Being a leader is not an easy job. Getting people to believe, listen, trust, and do things can be hard especially if your relationship with them is not necessarily personal. Meeting at some point mid-life when you’re raised with different backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings doesn’t help either.
Having the role of a leader — voluntarily or not — you are most likely asking yourself questions like, “How do I get these people to listen?”, “How do I earn their trust?”, or “How do I make this work?”. The thing is, leadership and motivating people are not necessarily innate to someone.
In fact, any skill can be refined and improved on with experience and awareness of the people around you, the situation, and the right things to do.
Be it for an activity in school, a project at work, or being a superior in a workplace, you need to have the right tools and resources to rise to different types of circumstances and take charge — knowledge being the first you should gain.
Aside from being accountable for situations, you are also accountable for the people you work with. And so, having the best outcome for any type of work can be achieved swiftly if you are able to lead and motivate your team.
Knowing the importance of motivating a team, you might still see yourself struggling or being uncertain about the “right way” to do it. If you do, here are some of the most important tips to become an effective and motivational leader:
Set Goals And Let Them Know
One of the first things you have to do when assigned (or assumed) a leadership role is to identify goals: not only your own personal goals but the goal you have for the team.
Examples of personal goals are accomplishing your tasks, contributing to the organization, or developing a certain skill set. Organizational goals can be hitting a quota, achieving milestones, or maintaining growth. All these things should be known and acknowledged by everyone.
Setting goals for any type of work assures people of your plans, your expectations of them, and what they should expect from you. This creates a relationship with trust and confidence. This also helps push people to strive and work hard as their contributions to the team are clear and expected.
Understand Each Team Member
Understanding others is an important practice to function well when you work with people regardless of role. Knowing and understanding people helps you to think of ways to connect with time effectively. This can also contribute to better utilization of a team’s diversity to produce a better quality of work.
As a leader, you have to be able to know and understand each member’s strengths, weaknesses, personalities, needs, habits, and values. You also need to create a space where these things are acknowledged and valued.
Knowing what your team members’ differences are will lead to better decisions and approaches not only in work but in life as well.
Recognize Members’ Strengths
Knowing each member’s strengths is one thing, recognizing their strengths is another. When a member does something well or you see that their skills have improved or are improving, make sure to give them praises and appreciation.
Being appreciative of each members’ achievements can inspire and motivate them to continue to do well or better. You can also share and celebrate these achievements with the rest of the team to also prompt others to excel at what they do.
Although pointing out weaknesses also helps people to improve, showing that you value their work creates a positive impact that can be beneficial in the long run.
Involve Team In Activities
It is obvious that team members are considered contributors to work, but involving them in more important activities should be considered if you want to have a more open and relaxed relationship with them.
Ask them for suggestions or opinions on changes or situations before you make a decision, craft an organizational task where all members can contribute, or design a work structure where they can easily approach you. These are a few ways to keep members involved so they can also value themselves as members. This also suggests that you see yourself as a co-worker and not THE boss.
Empower Team Members
In a setting where hierarchy is apparent, you have to be able to know when and how to diffuse your power to avoid intimidation and division. A strong hierarchical leadership approach leads to a power gap that separates the boss from workers and creates a tense environment.
Bossing people around leads to a decrease in job satisfaction among employees and a negative impression of the boss. This can make the boss feel isolated and disconnected from the team.
What you can do to avoid this is to regularly ask others what they need, how you can help them, and remind them of the importance of their work on the overall growth of the team. This can result in members having appreciation for themselves as well.
Nurture A Positive and Healthy Environment
A work environment that focuses alone can be taxing for both the emotional and the physical well-being of everyone. It also becomes a greater risk for burnout which results in less productivity and a decline in performance.
Instead of pushing people to work hard, push people to work positively. This can be done by honing collaboration, communication, and community-building in your team. Having a strong and positive relationship among team members leads to better teamwork dynamics.
This is important to making members feel fulfilled and “belonged” to a community that regards confidence, motivation, and optimism.
As a leader, you have to consider that change starts with you. You have to set a good example for your members by practicing good habits and having commendable work ethics they can adopt.
If you radiate inspiration and positivity along with hard work, you can encourage people to do the same. This can also form a more meaningful relationship within your team.
At the end of the day, you should see members as people and not only as workers. Their experiences with you can impact life-long learnings and thus it is important to guide them on practices that can positively change their lives.
As the popular Peter Parker principle goes, “with great power comes great responsibility”. The importance of having a “leader” is evident in any setting. The role of guiding people to reach goals and be on the right path means accountability for any outcome — be it negative or positive.
Therefore, having a good leadership approach to motivate the people you work with is essential to produce desirable results for everyone as individuals and the whole team.
By setting goals, understanding and empowering the members, making them involved, creating a positive environment, and being an inspiration, leadership will come easily. Additionally, these practices do not only help you become a better leader but a better person.