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 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, 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.
- 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 in group settings. People like to see that their work isn’t being ignored.
- 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.
Master these key points and you’ll increase motivation with a bit of hard work.