Over the years of consulting, training and coaching, the complaints I hear the most from leaders, managers and business people involve the difficulty they have motivating and communicating with their team members. They are unable to understand why their team members are “not motivated.” They can’t get their team members to work together… and there’s always those “difficult, problem people” who just don’t “get it.”
Though they mean well, what many of these leaders, managers and business people fail to understand is that not all people share the same motivational drives.
Different “Strokes” for Different “Folks”
As a leader, I know what motivates me; what I’m passionate about and the tendency is to think that the members of my team will be motivated by the same thing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The people who share my motivational drive or interests may do well; and we may even think of them as our “stars.” But are they really? Are we unknowingly ignoring a “goldmine” of “untapped talent” by not understanding what motivational drives lie dormant within the remaining members of the team? To be an effective team leader, manager or coach, the leader or manager needs to understand what motivates the individual members of the team. It could be any number of varying motivators, such as: achievement, balance, autonomy, job security, power or interpersonal relationships.
What employees need most from their managers is for the managers to experience a genuine “shift” from the old “command and control” mindset to a “self-empowerment” mindset. (Please be aware that I am referring to highly competent employees who can do their jobs independently, and not “poor performers” or that need developmental plans/coaching, etc.)