When it comes to running a team or simply applying yourself to a task, motivation is a key factor in the process of getting things done. We can easily lose a lot of time if motivation isn't at a suitable level. We all need a little help sometimes, and in a work environment it's generally the leader or manager whose job it is to motivate. But how is it done? We've seen good and bad motivators, more than likely, and we've probably played the role of motivator well or not so well in the past too. There are four specific kinds of motivation that work well for different people and different situations. They are as follows.
This form of coaching involves giving clear instructions with a little bit of force behind them. You may think of a drill sergeant but this can also be applied to situations such as medicine, kitchens, police, and any other circumstance where people's lives are put at risk. It also works well for situations where there are many people all looking for instruction. We can address a crowded room with a direct approach. Warehouses, office floors, staff-rooms and other places with lots of workers in them apply here.
Often a team of individuals can work independently from control. It is often the case that everyone knows what they are doing and by simply being present in the situation, they will carry on with it. You being there is motivation enough to stick to the job they are meant to be doing. If you set a good example and carry on with your work, the team will follow. This is a common practice in smaller teams of workers whose job does not involve vital life and death processes like making sure chicken is thoroughly cooked. If workers can't see you because they are positioned too far away, the passive approach doesn't work so well. You will need to be more direct.
Sometimes an employee or friend will approach us with a problem or a request for something to do. Non-directive leadership requires the leader to question the individual and tease out the answer from their own ideas. By encouraging others to use their initiative and to be more relaxed about their ideas, leaders can get more out the team than they put in.
This style, like the name suggests, requires us to adapt to the shape we are in. Sometimes the people around us will not respond to the type of motivation we prefer or the rules suggest. From time to time we have to find a balance between all three leadership styles and personalise this for each team member. We are all unique individuals and this makes it important to listen to feedback and watch for cues that may require us to rethink our approach.
Find out more about Motivating Yourself and Your Team
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