10 Tips for Motivating Teams

Image of sprinter at the starter blocks.How do you get people excited? How do you engage people and turn their enthusiasm into productivity? Here are ten tips to help you motivate teams:

1. It begins with you; be a role model. If you’re not excited, how can others be excited? Be a motivated member. It’s contagious.

2. Share information; transparency = ownership. If you keep your team in the dark, treating them like pawns in your game, you diminish their trust, encourage rumors, and undermine bonds between members. Good or bad, show your cards and play the hand together if you want buy-in.

3. Bring your problems to the team, seek input. You built a smart team, didn’t you? Well use them! It feels good when you help people, so you can assume they’ll feel good helping you.

4. Keep it informal, dispense with the nitpicking. If you’re riding your team about the petty rules and regulations of an office environment, stop now. Military rule over insignificant details engenders an antagonistic environment. In other words: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

5. Appreciate team members; take them to lunch & compliment often. We’ve said it before: Silence isn’t praise. Let them know you value them and show it with action. (For some tips on this topic, download our free e-book, “The Prosperity Habit.“)

6. Brainstorm together; try team lunches. Once and a while, bring the team together for an informal lunch where you can share ideas. Everything is fair game, though it helps to focus on a challenge you can address together.

7. Don’t change the rules for rewards. Nothing is more frustrating than undermining team rewards with excuses, revisions, or special cases. When you make a commitment to reward someone for a goal, don’t change the reward or the parameters for meeting the goal.

8. Ban individual blame; win/lose as a team. You may have team members who underperform from time to time. Resist the urge to single them out. Sharing success and failure equally as a policy will cut down on ill will within the team.

9. Action over advice; if you can help solve a problem, get your hands dirty. When a team member comes to you with a problem, it’s vital that you show you’re willing to back them with action to help resolve the issue. It breeds gratitude and fosters solidarity.

10. Give room for creativity; don’t pre-judge ideas. Team members need room to explore their creativity. Don’t shoot down ideas because you think they won’t work. Encourage them. Help them refine ideas. Ask them how they will evaluate the effectiveness of their ideas. Regroup later to investigate results.

Motivating teams is challenging. While material rewards are one byproduct of a motivated team, the greater gift is waking up in the morning with a sense of shared purpose, going to see people you genuinely enjoy working with, and building a career that sustains you spiritually and emotionally on a far higher level.

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