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As a leader, what can you do to motivate your team?

It all starts with recognizing what motivates people. And when you start to analyze what drives them, you will quickly realize that it is often a combination of variables that is unique to each individual. This means that motivating is incredibly complex.

However, it can be simplified by shifting your approach. Instead of focusing on what motivates people, turn your attention on what doesn’t work. As a leader, you need to recognize that much of what demotivates people comes from your shortcomings.

Here are 5 leadership dangers that can quickly diminish your efforts as a leader and lead your team’s performance to weaken:

1. Being Inconsistent

Are you one of those leaders who is always looking for the latest leadership trends and is quick to implement them on your team? One minute you’re testing the latest approach in “effective communication” and the next you’re trusting an article that explains that it is best to only check in with your team once a week.

In business, there’s always something new and constantly changing your leadership style will likely drive your team away from following your lead.

2. Using Fear and Coercion

People naturally don’t respond to fear well. And if coerced enough, they may even fight back or worse, pack up their things and leave altogether. You may think that just because you’re the boss, you can throw your weight around. However, instilling terror and panic is never a positive motivator.

3. Setting Unrealistic Expectations

Overestimating someone’s skill may be just as bad as underestimating their intelligence. Setting unrealistic goals, no matter how grand the promised incentive, is will only demotivate or insult your people.

4. Being Too Irrational and Self-Absorbed

We’ve mentioned that any number of things motivates people. We guarantee you that one of those is not because they purely want to impress you. And if they were working towards getting on your good side, chances are it is because they are aiming for a promotion; meaning the real motivation is to progress professionally.

Leaders who are too self-absorbed tend to think that people work for them rather than with them. And when people realize that their supervisor has removed themselves from the actual work involved to meet goals, they start to disconnect.

5. Lacking Empathy

Your people can sense when you don’t understand or empathize with their motivators. Without knowing what matters to them, you are in no position to motivate them.

Maybe you are single, live in your dream home, and spend every weekend out-of-town. Without understanding why your team member who is a single mom of two or your employee who plays with their band three nights a week doesn’t want to put in overtime, you risk distancing yourself from your team for lacking the ability to accept who they are outside of the office environment.

It’s an incredible motivator for people to know that their leader, who despite living a radically different lifestyle, accepts and appreciates what makes them tick.  

What are your motivators?

If you found value in this blog and If you have time, let’s jump on a call to brainstorm some strategic leadership concepts you may be unfamiliar with. I think you might be pleasantly surprised!

Then, without obligation, we can consider if working together would be beneficial.

If that sounds good, you can use this link to schedule a time convenient to you for us to chat: I look forward to furthering our connection and learning more about you and your business.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734