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Are You a Motivation Killer?

November 9, 2007

This is a simple question that most of us would be afraid to answer – “Are you a motivation killer?”

Very few of us ever set out to be a motivation killer, but almost everyone at sometime will have taken action or made a comment that will have extinguished, or flattened, the motivation of another.

Think about the time that a team member went out of their way to do something extra and you commented that wasn’t their job; when a colleague decided to go for that special project and you said it couldn’t be done; when your partner organised a lovely dinner out only to find you were too busy or too tired to bother; or when your child did their best but it wasn’t up to your standard.

These could all be considered small things to you, but to another person it is a big deal. But the idea of motivation is all about how the other person perceived it. If in their mind it was seen as criticism or apathy, then it was definitely a motivation killer.

All of us are pushed in a variety of directions by powerful psychological, cultural and physiological needs. Most of us strive for food, air, shelter, love, mastery, self-acceptance, achievement, etc. These needs usually increase our motivation in positive directions.

On the other hand there are many circumstances that can push us in negative directions, including feelings of inferiority, desires to avoid responsibility or success, lack of self worth, rebellion against pressure situations, etc.

We generally try to increase desired motivations and decrease negative ones, but often are guided by the actions and comments of others.

So what can you do to avoid being a motivation killer?

  1. Slow down and gain awareness into what motivated the other person to this action
  2. If you must offer criticism, “sandwich” it between to supportive comments.

With just these 2 points you will turn the focus from yourself to the other person, and just that act can be the best motivation you can give.

What is Takes – The 3 W’s of Success

October 18, 2007

As the current Rugby World Cup comes to a close in France, it holds a great many lessons for business, leaders and the community about the commitment, attitude, and courage that it takes to perform at your best and achieve outstanding goals.

What does it take to achieve at a world class level? To even compete requires a focus that is seldom found in other arenas.  From the Wallabies world record holding George Gregan to the new and youngest members like Barrick Barnes, it is more than just a spark that helps them win.

In watching and listening to these individuals, there is a common thread that runs through them all.  It is as simple as three W’s, but it’s by no means easy.

This can be presented as a three part model—Why, What, and Will—and you can harness it to achieve your own success and reach your own goals.

Generally when seeking success or setting goals the what is the W that gets the attention first.  What is it that we want to do?  This can be anything from running a marathon, to achieving a promotion, or having a happy life.  The key to achieving your what is to be able to clearly articulate exactly what is it you want.  The athletes are able to see, hear, feel and smell the experience they are intending to create.  They know in advance how it will BE.  Did you notice the intensity in the World Cup players before each game?  They were rehearsing it in their head.

Even though the what is the thing that we automatically jump to, without a why it will only be a very shallow success, if it achieved at all.  It is my belief that in fact the why should come first.  I have seen the benefits for individuals that understand who they are and why they make the choices they do.  They then link in the appropriate what in order to more fully express the why.

So you know what you want and why you want it, so it there anything left.  Yes.  Will!  This is not willpower but the opposite of won’t.  Will is a choice (just like most other things) and you need consciously make the choice and commitment to see your goal through.  I wonder how far our leaders in sport, business and life would have gotten if they had not had the will to stick with it.

So there you have it!  Why not pick one things that week that you will apply the what, why, will model with.

What Does it Mean to be a Competent Manager?

June 22, 2007

Competencies – it’s a term that is flung around very broadly in organisations these days. But what are the competencies that makes a good manager into today’s business environment?

In their comprehensive study and report on Competence at Work, Spence and Spencer identified the following generic competency model for managers. These competencies are listed in order of importance (from most to least).

• Impact and Influence
• Achievement Orientation
• Teamwork and Cooperation
• Analytical Thinking
• Initiative
• Developing Others
• Self-Confidence
• Directiveness/Assertiveness
• Information Seeking
• Team Leadership
• Conceptual Thinking

These competencies were in addition to the base requirements of organisational awareness, relationship building and expert/specialised knowledge.

It was shown that the best managers, from front-line through to senior executives, use well socialised impact and influence to improve the functional of the company.

Where would you rate your level of Impact and Influence within your organisation and externally with clients, partners and suppliers?