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Universal Motivators of Human Behaviour


1. Use people's names often. Make a conscious effort to learn your team members’ names and connect them to the faces of the people in your organization.

2. Actively listen to others – not just hear what they are saying. Have open and inviting body language. Be curious about what they are thinking, feeling and saying.

3. Be fair, honest and consistent. Observe and get to know team members so you can determine who finds joy in getting work done, who wants praise for a job well done, who needs leadership opportunities and who wants space to be creative.

4. Keep people informed. In the absence of information, people ‘make it up’ in their own minds – and unfortunately they frequently take a more negative perspective than what is in reality the truth of the matter. Ask people what they want and need to know about.

5. Build some degree of prestige into jobs wherever possible. Given people relevant and appropriate titles and authority.

6. Give individual team members attention and demonstrate you understand them and accept their strengths and limitations. Be aware of group dynamics and be prepared to make changes to maximize the synergy of the team. Create mentoring relationships within the organization between more experienced members and the newer ones.

7. Provide honest feedback. Praise successes frequently – not just the really ‘big’ ones. Give constructive feedback to help them learn from mistakes and get better results next time.

8. Involve people in goal setting and decision making. Ensure your expectations of them and their expectations of you are clear to everyone.

9. In newly formed teams – or as new members join – use a variety of activities to foster relationships, establish norms, energise and strengthen the team.

10. Occasionally provide opportunity for people to connect as human beings (not just their job roles) with social events outside of work and/or team tea breaks or lunches.

11. Motivation stems from inner needs, drives and goals. As the leader, it’s your responsibility to tap into team members’ individual and specific needs, drives and goals and provide a channel for their fulfillment. The individual members need to do the rest.

Reference: Miami Ohio University

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