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Tracey Davison

Mindstrong Ltd

Client Relationship Manager

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Motivate and Engage your Team


In my last post I looked at what it is that drives people to follow a leader, concluding that it's either:

  • commitment - because they want to and they believe in what the leader is trying to achieve, or 
  • compliance - because they feel it is their only option (they have no choice), or it allows them to avoid a less favourable outcome.

If you want to lead through commitment, rather than compliance, then here are three things you should be doing to motivate and drive engagement in your team.

1. Share your Vision
The emphasis is on 'your' for a reason.  People will not be inspired to "go on the journey" with you if you cannot convey your own passion.

  • You must know the goals and vision.  This might sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many leaders lack clarity around the goals of the team and (even more commonly) how these goals fit within the wider goals of the organisation.
  • Know the benefits.  If you want your team to be passionate and committed to the team's goals and vision, you need to be able show them why they would want to achieve this.  In other words, what are the benefits of achieving the goals: to the individual, the team and the organisation as a whole?  Make it a journey they want to go on.
  • Show your passion.  If you are not passionate about where you are headed and why, then you cannot expect your team to be.  In communicating your goals and vision you need to show them how passionate and committed you are to these goals.  Many leaders find it uncomfortable expressing this kind of emotion, but think about how you feel when you hear somebody talking on a subject that they're clearly passionate about. Even when it's a subject you're not personally interested in, their passion alone can be enough to spark engagement and, critically, action.

2. Lead by example and action.
How often have you felt excited and motivated listening to a leader talk about how things are going to change for the better, only to find that 4 weeks later, everyone seems to have forgotten all about it and things are just the same as they always were?  Leading by example and action is about demonstrating how committed you are to the goals and maintaining that commitment and momentum:

  • holding yourself and your team to account,
  • providing your team with support, encouragement and feedback
  • ensuring the goals and vision stay front of mind ; put in place a process for measuring success and regularly reviewing the goals and making adjustments if required.

When your team can see how committed you are to achieving the goals, it has a knock-on effect, encouraging commitment in them.

3. Empowerment.
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." 

This quote sums up empowerment: giving people the power and authority to think, react, make decisions, initiate and innovate.  Rather than letting your team just get on with it, it's about putting in place a clear framework in which you lay out the goals, vision and your expectations and then allow your team the freedom and responsibility to achieve those goals and meet those expectations through their own decisions and actions.  Remember that empowered teams display greater creativity and innovation, are more resilient to challenges and change, take greater ownership and are less likely to leave the team.

Author Profile Picture
Tracey Davison

Client Relationship Manager

Read more from Tracey Davison

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