Are You Dangling Carrots or Using Sticks?

How do I motivate others to do what I need them to do? The truth of the matter is – you can’t. You can’t motivate anyone to do anything that they don’t really want to do. Whether you are dangling carrots or using sticks won’t matter. People do things for their own reasons – not yours. Just because you say it – it doesn’t make it so. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. The key to motivating others is by creating an environment in which they will want to motivate themselves. To create that environment you need a clear understanding of what motivates others into taking action.

Worth Remembering … “It is only when a person has their own genertator that we can talk about motivation. They need no outside stimulation. They want to do it.” – Frederick Herzberg 

The key is to find out what they want, and then use that understanding to get them to do what you want.  You have to figure out what’s their WIIFM. (What’s in it for me). I believe  for the most part that people are inherently self-serving and will only do something if they believe they are going to benefit from it. If they aren’t going to get their WIIFM, then they won’t be motivated enough to put in the effort. Even people who volunteer their time or donate money for a good cause are getting some kind of WIIFM or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

Worth Remembering … “The common wisdom is that managers have to learn to motivate people. Nonsense – Employees bring their own motivation.” – Tom Peters

If you have the power to grant them their WIIFM, then you’ll have their attention. If they want theirs – and you want yours – then all you have to do is create a win-win. They win because they got their WIIFM and you won because you got them to do what needs to be done to complete the task, to  accomplish the goal. If you want to motivate someone to do what you need them to do – then you need to put down the stick and offer them a carrot. When you can do that everyone gets their WIIFM.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Understanding yourself well and studying the behaviour of others allows you to improve your performance in relationships both at work and at home. According to Daniel Goleman, author of “Working with Emotional Intelligence” and a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, emotional intelligence now plays a more pivotal role in determining one’s overall success. Goleman contends that sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to manage and lead others are emotionally based. Your ability to communicate and interact with others effectively is the key ingredient in building collaborative teams, resolving conflict and motivating others to perform at their personal best.

Worth Remembering … “A common core of personal and social abilities has proven to be the key ingredient in people’s success”. – Daniel Goleman

Dr. William Marston, the creator of DISC, believes that there are four distinct styles of behaviour and that each style communicates and interacts differently. Each style likes to be managed and likes to manage others differently. If that is true, then all you need to do is learn how to communicate and interact with them in a style that they like. If you can learn to do that – then chances are they’d be more receptive to your management style because you are working with them in a way that they like. People like to work with people they like. You need to be able to make that emotional connection.

Worth Remembering … “The task of an executive is not to change human beings. The task is to multiply performance capacity of the whole by putting to use whatever strength, whatever health, whatever aspirations there is in individuals”. – Peter F. Drucker

There are four distinct styles of behaviour. The key to managing and leading others is to work with them in a style that they like.

D: Dominant. They like to be in charge and lead the charge. The key to working with a D is to make communication brief and to the point. Respect their need for autonomy and be clear about rules and expectations but let them go about accomplishing them – their way.

I: Interative/Interpersonal. They love being around people and work well in a social setting. The key to working with an I is let them verbalize thoughts and feelings. Provide written details on what you want to accomplish but keep the conversation light.

S: Steady. They are very loyal. However, they can be indecisive for fear of making a mistake. The key to working with an S is to provide a consistent and secure environment. Be logical and systematic in your approach and let them adapt to change slowly.

C: Conscientious. They are your best planners. They believe knowledge is power. The key to working with a C is to be precise and focused. Be sure to give clear expectations and deadlines. They strive to be perfect.

Different strokes for different folks. Ken Blanchard said it best. “Everyone has peak performance potential. You just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there”. If you can learn to adapt your management style to be more in tune with theirs – you’ll be amazed with how effective you can be.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – https://briansmithpld.com. To find out more about DISC and how it can help you manage and lead others more effectively contact Brian at brian@briansmithpld.com

What’s Your LOA?

What’s your LOA – Your Level of Authority? How far can you go to satisfy your customer’s need without having to get permission? How sure are you that someone higher up in the pecking order won’t override your decision and undermine your authority, making you look weak in front of your customers or staff? What level are your direct reports at and how much autonomy do they have to make decisions without your approval? You can call it delegation – you can call it empowerment – you can call it what ever you want to call it but you’ve got to get it off your plate and on to theirs.

General Levels of Authority.

Level One: Get the facts – I’ll decide

Level Two: Suggest alternatives – I’ll decide

Level Three: Recommend an alternative – I’ll decide

Level Four: Decide – wait for my approval

Level Five: Decide – act unless I say no

Level Six: Act – report results

Level Seven: Act – report if unsuccessful

Level Eight: Act – reporting not needed.

Your job is to give your people the opportunity to grow. What do you need to do to keep moving them up the ladder? The higher the level – the less time you’ll need to spend putting out fires. The higher the level – the more time you’ll have to do what managers and leaders should be doing. Everyone can be at different levels. It just depends on how comfortable you are that they would make the same decision you would have made. I like to move everyone up to level six – what about you?

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Are You Listening?

secret 5Are you listening or are you just waiting for the other person to take a breath so you can jump in and take over the conversation? Research conducted by Dr, Ralph Nichols revealed that individuals listen about 25% of the time; most people recall only 50% of what they hear, and 70% of all misunderstandings happen because people don’t listen to each other. The study concluded that grade school-aged children listen to their teacher just 25% of the time. By the time that student graduates from high school they are listening to the teacher just 17% of the time. Based on those percentages how much do you think they are listening by the time they start working for you?

Worth Remembering … “There is no such thing as a bad listener. There is only a person with inflexible listening habits” – Doug Larson

When you change the habit you change the result. We are adults and we can learn new habits. All you have to do is stop doing one thing and start doing another and if you do it often enough – 21 times in a row – it will become your new habit.

Listening is a learned behaviour. You won’t hear a thing if you are the only one talking. The next time you are having a conversation with someone here are 3 things you can do to become a more “active” listener.

  • Be patient with yourself and the speaker. Do not interrupt. Concentrate on what the other person is saying. When they have finished speaking, ask questions for clarity so you know and they know you’ve heard what was said.
  • Focus on the speaker. Put your phone away, put down that paper and pen and face the speaker. Give the speaker your undivided attention. Don’t cross your arms, be sure to smile and nod your head once in a while so the speaker knows you’re still listening.
  • Try not to become emotional. React and respond to what is being said – not who is saying it. Respect the fact that people have a right to express their opinion but you don’t have to agree with it. We are adults and we can agree to disagree.

Worth Remembering“In the industrial age, the CEO sat on the top of the hierarchy and didn’t have to listen to anybody. In the information age, you have to listen to the ideas of people regardless of where they are in the organization.” – John Sculley

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or email him – brian@briansmithpld.com