Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be. Von Goethe
In a world where there is so much choice and people are extremely conscious of their decisions and the consequences of them, it is very hard to motivate, influence, encourage or inspire a group of people with a single motivational technique.
What motivates people?
Different things motivate different people. Some say the call to action simply needs to appeal to people’s values – but that’s pretty broad. Some suggest that it’s more 50/50 – all it takes is a simple call-to-action and a willingness to do them. Then there are the step solutions:
Step 1 – Clearly articulate the call to action and why
Step 2 – Involve people in finding the solutions
Step 3 – Explain the rules
Step 4 – Link personal goals to organisational goals
Step 5 – Eliminate the weakest links (aka negative people).
There isn’t really a single one-stop-shop to motivating people – it’s a simple fact that different things will motivate different people. There is never any one thing that can motivate a whole crowd of unfamiliar strangers to do the same call to action. It will always appeal to some and not to others. However, generally if there is a need – there’s a motivation, so if you want to motivate someone to change or to do something then you must first understand his needs and wants, then tie the change to these needs. Ultimately, the more you understand a person or the audience you wish to motivate, the easier it will be to access their triggers and get them to do as you ask.
How to motivate people and encourage them to do what you want to do?
Accessing triggers is easy. Show them a picture to remind them of something, play a song that will take them back to a moment in time… whatever key you use doesn’t matter as long as it opens the doors to the target person’s mind.
Once you have motivated your target audience, you need to:
– Follow up with a call to action – tell people exactly what you want them to do
– Keep your request simple – limit the time or effort that people need to put in to do your call to action and set a date so people have something to work towards
– Set the example and share in the sacrifice. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander
– What’s in it for them? Appeal to people’s positive emotions and highlight the thrill of achievement with little extras that cause excitement, pride and a sense of belonging (being part of a team)
– List multiple reasons WHY you want them to do what you’re asking
– Challenge your target audience. Inspire them by being creative and challenge them to reach slightly beyond their limits
How to encourage people
– Show genuine interest. Ask open-ended questions. Listen actively
– Acknowledge what’s important to them. Affirm and validate what they are saying and believe
– Congratulate them. Worthwhile things take time and effort, acknowledge that you have seen what they have done and say “well done”. These words of encouragement at the right time can make a big difference to someone’s motivation
– Be grateful for the small things. Use your manners, it lets your friends know they’ve done something worthwhile and meaningful
– Reciprocate the favour. Show your appreciation by reciprocating – it’s like a pendulum
– Be spontaneous. This delivers maximum impact. Such acts can reach them at an emotional level and we are hard-wired to respond to emotional things
– Confide in them. It’s a form of flattery!
– Offer to help. If someone sees that you are willing to commit your time and energy in their interests, they will be more committed to seeing it through.
Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. Ralph Waldo Emerson
How to inspire people to be their best
– Be a courageous role model – take risks and lead by example
– Have a strong vision on how things should be, be forward thinking and share your perspective
– Reject politics – spend your energy on positive things
– Value other people’s input, perspective and encourage collaboration
– Set goals and work to exceed them before starting on the next challenge
– Show empathy – try to understand their world and how it feels and help them move ahead to be their best
– Be inspired by others and share your role models with people, explain what it is that they’re doing that inspires you
– Express your enthusiasm as often as possible. People are drawn to positive people
– Make people feel good about themselves. People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel
– Share lessons from your successes and failures
– Focus on the positive. Everything that happens in life is neither good nor bad: it just depends on your perspective.