The daily truth on Motivation

Many experts being heared and read today talking about motivational strategies
      for improving share gain and business success try their very best to analyse given facts
      and experiences to understand how to motivate their employees, customers, friends, relatives...
      Given the fact that it is really wanted to spend energy on motivating others the target always
      results in the feedback of energy.
      We all know that there are different types of motivations:
      1. short term motivations (such as public rewards, probably a bonus check, extra holidays,theater tickets,...
      2. medium term motivatiors (like an extended position/responsibility, trainings, 
a salary raise,...)
      3. long term factors (fun, company car allowance, familiar environment, enough spare time, personal development,...)

Of course there are many other factors being heared what are important to employees (if some takes the effort to ask)
      but the key always seems to be what we can do to others evolving their self motivation.
      No gift given to an employee is as powerful enhancing his/her self motvation like creating consistent fun with and at work.
      Analyse yourself often. What makes yourself to get up in the morning, jump in the car, visit a customer or go to your office,
      creating positive thoughts and behavior what you can reflect to customers or colleagues ?
      Not easy you say ? Easy I say ! If you have been set realistic targets respecting the actual business situation and your own
      situation and the arguments look promising, you'll automatically create a positive feeling and fun.
      This sort of fun will create the energy you need to attract and positively influence all people around you.
      And of course this energy is part of a balance. In the ideal case you recieve more positive energy back than you had to spend.
      But be aware that the counterpart of the balance is a lack of energy on the opposite side.
      Always try to remember that your partner, colleague, customer,... also needs to remain with enough energy to keep his fun
      and energy on a level keeping his/her self motivation in the green range.

Today a common strategy in management is to realise targets by brainwashing people through parroting the company goals
      and visions (or better name it "wishes"). Remember: your employees, partners, customers exactly know what you expect from them.
      And they also expect it from themselves and from you. They probably expect sometimes more from themselves as you would,
      just to prove that they can be proud on belonging to your team. So exactly this proudness is creating the fun and energy to
      let people gain the energy to jump out of bed every morning instead of begging for the TGIF.
      A good leader always analyses the markets, environments, situations, forecasts to navigate people in the direction of his vision.
      But not only people - also him-/herself. Following a vision always requires the ability to adapt to changes - also if sudden.
      Don't put your vision at the end of a tunnel and run straight towards it. Frequently stop, turn around and see if people still can follow.
      Placing variable milestones with realistic and achievable interim goals. This is important to react on unforseeable circumstances
      and will create room for innovative reactions.

If your customer i.e. meanwhile decides to outsource or pause a project - you have no influence on this success-opportunity anymore.
      Running in your tunnel means that you suddenly are in the dark and your primary motivator is gone. Having created milestones
      and ideally interim successes already you have a good base to keep up your self motivation and fun. Because the energy was not wasted.
      You now might want to say: Yes, but our overall target is to increase our annual profit by 10% this year. Nice wish it is...
      In this case your employees need to follow other equivalent targets to ideally compensate the loss, or you can lay them off to keep your annual goal
      by reducing costs elsewhere, you can save costs on assets, travel-expenses, meetings, events, or elsewhere.

Valid actions indeed. But how motivating are they ? Wouldn't it be more costructive to keep the fun and energy level to encourage your colleagues
      to continue on their development of self motivation by listening to their ideas, arguments and customer feedback ? Try not to ignore the market feedback
      or let the arguments of your collegues bounce off your vision. Include and implement them in your vision and strategy and alter your milestones accordingly.
      Realise and accept statements that your daily prices are higher than the market related average. Of course, for your customers the prices are always
      too high and your T&C are always worse than the competitor's. But your customer is in the same position than you. He needs to motivate his people
      the same way you should do it with yours.
      Is it motivating to drive to a customer telling you that he has to lay off 20% of his staff due to cost saving reasons ?
      Is it motivating to hear that you will lose this customer because he is supposed to change to a cheaper supplier to avoid layoffs ?
      Of course fighting on price only will automatically ruin the markets (as it already did) but knowing this is essential to find new strategies in a team
      by successfully motivating its individuals.

As I don't want to drift away from the topic, just need to underline the importance of listening and considering. Some call it the "Sender-Reciever-Model".     

