Towards a motivational manager

“ I want my manager to motivate me.”
That is something I often hear as a consultant. Well … then you have to do something.

1. Leaders are people of flesh and blood. They have limitations; they can be tired, make mistakes, get depressed, and forget things, just as employees do. And since they’re not omnipotent, they need backup. If there are faults with their motivational leadership, you can always improve matters by showing them what to do. Listen to your manager, and ask her what it is that gives her a sense of purpose at work. Help her to think about what she really wants. Perhaps your manager has worked at the company for a long time. Perhaps he’s a completely different person than the one who was first employed there. What is it that motivates him to continue?

2. Give praise. Reinforce your manager’s motivating behaviour by giving him or her praise. We all need a verbal pat on the back when we’ve done well.

3. Say what motivates you. During your conversations with your manager give him or her a chance to understand what motivates you.

4. Behave as an equal. Talk to your manager as an equal. Just because you have different roles at work doesn’t mean you have different statuses as human beings. Ask your manager to set up reflective dialogue meetings and talk about workplace motivation as adults. “What is it that motivates us here?”, “What are we lacking?”, “What do we need from each other?”, “What do we need from the manager?” This involves us all in a genuine, honest way. It motivates.

5. Be an exemplar. Act in the way that you would like to be seen made legally binding for all sensible people. The way there begins with a question to yourself: What would happen if everyone acted in the way I’m acting now?

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