INSPIRATION AT WORK
How to motivate and inspire your team. (EQ & SQ.)
By Ruth Tearle
Many articles and courses are held on emotional intelligence (EQ) and motivation. Lately we are also seeing courses on spiritual intelligence (SQ). But for many managers and team leaders, EQ and SQ are theoretical concept that doesn't seem to apply to their daily challenges. Many managers ask - how do we motivate and inspire a team at work? How do we get them excited about working for us? Knowing the answer to this is the most effective management skill any manager or team leader needs to master. This article shows how as a manager or team leader, you can use some basic principles of EQ and SQ in a practical way. It shows 5 things you can do to not only motivate your team. But to inspire others at work.
5 gifts you can give others to inspire them at work.
Think of an inspirational person - whether it is an icon like Nelson Mandela or someone in your life who inspires you. Then think of how they make you feel in their presence. Special? Important? Like you have the potential for doing great things? What do they do to light a candle within you? How do they make you feel energized and alive?
Inspirational leaders give others 5 simple gifts. Gifts that anyone can use to inspire others. As a team leader, use these five simple EQ and SQ tools to motivate and inspire your team, one person at a time.
1. Give the gift of respect.
In today's world, everyone is busy. Few people have enough time to do all that is required of them in a day. Show that you respect other peoples time by never expecting them to wait for you. Be on time for meetings. Start workshops on time. Keep appointments you have made. Showing respect for other people's time tells them that they are important. This is the first critical step to being able to motivate anyone.
2. Give the gift of attention.
Today’s world requires us to be connected 24/7. People feel that they are expected to answer their mobiles whenever it rings, to respond to e-mail and text messages within a few moments of receiving them, and to be available to everyone all the time via an open door policy. This approach to work means that few people are able to focus on any one thing or person at a time. Constant interruptions means constant distractions. This is great for the person doing the multi-tasking. But wasting precious time with someone who is constantly distracted by others is irritating and demotivating. It certainly won't inspire anyone at work!
If you want to motivate or inspire someone, give them the rarest gift of all. The gift of single minded focus. Of full attention. Of uninterrupted time with you.
This means more than turning off your mobile and laptop, or shutting your office door for a meeting. It means turning on your senses and directing them to the person or people you are with.
Look and listen
in order to discover
and frustrates them.
- Watch them. When do their eyes light up? Notice what they are talking about when they become animated. When do they slump their shoulders, or drop their heads? Try to remember what they were talking about when they seem to shrink? When do they get extra stress lines around their eyes? When do they become red in the face? Can you work out what frustrates them?
- Listen to them. Listen to what they are saying. Listen to when they pause. What are they not saying to you. Listen for when they speak loudly. Listen to when they hesitate or mumble. Then ask yourself. What energizes and excites them? What do they fear? What frustrates them? When does their voice seem to break? What are they talking about that is causing them stress?
- Search for the gold. What makes this person special? What is their hidden gold? What special talent do they have? What passion or voice do they have that wants to be heard? The answer lies in what they are talking about when their eyes light up. When you notice someone is becoming excited or hopeful, ask them more questions around what seems to be their passion. Watch how they respond. Link what they say in their answers, to what makes their eyes light up.
3. Give the gift of reflection.
Act as a mirror. Tell them what you've observed. When you've noticed their eyes lighting up. When you've noticed them slumping their shoulders.
Then pause. Switch from speaking to listening. Allow them space to talk about what could be their passion. Often this is something they haven't explored before. So they will be hesitant at first. As they grapple with what exactly it is that excites them, they will feel vulnerable. It is important to show them you are listening - and of course giving them your full, undivided attention.
4. Give the gift of hope.
As they articulate their passion, encourage them to dream.
- What is your dream?
- Think of yourself in 5 years time, if you were feeling inspired by life. What would you be doing? Where would you be? What would be different from today?
Often their passion is something very different from what they do on a day to day basis - and this could discourage. They will be tempted to try to leap from their current frustrating reality into a dream they are not yet prepared for. Or they may feel trapped because they believe that others have to change first before they can do anything. Get them to recognise that they hold the power to achieve whatever they want in their own hands.
Encourage them to look at beyond their immediate frustrations. To look beyond trying to make other people behave differently. Get them to simply take the first easy of the journey towards their dream.
- Knowing where you want to be in the future, how can you approach your current job differently? What can you do right now in your current job, that can provide your with some experience that you can use towards your dream? What can you learn from your current job, from people and experiences in this organization? What projects could you volunteer for? Who should you be meeting and networking with?
- What other steps should you begin to take now - outside of your current job, to prepare you for your future dream? What could you study? What experiences could you seek out? What do you need to learn?
5. Give the gift of support.
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. Albert Schweitzer
When you can, support them in their journey towards their dream.
- Ask them what you could do to support them.
- Try to delegate work to them that could provide them with relevant experience.
- Introduce them to people in your network who could guide them.
- Keep in touch with them and ask them how they are doing. Keep encouraging them as they experiencing the realities of what it takes to achieve any dream. Every so often, give them gifts or refer them to articles that will keep them inspired.
The wonderful thing about kindling a spark of inspiration in others, is that as a leader, the resulting flame is shared. You also inspire yourself.
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