      „thought” isn't said…
      „said” isn't heared…
      „heared” isn't understood…
      „understood” isn't wanted…
      „wanted” isn't enabled…
      „enabled and wanted” isn't realised…
      „realised” isn't kept…

       This model always works bidirectional and closely linked to each partys motivation. If I am not motivated to listen, I can not understand.
      If I am not motivated to understand, I can not react properly. If I only want to transfer my message I already failed before others having the chance to
      realise and keep strategies and plannings. Obviously this defines the difference between leaders and managers.
Teamwork is often underestimated and unkindly groomed between management and employees. Its always a wishful thinking or stating that all belong to a great team
      and averyone is aware of it. The biggest and most dangerous fallacy of managers or directors is to think that a team can be motivated.
      A team moderator always has the ungrateful mission to deal with each individual's part and personality (personal motivation abilities) and egoism.
      "I team - you work" is often realised if teammembers feel overloaded with work, don't want or are not able to take over responsibility, feel additional work
      coming towards them, haven't understood their role or expectations, or simply try to hide behind a group (just in case something goes wrong).
      Some managers still like to tell their teammembers that if some wants to change something it is enough to act like a model or example to others.
      In the best case your teammembers will be impressed about the work you do but will remain from becoming a copy of you.
      The worst case often shown is that your teammembers realise your efforts but feel that they its not their job to support you with additional work as you do.
      I don't want to say that teamwork doesn't work at all - would be stupid to say so - but it is too rare to motiavte a team so it motivates yourself.
      A team only motivates itself if the roles, work and responsibilities are individually defined and agreed as well as balanced fair and achievable.
Important to realise is also the fact that employees tend to decrease their motivation by stating: I'm not allowed to decide or do this.
      This statement results from the fact that people need and want the power to decide or take the risk to implement their motivation and visions
      to a situation or structure. Commonly people are afraid of a risk. Risk and responsibility often have an aftertaste of fail, punishment, blaming and removal of responsiveness.
      No question about the neccessity of a manager to hold control of important decisions. But the normal result of a structure is that people always try to save themselves
      from reproaches or consequences by saying: I am not allowed to do this. Ask the boss for permission.
      If you do so, your supervisor probably tells you a nice story about risktaking and decisionmaking. But what does that mean ?
      Your colleague still waits for the approval of the supervisor. He does not accept you to take the risk and responsibility.
      This behavior also decreases personal selfmotivation and additionally negates your role as model or example.
      In front of a customer you immediately lost your face (and probably the opportunity) if your colleagues or team members undermine your efforts or advice
      by insisting on the supervisors decision or telling you that this is not part of their job description.

Overtime and its social influence. It is an open secret that high motivated people are addicted to success. For some of them its a personal philosophy to gain success
      of even the worst situation - just to keep up the motivation for the next success. This characteristic is gernerally not bad at all and remarkable indicator for a good self motivator.
      But it also requires a capable circle of people and especially supervisors to detect the signs of burn out early enough. If the lack of support from colleagues and supervisors
      falls a certain level also the toughest employee will run into serious issues. And then all of a sudden challenges turn into problems. Each manager and supervisor should
      take care on the employees to realise in time if they are able to achieve the company targets or if the economic situation does not allow.
      Otherwise you push your people through your dark vision-tunnel well aware that your vision never can be reached or realised in the given period (if still visible).
      Unfortunately in many companies the lack of communication between the hierarchical levels is reduced to a "Hi, how are you ? Fine, thanks"  
      reducing a standard question to a standard answer. So the social aspects of a structure turns into a sterile environment what is to 99% dominated by business topics.
      A social and personal environment is also essential inside the companies as the private influence today cannot cover the overall business pressure for extraordinary people.
      Managers and directors with a minimum sense of social responsibility are able to push the employee's motivation also in times of decreasing opportunities
      simply by social communication and carefully listening (and ideally concerning the Sender-Reciever-Method of course).

Nevertheless people may say that they heard all of that already and are fully aware of motivation practises and so on...
      Of course there is no "standard" recipe valid for all companies and every situation in life. Thank god there is none. Otherwise we all would motivate each other by email every day.
      But I hope that the above will encourage the clever to remember and rethink the importance of motivation and self-motivation in these days and how unproductive it can be
      to "motivate" a valuable employee to look for a new job.
      Establish constructive communications with bidirectional, positive effects keeps the success for companies, employees and markets.
        Listen well and remain keeping,
             - Helmut Pawelka -