and read today talking about motivational strategies
for improving share gain and business success try their very best to analyse given facts
and experiences to understand how to motivate their employees, customers, friends, relatives...
Given the fact that it is really wanted to spend energy on motivating others the target always
results in the feedback of energy.
We all know that there are different types of motivations:
1. short term motivations (such
as public rewards, probably a bonus check, extra holidays,theater
2. medium term motivatiors (like an extended position/responsibility, trainings, a salary raise,...)
3. long term factors (fun, company car
allowance, familiar environment, enough spare time, personal
Of course there are many other factors being heared what are important to employees (if some takes the effort to ask)
but the key always seems to be what we can do to others evolving their self motivation.
No gift given to an employee is as powerful enhancing his/her
self motvation like creating consistent fun with and at work.
Analyse yourself often. What makes yourself
to get up in the morning, jump in the car, visit a customer or go to
creating positive thoughts and behavior what you can reflect to customers or colleagues ?
Not easy you say ? Easy I say ! If you have
been set realistic targets respecting the actual business situation and
situation and the arguments look
promising, you'll automatically create a positive feeling and fun.
This sort of fun will create the energy you
need to attract and positively influence all people around you.
And of course this energy is part of a
balance. In the ideal case you recieve more positive energy back than
you had to spend.
But be aware that the counterpart of the balance is a lack of energy on the opposite side.
Always try to remember that your partner,
colleague, customer,... also needs to remain with enough energy to keep
and energy on a level keeping his/her self motivation in the green range.
Today a common strategy in management is to realise targets by brainwashing people through parroting the company goals
and visions (or better name it "wishes").
Remember: your employees, partners, customers exactly know what you
expect from them.
And they also expect it from themselves and
from you. They probably expect sometimes more from themselves as you
just to prove that they can be proud on
belonging to your team. So exactly this proudness is creating the fun
and energy to
let people gain the energy to jump out of bed every morning instead of begging for the TGIF.
A good leader always analyses the markets,
environments, situations, forecasts to navigate people in the direction
of his vision.
But not only people - also him-/herself.
Following a vision always requires the ability to adapt to changes -
also if sudden.
Don't put your vision at the end of a tunnel
and run straight towards it. Frequently stop, turn around and see if
people still can follow.
Placing variable milestones with realistic
and achievable interim goals. This is important to react on
and will create room for innovative reactions.
your customer i.e. meanwhile decides to outsource or pause a project -
you have no influence on this success-opportunity anymore.
Running in your tunnel means that you
suddenly are in the dark and your primary motivator is gone. Having
and ideally interim successes already you
have a good base to keep up your self motivation and fun. Because the
energy was not wasted.
You now might want to say: Yes, but our
overall target is to increase our annual profit by 10% this year. Nice
wish it is...
In this case your employees need to follow
other equivalent targets to ideally compensate the loss, or you
can lay them off to keep your annual goal
by reducing costs elsewhere, you can save
costs on assets, travel-expenses, meetings, events, or elsewhere.
actions indeed. But how motivating are they ? Wouldn't it be more
costructive to keep the fun and energy level to encourage your
to continue on their development of self
motivation by listening to their ideas, arguments and customer feedback
? Try not to ignore the market feedback
or let the arguments of your collegues bounce
off your vision. Include and implement them in your vision and strategy
and alter your milestones accordingly.
Realise and accept statements that your daily
prices are higher than the market related average. Of course, for your
customers the prices are always
too high and your T&C are always
worse than the competitor's. But your customer is in the same position
than you. He needs to motivate his people
the same way you should do it with yours.
Is it motivating to drive to a customer telling you that he has to lay off 20% of his staff due to cost saving reasons ?
Is it motivating to hear that you will lose
this customer because he is supposed to change to a cheaper supplier to
avoid layoffs ?
Of course fighting on price only will
automatically ruin the markets (as it already did) but knowing this is
essential to find new strategies in a team
by successfully motivating its individuals.
I don't want to drift away from the topic, just need to underline the
importance of listening and considering. Some call it the
„thought” isn't said…
„said” isn't heared…
„heared” isn't understood…
„understood” isn't wanted…
„wanted” isn't enabled…
„enabled and wanted” isn't realised…
„realised” isn't kept…
model always works bidirectional and closely linked to each partys
motivation. If I am not motivated to listen, I can not understand.
