Motivation is a crucial part of leadership. But learning how to remain motivated, and motivating others, can be difficult. You might believe that some people are natural born motivators, and that it can’t be taught. You’d be wrong. You can learn how to be a better motivator just like you can learn how to be a better leader. Good motivators share specific traits that they use to help their teams become more motivated to get the job done. Here are some ways to improve your skills as a motivator:
Look forward, not backward
When you are motivating your team, you don’t want to harp on the past. You want to look into the future with a positive vision. A motivator with enthusiasm and a positive vision is easy to follow and believe. Look forward and explain to each team member how you envision their role, and how their positive contributions are going to help make the team a better whole. By emphasizing the future, you can focus your team on a specific goal instead of having them feel content about past successes or down about past failures.
Being wrong is ok
This is part of being a good leader as well as being a good motivator. You aren’t going to be right all the time. You might tell your team that you know they can reach a goal, and they might miss it. Maybe you aren’t right about getting a client or making a sales projection. It is totally ok to be wrong, and you and your team should know that being wrong isn’t grounds for getting down or feeling bad about your performance. Every project, whether it ends good or bad, is just another opportunity for you to learn. No experience is a bad one, and there is plenty to learn from being wrong that you can apply the next time around.
Your passion and energy are contagious
Always be sure to share your energy and passion with your team. Your team is going to have difficulties, hurdles to clear, low points where there are motivation issues, and the like. But every team takes on the personality of its leader. As a motivator, you need to stay consistent with positive energy and passion about your work. You have to consistently reiterate your belief in your team and their efforts, and you have to show that energy even during low points. When your team overcomes a challenge, they will reciprocate that energy as they see the results.
Foster positive competition
With team members, a little positive competition is a good thing! From time to time, things can get stagnant on any team as people get comfortable in their roles. In order to spice things up, you might want to foster a little positive competition. Sales teams do this all the time, with boards that indicate sales leaders and rewards for those who get the most sales during the month and throughout the year. But you can foster positive competition in any business. Just make sure that the competition remains positive and doesn’t turn acrimonious. Acrimonious competition can breed resentment and actually hurt team unity.