There is definitely a difference between motivation and intimidation. “You can do it!” and “Do it or you’re fired!” are at opposite ends of the spectrum. We all need a little motivation now and then. As a manager, motivating your team is an important part of your job. By being positive, even when you have goals which are difficult, your team will also remain positive. Here are three ways to motivate your team when the going gets tough:
There is a scene in the movie Liar Liar when Jim Carrey, well, watch the clip here. After his son makes a birthday wish that his dad could only tell the truth – oy vey! This is a rather comedic look at taking responsibility, but it makes a great point: do not shift blame. If you made a mistake, own up to it. By doing this you are teaching your team that everyone is human, even management. It is not the mistake that will have the most impact; it is what is learned from it. Once you identify a mistake, make a plan to fix it and take action.
Remember that a manager is a leader first, and a manager second. Your team should never doubt you are in the trenches with them, and together you can reach your goals. Jump right in and get your hands dirty. Ask them how you can help then be available. This will not only show them you believe the goals are possible, but it will earn their respect as well.
Take the time to explain the goals to your team and why they were set. Then cut the cord and let them do their job. The most empowering act you can bestow upon your team is that of autonomy. Give your team the tools and training needed to do their job then watch the magic unfold.
Take responsibility for your actions, assist your team, and be their biggest advocate. You will have a happier, more productive team. The more vested you are in them, the more vested they will become in you. And this is the recipe for a winning team.