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Motivation is a challenge for me because I am working with virtual teams distributed around the globe and belonging to different cultures. What works for me is a mix between Masslow, Servant Leadership, SPIN Selling but mainly to show people that we will be more happy with the solution that we are creating then without it, at least more happy at work life level.
As leaders, we want to inspire our stakeholders, but true motivation comes from within. PMs have significant ability to use all three of Daniel Pink's three levers from Drive (Purpose, Autonomy & Mastery) to unleash that intrinsic motivation.
Making and keeping people happy is key. Team building activities I believe make a huge difference. I found that monthly team breakfasts/ lunches work well.
Motivation works, it is mandatory.
I do it by trying to provide a worthwhile vision and a safe team. Safe means trust, no bullying at all, caring for each other (empathy required).
1. select the right mix of people, consider high (cognitive) diversity, e.g. by applying the 7 personality temperaments by HUMM. Hire for attitude and values before skills.
2. have a team kickoff, before the project kickoff, to establish a team culture (team charter, joint values & beliefs, rituals, signs, ...). It should speed up the forming, storming, norming phases. And yes, probably it is not the same as your company's culture.
3. make sure respect is a value and listening a virtue to support it
I think the best way to motivate a team is to truly be a good leader: proactively take care of the team's needs, defend the team against exterior assaults (such as upper management's irrational demands), keep your promises to the team (they remember them all, especially the promises a leader breaks), and so on. Inspiring words and heroic efforts have their place when it comes to motivating a team, but in my experience teams are most motivated when they can rest assured their leader is taking care of their needs.
Motivation comes from within each individual. As Leader, you need to stimulate it. Positive actions like previously suggested are the best way. Respect people intelligence, honesty, transparency with them is a key part of it.
- Thanks Sergio. :)
Team building and lunches surely works. Is this sustainable though? Is the effort and cost worth it?
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