How to Motivate Your Team

Success is built on motivation. Think about it, our best relationships are not with people who supply the best product, the most knowledgeable or even whom we have known for the longest. We actually have the strongest connections with people that share the same motivation and focus as us.

We have all hired “perfect” candidates, only to see that they aren’t as driven to work hard as the rest of your team. Sometimes you spend a long time looking for the right service provider and then are let down when the deal is closed. We even invest hours to help our loved ones, but are let down because they are reluctant to take action.

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So why does this mismatch occur? I think that the problem is that humans love to conform. When someone asks us a question, we give them the answer that we want to hear. What we need to change is our ability to screen others more accurately by getting deeper – to find out what really motivates them.

Get the full picture – because sometimes we only see people the way that we want to see them out of our own desperation. We focus on what we want out of the relationship and concentrate our conversations in a limited area. However, humans are complex and there are multiple factors that play a part. Motivation can stem from families, financial situation, desire to fulfill a dream or just to prove someone wrong. We are all different and that is why you need to take the time to explore the possible areas of motivation for each person.

Actions speak louder than words – so when you ask people what motivates them, they might not have an answer. You are asking the wrong question. Ask them what their best memory is – an achievement, happy moment, inspirational time? This is a good starting point to see what exactly is most important to that person.

Get them to relax – adrenaline can get our hopes up to make a good impression, regardless of whether it meets our own essential needs. Truth comes out when their guard is put down and you can have a more transparent conversation. You don’t want to talk to their “game face,” you want to talk to them. Get there by making it recognizable that you’re putting down your guard as well.

Try this with each of your team members so you go into 2016 stronger than ever.

Do It, Ask Questions

“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Chinese proverb

Handsome businessman daydreaming of his business future

I was recently in a meeting with a CEO of a very successful company, one that I look up to. In the middle of the meeting, someone mentioned something about retail in China. He immediately perked up and began asking a number of questions. There’s no doubt that this man is a successful professional, but yet when you found something that he did not know very much about – he asked questions and learned. We think of good professionals as working hard, inspiring others, negotiating well, but another critical quality that I think we need to keep in mind is that they aren’t afraid to ask questions. I think that asking questions shows some further good attributes.

Confidence

No one is really a know-it-all and it is never a good look. Asking questions shows others that you are confident enough to admit when you don’t know. This enables you to grow, just like the CEO did.

Openness

When you ask questions, the dynamic in the room changes. When you are no longer the big dog in the room, others are more likely to open up and ask questions too. With everyone better informed, better decisions can be made.

Preparation

I know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t asking questions show a poor command of the subject?” Well, not really. If you have a series of questions to ask in every meeting, it shows your team that you are on top of what is going on in the business and where there are gaps.

Sales

This might sound a little counterintuitive to you, but it is actually a sales strategy that works. When I first got started, young and naïve, I learned that asking questions is a great way to sell yourself and your company. By doing this, you let others feel empowered and shows that you are interested in their passion. They are more likely to trust you and want to work with you.

If anyone ever seems upset that you are asking a question, they are not true working professionals. Show them what a professional is by showing how asking questions makes deeper connections and boosts your career. At the very least, you will leave a meeting knowing more than you did before, which is never a bad thing.

Remember, asking questions shows confidence, openness, preparation and will be a great addition to your sales strategy.