Motivating Others to do something can be quite challenging.  Whether it’s motivating my children to study in school, do their best at a particular activity, or actually do their chores, it can require a lot of creativity.  Fortunately for me, I get to use those same skills at work, to motivate others.  Well, I don’t get to use all of the techniques at work that I use at home.

Despite the fact that I don’t make my employees do push-ups, or scrub toilets, I’d like to think that I still manage to get them to work harder, and work to continuously improve.  But I do it while being respectful, and maintaining a sense of humor. So, how do you motivate someone to do something better, especially when they aren’t doing so well?

Here are my 4 Tips for Motivating Others:

  • Put yourself in their shoes.  Think about what their values are.  What their currency is.  What motivates them?  Not everyone reacts the same way.  Think about you you would feel in their situation.  
  • Be Polite.  Old fashioned manners go a long way.  Please is a magical word.  Thank you is even more magical.  Use them regularly, and often.  If someone does something for you, pay attention, and thank them.
  • Even if you have multiple issues to work on, pick only one at a time, and work on that one.  Trying to do too much at once is overwhelming, and frankly isn’t likely to be productive for either of you.  Think about how you would feel if someone were coming at you from multiple directions at once.  Not too much fun, is it?  Well, think about the person receiving the information.
  • Tell the person what you need, but don’t make it a personal attack.  Also, you can choose to explain what happens if they don’t do something.  For instance, if I need someone to send me status at the end of each day, because they are working part time, I explain that we need status each day (it’s not personal), and that if we don’t get status, we can’t assume that the work has been done, and instead must repeat the work.  Which isn’t fun for any of us.  Everyone is held to the same standard.  It’s not personal.  And it is fair.

What are your tips for motivating others?  Whether it’s motivating employees or kids?