- Motivating others isn't an event; it's a process
- An effective leader makes it easy for people to self-motivate
- To self-motivate, people need positive psychological capital to draw upon
- Positive psychological capital is built over time
- Change threatens the positive mindset
GOOD EMPLOYEES ARE SELF-MOTIVATED
Employees that require constant motivation can be exhausting. In fact, they can be more trouble than they're worth. You have every right to expect your employees to be self-motivated, but you're the one that creates the environment that enables them to self-motivate.
Motivation ebbs and flows, it's not a steady state. Even your most dedicated employees have off days. The fact is, you're likely unaware of these off-days. An employee can shirk their responsibilities for a long time before it's apparent to you.
EMPLOYEES NEED A POSITIVE MINDSET TO SELF-MOTIVATE
A positive mindset is hopeful, confident, resilient and optimistic. These are the mental characteristics that trigger one's ability to self-motivate. These mental characteristics are known as "psychological capital".
A POSITIVE MINDSET ("PSYCHOLOGICAL CAPITAL") IS LIKE A SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Key points -
- A positive mindset - like savings - builds over time
- A mindset is based on attitudes - positive attitudes create a positive mindset
- The more you invest in someone, the more their positive attitudes accrue
- Small, consistent investments in people will compound over time
- Positive attitudes - like savings - can be quickly depleted
Saving money is a habit. After a while it becomes second nature. You don't have to deposit a lot. Little deposits over time compound quickly. Motivation works the same way. You build up psychological capital - the key to self-motivation.
Why this matters - Managers have to invest the time to develop the right attitudes. Attitudes are the currency. There are no shortcuts. Like money, there's no "get rich quick" schemes.
10 ATTITUDES THAT FEED A POSITIVE MINDSET
NOTE: These attitudes likely sound familiar, as they're the basis for many 360º reviews, performance reviews and employee engagement surveys.
- "My boss is trustworthy"
- "My boss/company cares about me"
- "My boss is consistent"
- "I have the tools/information needed to do my job"
- "I get timely and consistent feedback"
- "I like my co-workers"
- "My work is valued/appreciated"
- "I'm paid fairly for what I do"
- "I'm growing in the job"
- "Decisions that impact my job are explained to me"
CHANGE THREATENS THE POSITIVE MINDSET
Any change in goals or plans will test the positive psychological resources people have developed. Common challenges -
- The new goal is unclear, misunderstood or seems unrealistic
- There's no real plan in place
- Confidence in one's ability to influence the outcome suffers
- Doubt and pessimism begin to creep in
5 WAYS TO COMBAT THESE THREATS
- Set shorter term goals
- Actively participate in the planning process
- Anticipate challenges upfront and develop work around plans
- Accelerate your feedback
- Recognize the progress being made
10 HABITS THAT PROMOTE POSITIVE ATTITUDES
- Express gratitude - shows you appreciate your employees
- Be empathetic - shows you understand your employees
- Coach - shows you care about their growth
- Raise expectations - shows your confidence in employees
- Recognize their contributions - shows you notice their effort
- Give timely feedback - shows you care about their future
- Explain decisions - gives people context
- Connect people - helps build relationships
- Give some latitude - helps build sense of accomplishment
- Role model - builds your credibility