Feedback and Rewards

How Can You Motivate Someone?

Julian Campbell asked:

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being”        Goethe

It is important to understand that you can’t motivate anybody except yourself. Motivation comes from within a person, so all you can do is provide the right environment and encouragement for them to motivate themselves. You know, so many business owners and managers are always complaining ‘why won’t my team do what I ask them to do?’ The only person you can change is yourself. Self-management comes before managing others or managing an organization. Understanding the impact of your behaviour is crucial to your leadership.


Being a  leader involves being able to adjust your style to the personality style, skill level and dedication of others in any given situation. You must be able to read the people and task mix and that requires skill, flexibility and intuition on your part. There are many personality programs available, Myers-Briggs and DISC to name a couple but I prefer the one developed by Dr Tony Alessandra because it is so simple to understand and use.


In his program, Dr Alessandra talks about four styles, Director, Thinker, Relater and Socialiser; each style having their positive and negative attributes. For example, the Thinker type personality is a highly organised and dependable worker who focuses on data collection, facts and details. Unfortunately they get so focused on these areas that, whilst they are very accurate, they work very slowly because they want to do everything to perfection and rarely finish things. Because they are so cautious, they are very slow to reach decisions and procrastinate.


This annoys Director and Socialiser type personalities who do everything in a hurry and so these type of leaders want to change their Thinker team members to be quicker and pay less attention to detail. In turn this puts the Thinker under stress and they react by becoming unimaginative, withdrawn, resentful and unable to meet deadlines.


On the other hand, the Director type personality are workaholics who like control and being bottom line goal oriented they make things happen. However, they have a low tolerance for feelings, attitudes and advice of others, they don’t listen and always want to do it their way. Under stress, they need to dictate and be in control so they become impatient, critical, blunt, irritable and even aggressive.


I have chosen to speak about these two styles because they create the most friction in a working environment, but Socialisers and Relaters have their positive and negative points as well. Unless a person wants to work on changing the negative aspects of their personality, you can’t change them and these negative traits will be pronounced under pressure. This means that as a leader  you must learn about the styles so that you can get the best out of each of your team members. Which personality type likes the pats on the back? Which personality likes the financial rewards? When you learn how to respond to the individual you will develop an amazing team.

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