If I am not motivated to understand, I can
not react properly. If I only want to transfer my message I already
failed before others having the chance to
realise and keep strategies and plannings.
Obviously this defines the difference between leaders and managers.
is often underestimated and unkindly groomed between management and
employees. Its always a wishful thinking or stating that all belong to
a great team
and averyone is aware of it. The biggest and
most dangerous fallacy of managers or directors is to think that a team
can be motivated.
A team moderator always has the ungrateful
mission to deal with each individual's part and personality (personal
motivation abilities) and egoism.
"I team - you work" is often realised if
teammembers feel overloaded with work, don't want or are not able to
take over responsibility, feel additional work
coming towards them, haven't understood their
role or expectations, or simply try to hide behind a group (just in
case something goes wrong).
Some managers still like to tell their
teammembers that if some wants to change something it is enough to act
like a model or example to others.
In the best case your teammembers will be
impressed about the work you do but will remain from becoming a copy of
The worst case often shown is that your
teammembers realise your efforts but feel that they its not their job
to support you with additional work as you do.
I don't want to say that teamwork doesn't
work at all - would be stupid to say so - but it is too rare to
motiavte a team so it motivates yourself.
A team only motivates itself if the roles,
work and responsibilities are individually defined and agreed as well
as balanced fair and achievable.
to realise is also the fact that employees tend to decrease their
motivation by stating: I'm not allowed to decide or do this.
This statement results from the fact that
people need and want the power to decide or take the risk to implement
their motivation and visions
to a situation or structure. Commonly people
are afraid of a risk. Risk and responsibility often have an aftertaste
of fail, punishment, blaming and removal of responsiveness.
No question about the neccessity of a manager
to hold control of important decisions. But the normal result of a
structure is that people always try to save themselves
from reproaches or consequences by saying: I am not allowed to do this. Ask the boss for permission.
If you do so, your supervisor probably tells
you a nice story about risktaking and decisionmaking. But what does
that mean ?
Your colleague still waits for the approval
of the supervisor. He does not accept you to take the risk and
This behavior also decreases personal
selfmotivation and additionally negates your role as model or example.
In front of a customer you immediately lost
your face (and probably the opportunity) if your colleagues or team
members undermine your efforts or advice
by insisting on the supervisors decision or
telling you that this is not part of their job description.
its social influence. It is an open secret that high motivated people
are addicted to success. For some of them its a personal philosophy to
of even the worst situation - just to keep up
the motivation for the next success. This characteristic is gernerally
not bad at all and remarkable indicator for a good self motivator.
But it also requires a capable circle of
people and especially supervisors to detect the signs of burn out early
enough. If the lack of support from colleagues and supervisors
falls a certain level also the toughest
employee will run into serious issues. And then all of a sudden
challenges turn into problems. Each manager and supervisor should
take care on the employees to realise in time
if they are able to achieve the company targets or if the economic
situation does not allow.
Otherwise you push your people through your
dark vision-tunnel well aware that your vision never can be reached or
realised in the given period (if still visible).
Unfortunately in many companies the lack of
communication between the hierarchical levels is reduced to a "Hi, how
are you ? Fine, thanks"
reducing a standard question to a standard
answer. So the social aspects of a structure turns into a sterile
environment what is to 99% dominated by business topics.
A social and personal environment is also
essential inside the companies as the private influence today cannot
cover the overall business pressure for extraordinary people.
Managers and directors with a minimum sense
of social responsibility are able to push the employee's motivation
also in times of decreasing opportunities
simply by social communication and carefully
listening (and ideally concerning the Sender-Reciever-Method of
Nevertheless people may say that they heard all of that already and are fully aware of motivation practises and so on...
Of course there is no "standard" recipe valid
for all companies and every situation in life. Thank god there is none.
Otherwise we all would motivate each other by email every day.
But I hope that the above will encourage the
clever to remember and rethink the importance of motivation and
self-motivation in these days and how unproductive it can be
to "motivate" a valuable employee to look for a new job.
Establish constructive communications with
bidirectional, positive effects keeps the success for companies,
employees and markets.
Listen well and remain keeping,
- Helmut Pawelka -