Are you motivating people for their benefit or yours?

July 17, 2015 by Joshua
in Leadership, Perception

Have you experienced someone trying to influence or lead you for their benefit, not caring about your interests? You didn’t like it, did you? You probably resented them. You know what they ask you to do will help them but if you don’t know it will help you, their leadership discourages you.

Putting your interests before the team’s discourages team mates and lead them to question your influence.

They probably didn’t know they were discouraging. So if they didn’t know, how do you know if you are?

Here’s one way to find out.

  1. Think of what it means to motivate. What do you do when you motivate? What is your relationship with the people you’re motivating?
  2. Think of yourself motivating at your best, whatever best means to you.
  3. Imagine the people you’re motivating already want to do what you want them to do.
  4. Does their already being motivated make your job redundant?

If you answered yes, you’re probably trying to convince people more than motivate them, meaning you’re trying to change them by imposing your values on them. You may not be listening to them like you could, meaning you’re preventing them from contributing fully. Instead you’re getting them to do what they’re told.

You get that way if you see motivating people as getting them to do things they wouldn’t have done because they don’t want to.

Instead you could see motivating them as helping them do what they want to but don’t know how. Then you’re motivating them for them. They’ll welcome your motivation instead of questioning it.

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