By John Wesley
21 Proven Motivation Tactics
This chapter is a free excerpt from Rock Star Productivity: Time Management Tips, Leadership Skills, and Other Keys to Self Improvement.
By John Wesley
If you want to make things happen, the ability to motivate yourself and others is a crucial skill. At work, home, and everywhere in between, people use motivation to get results. Motivation requires a delicate balance of communication, structure and incentives. These 21 tactics will help you maximize motivation in yourself (and others).
- Consequences. Never use threats. They’ll turn people against you. But making people aware of the negative consequences of not getting the expected results (for everyone involved) can have a big impact. This one is also big for self-motivation. If you don’t get your act together, how will you ever get what you want?
- Pleasure. This is the old carrot-on-a-stick technique. Providing pleasurable rewards creates eager and productive people working together towards your goals.
- Performance incentives. Appeal to people’s selfish nature. Give them the opportunity to earn more for themselves by earning more for you.
- Detailed instructions. If you want a specific result, give specific instructions. People work better when they know exactly what’s expected.
- Short- and long-term goals. Use both short- and long-term goals to guide the action process and create an overall philosophy.
- Kindness. Get people on your side, and they’ll want to help you. Piss them off, and they’ll do everything they can to screw you over.
- Deadlines. Many people are most productive right before a big deadline. They also have a hard time focusing until that deadline is looming overhead. Use this to your advantage by setting up a series of mini-deadlines building up to an end result.
- Team Spirit. Create an environment of camaraderie. People work more effectively when they feel like part of team – they don’t want to let others down.
- Recognize achievement. Make a point to recognize achievements one-on-one and also within group settings. People like to see that their work is appreciated.
- Personal stake. Think about the personal stake of others. What do they need? By understanding this you’ll be able to keep people happy and productive.
- Concentrate on outcomes. No one likes to work with someone standing over their shoulder. Focus on outcomes. Make it clear what you want and cut people loose to get it done on their own.
- Trust and Respect. Give people the trust and respect they deserve, and they’ll respond to requests much more favorably.
- Create challenges. People are happy when they’re progressing towards a goal. Give them the opportunity to face new and difficult problems, and they’ll be more enthusiastic.
- Let people be creative. Don’t expect everyone to do things your way. Allowing people to be creative creates a more optimistic environment and can lead to awesome new ideas.
- Constructive criticism. Often people don’t realize what they’re doing wrong. Let them know. Most people want to improve and will make an effort once they know how to do it.
- Demand improvement. Don’t let people stagnate. Each time someone advances, raise the bar a little higher (especially for yourself).
- Make it fun. Work is most enjoyable when it doesn’t feel like work at all. Let people have fun, and the positive environment will lead to better results.
- Create opportunities. Give people the opportunity to advance. Let them know that hard work will pay off.
- Communication. Keep the communication channels open. By being aware of potential problems you can fix them before a serious dispute arises.
- Make it stimulating. Mix it up. Don’t ask people to do the same boring tasks all the time. A stimulating environment creates enthusiasm and the opportunity for “big picture” thinking to naturally arise.
Master these key points and you’ll increase motivation with a bit of hard work.
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