Motivate Me. Please.

If you think you can motivate anybody, there’s a simple test to see if it’s true. Just choose a stranger and motivate them at will.

Although it sounds silly, the test is powerful because it raises an important truth to consciousness. It is …

You can never motivate anyone. All you can do is make it easier for someone to motivate themselves.

This isn’t simply semantics.

The reason this is important is because many managers believe their job is to “motivate” employees, which can blind them to the importance of some of the things that employees use to motivate themselves – such as perceiving that they are being valued (#1), feeling like they are helping others, or even thinking that they are making a difference or that they are in charge of their own destiny.

By the way, money is usually much farther down the list of things that most people use to motivate themselves (#9 or #10 in most surveys).

As soon as we stop focusing on the “rah, rah” motivational speeches, we can focus on the real role of management – to support employees by stopping them from failing and creating an environment that makes it easier for them to motivate themselves.