For you more visual learns, please also see my slideshare on motivating a team.
My own bubble of life assumes we all work incredibly hard and are all hungry for play time, but also for inspiration. I have found when I am pushed I push back and when I am approached graciously I am more willing to collaborate. (By the way, my definition of graciousness is someone who is warmly agreeable and tactful). I also find that when I am being gracious, I receive a lot more willingness from my team to participate. Therefore, if we boil this down to four easy steps, here is what I’d recommend for motivating a team:
- Remember why you invited this person or group to your meeting. They are there because they clearly have a reason and a right to be there, otherwise why were they invited? Remembering this will immediately recall a level of respect from you, and trust me: this will be felt by your team.
- Recall the meetings you were in that truly inspired you. What did your team manager do or say to inspire you? Of course the subject matter might have been the main inspiration, but I can assure you I have been involved in some incredibly interesting projects and the person leading the projects was so perfectly dull and pedantic we could have been talking about toe nail clippings for all I cared.
- Recall the meetings you were truly uninspired. What did the team manager do in that instance. Really, always recall this; it is a guarantee that you will not commit the same mistake if you vividly recall these mishaps.
- And lastly, remember to include in your agenda (see basics of project management or basics of presenting for these tips) a big portion of joint collaboration. Make sure you have white boards or huge pieces of paper and markers. Everyone loves to draw even if they feel they cannot. Even if you know 99% of what everyone is talking about already, let them speak. Let them think. Let them start understanding and becoming the project. That 1% you didn’t know could make the entire project the sustainable success you want and need it to be. Please also make sure you have water/tea and healthy snacks if the meeting is longer than an hour. People are not machines.
And as I always say… have fun. Humor and wit go a long way.