3 Quick Ways To Motivate Yourself

The word “motivation” comes from the Latin word “movere”, which means “to stir or move”.  We experience motivation when an emotion or desire drives us enough to bring about the results of any goal or accomplishment.  And let’s face it, we all need motivation from time to time.  Maybe you’re stuck in a rut, or you might have a lot on your plate.  Either way you need to snap out of it and get back on track.  Okay, it’s easier said than done.  How can you be expected to just snap out of it?  You can’t wave your magic wand, but you can start a cycle that will push you along and keep you on the right track.  Here are 3 quick ways to start that cycle and motivate yourself.

Learn Something New

You will naturally feel a sense of accomplishment when you learn something new.  This will not only make you feel better, but it will boost your value in the eyes of your company.  Taking initiative to become more proficient at a skill, or the expansion your knowledge base, shows that you care not only about your personal success, but the success of the company.  Any time you do which ultimately benefits your employer, your value increases.  You can take a simple online class, attend a seminar, or even attend a webinar if you can’t afford to leave the office.  Some employers will even offer to pay for such courses, which is a great motivator (there’s that word again!) to attend.  Then showcase your accomplishments on your resume, or professional profiles.

Push Your Limits

I attended a seminar where speaker asked everyone to stand and reach as high as we could.  Then he said, “Now stretch another inch.”  Guess what?  We all could.  We were challenged to reach up our highest the first time yet were all able to reach up just a little bit more.  Never stop challenging yourself and reaching for a little more.  You might feel intimidated when facing a new project.  Face it head on.  Afraid of going outside your comfort zone?  Feeling uncomfortable shouldn’t damper your enthusiasm.  In fact, that sense you get when you think you have hit a brick wall is sometimes exactly what you need to push you past your limit and give you that breakthrough moment.  Rely on your team; realize everyone needs help now and again.  By showing you’re willing to take on any challenge, you encourage those around you to do the same.

Don’t Worry About What Others Think of You

In today’s world of never-ending judgment, this may seem impossible.  Just be yourself, and stand for what you believe in.  Voice your opinion, even if it does not align with other members of your team.  If you believe your ideas truly represent what is best for the company, gather evidence and information to support them and present them.  They may not always be chosen but showing that you put thought into such notions speaks volumes.  In the words of Polonius: “To thine own self be true”.


Are You A Good Manager?

As a manager, you regularly evaluate your team’s performance, but do you ever stop to think about your own?  Their performance is a direct reflection of yours, after all.  Maintaining your role as leader, not friend, will go far in helping you be looked upon with respect.  It is difficult to be an effective manager if you are spending time outside of work with your employees.

Nobody Likes Me!

Being a manager is much more than being likeable.  Your ability to communicate to your team and give them clear instructions is vital.  These skills do not come from being buddy-buddy.  You will need to work on how you communicate so your team understands you from the get go.  Ensure they know what you are looking for and what you expect of them.   Make sure they know that if they are unclear about anything they have your full support and you will clarify.

Be Constructive in Your Criticism

As your team works through their projects, give them regular feedback.  Be careful you do not just tell them what they have done wrong, but work with them on how it should be adjusted.  This will help them learn and they will be able to apply that lesson in the future.  It is important to give them the space to work and try different options without fear of criticism.

Stay Involved, But Not Too Involved

Stay involved with your team, but do not micromanage them.  Remain open-minded and listen to their ideas.  Your team often sees things from a different point of view, and they may have some good contributions.  However, if you do not choose to use their suggestions, let them know why.  This will assure them you appreciate their input; it just was not right for that particular situation.

Trust is Key

A good manager puts full trust in their team.  Allow your team to manage their own time and prioritize their tasks.  If they are successfully completing their projects and meeting their deadlines, you look good and they feel great.

Get to Know Your Team

Every team member is different, and they react differently.  Some may need ongoing encouragement, while others just need to be given the assignment and let loose. Get to know each team member’s nuances and guide them to a successful outcome.  Do not be afraid to raise your expectations so your team elevates themselves to excellence. Just be careful you do not set unrealistic goals, or they will be disappointed if they are unable to achieve your lofty ideals.

Be Willing to Adjust

Things will not always go as planned so be able to adjust – plan on the fly.  Address your team’s performance, if necessary, but never turn away from the challenges.  Face them and get your team back on track.  And through it all, treat your team with respect.  Be grateful and they will give you their all – making them look good and you look great.

So, You’re A Manager… Now What?

Congratulations!  You’re a manager.  Now what?  Your number one priority is to lead your team and guide them to success.  Your leadership will be the difference between a team that just gets the job done, and one who is sought after.  So, what do you need to do?

Prove Your Worth

The management role is purely overhead, so you need to constantly prove your value.  By showing that your team is more productive with your leadership, you demonstrate the value you bring.  You want things to run smoothly while you are in charge, and you want the company to recognize that the flow is easy because of your leadership.  They also need to see that without it, productivity will go down and the team most likely will not perform at the same level.

Get it All Organized

Being a manager requires a great deal of organization.  Leading your team is number one, but that does not negate other responsibilities.  Keeping records and getting into compliance with state laws are imperative. Determine the best course of action to help everything run smoothly and present it to your team.  Let them know their roles and your expectations and be sure to answer their questions.  You need them to be on board with you and that is difficult if they are unclear.  You can resolve your team’s concerns if you listen and help them develop solutions.

Your Team is an Extension of You

As a manager, your team is your greatest asset, so strong people skills are essential. Your team will reflect your style as a leader.  You need to realize that every team member is different, and they need to be treated accordingly.  By treating each person uniquely, you break the cookie cutter mold that many managers fall into.  Be aware of your team’s needs and manage them according to their individuality.  Get to know your team and you will become a more effective manager.  When your team deals with clients, you want your leadership to be seen through them.  You can do this by treating each of them as the important person they are.

Be a Doer, Not Just a Teller

Be hands-on when you lead your team.  Get your hands dirty and jump right in. Demonstrate that you will do whatever you ask of them.  Make sure you listen to, and consider, their input and opinions.  For them to take ownership of any project, they need to feel confident and know you support them 100%.  Any employee who does not feel their manager is on their side will not be successful.  Keep your team properly trained, get them engaged, and give them all tools necessary to achieve their goals.

Although managing people has its challenges, it is very rewarding.  Prepare a plan of action, keep an eye on progress, and adjust as necessary.  Be a manager your team wants to emulate, and success will be yours.