Understanding Motivation

Updated: May 6


Motivation is defined as “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something”.

More than one year into this pandemic, the questions that all of us are facing are

  • How do we find our own general desire or willingness to do something i.e. “How do we find our motivation?”

  • “Why do anything when everything could change anyways?”

And, when you hear these questions from your team members, they are signs of a disconnected/disengaged team. Leaders face additional challenges of motivating themselves and motivating their team.

Let’s begin by talking about motivating ourselves first; let’s start with the observation that everything is changing all the time, albeit at a micro level. And the consequence of not participating in this change will be that we will lose the opportunity to influence the next stage. So, we motivate ourselves to act in order to avoid losing our influence. Going back to the observation that micro level change is happening all the time, we can focus our attention on micro actions. For example, micro actions that bring us joy like talking a walk in the sun, or micro actions for self-care, like virtual happy hours with friends. Micro actions towards our work goals & personal goals. Feel free to break down goals into baby steps, the cumulative impact of these micro actions promises to be huge.

Turning our attention to motivating others; as a leader try the below steps

  • Take the time to listen to your direct reports. Listen to their concerns and challenges, perhaps they are concerned about the health of a loved one or facing WFH challenges.

  • Practice asking forward looking questions like, what is possible around this challenge? or what’s next?

  • Or ask empowering questions like what do you want to accomplish in the next 4 weeks?

  • Connection and Community in your team; partner up individuals in your team or create interdependent work streams. This will force the team members to connect and communicate with each other, and show them that they are not alone, they belong to a tribe that cares about them. That they are valuable to the team.

And, HFL wants to remind you that you are not alone, partner with HFL to discover what you want to preserve or what you want to create. Partner with us to create a motivated team.

Written by:

Vimla Gulabani, MBA, MS, PCC Executive Coach & Mindfulness Teacher support@habitatforleadership.com

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