Motivational leadership all comes down to recognition and positivity, and smart leaders know that rewarding their team when they succeed works better than punishing them when they fail. Whether we like it or not, we are emotional beings, and lasting inspiration comes from feeling good about what we do.
But becoming a motivational leader is easier said than done, especially when you manage a team of strong-willed individuals. How do you create a positive workspace that builds camaraderie, promotes good communication, encourages mutual respect and holds your team together with trust? By trying even one of the seven secrets to being a motivational leader we listed below, you just might have an all-star team on your hands in no time.
Treat Your Team Members as Unique Individuals
1) Find out what inspires each of them.
Meeting each member of your team on their own terms is the first step to motivating them properly. What makes them love getting out of bed every day? Do they have long-term goals? What are their dreams? With their interests in mind, you can play to their strengths as individuals and recognize when they might need a little extra support.
2) Give them praise for their accomplishments.
Recognizing the smallest success is an easy way to bring positivity to an entire team. Over 10,000 businesses in one survey showed that regular praise caused their teams to experience more productivity, better engagement with coworkers and fewer resignations in the long run. Celebrate your employees as often as you can. The road to success is paved with even the tiniest rewards.
3) Be flexible.
If we know every team member has individual needs, why are leadership policies still one-size-fits-all? Experts have learned over the past three years that what helps someone thrive in a workplace can differ widely from person to person. You should still hold your team members accountable for their work and time, but it is through allowing your teammates the freedom they need that they will be able to give you their best work in return.
Celebrate your employees as often as you can. The road to success is paved with even the tiniest rewards.
Make Important Decisions as a Team
4) Set team goals together.
Each team member has their own motivations, but they can still all align with your overall mission. Think up concrete, detailed steps as a team that will bring you all closer to achieving your vision. Knowing your teammates’ individual goals will help you assign tasks to like-minded people and build a strong foundation of trust on your team.
5) Give out responsibilities wisely.
Clearly defined roles help people work better because they know their duties and can focus on the task at hand. Balance responsibilities between people with different strengths. For example, if someone who is more introverted prefers staying behind a desk, have them keep paperwork on track while a more social employee meets clients in the field.
Knowing your teammates’ individual goals will help you assign tasks to like-minded people and build a strong foundation of trust on your team.
6) Only hold necessary meetings.
Try not to waste valuable working time with too many meetings or by holding meetings that last too long. At worst, interrupted workflows can derail an entire day’s work. Necessary meetings always have a clear agenda and only involve the team members who need to be there.
7) Have one-on-one time with people.
One type of meeting that is almost always necessary is the one-on-one check in. Giving your team members a space to talk about what is working for them and what they find difficult is essential to a fully functioning workplace. Get to know their personalities, invest in casual conversation, know their strengths and interests — these actions let them know you have their best interests in mind. Prioritizing one-on-one time also gives you the perfect space to recognize their accomplishments!
It can be easy to ignore the human aspects of running a business, but the best motivational leaders never let the numbers get in the way of guiding principles like honesty, understating, respect and recognition. With these seven tips, you will have a positive workspace where people feel inspired, motivated, included and encouraged to do their best. Follow them, and you will have one of the best teams on your hands in no time.