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How leaders can motivate others

The reality is that as managers, we almost certainly have skills gaps which need filling and areas we must work on. Motivation skills being one of these. When your team is motivated, they are committed and inspired to achieve great results.

“58% of managers say they didn’t receive any management training.” - Results from a study by CareerBuilder.com.

Essentially, the workplace is filled with leaders who have been promoted because they are good at what they do. But are these leaders really trained in how to lead?

Here we look at how making small habit changes can not only motivate others, but see you thrive and become a successful leader.

Habits to motivate others

Susan Fowler, author of Master Your Motivation writes, “It may seem ironic, but when leaders shift from what they can get from people to what they can do for people, they are more likely to get the results they want.”

As a manager, it is all too easy to focus on results, end goals, and how your team can meet or exceed project targets. However, shifting your focus to building good working relationships with your team can be far more beneficial. Here are some traits you can adopt to motivate others:

Be approachable

93% of what we are communicating comes from our body language, so carefully consider the message you’re conveying. Open body language is a key skill of great communicators. Being available and seen are equally as important when it comes to being approachable.

Listen to your team

Actively listening to your team’s wants will create a level of trust. For example, they may express the want to learn. Or perhaps they come to you to talk about challenges they are facing. Simply being approachable and listening to your team builds connections and trusting relationships.

Handle stress in style

Leadership is testing but how you handle stress affects more than just your own wellbeing; it radiates onto the team too. By smiling over frowning, and proactively seeking solutions when things go wrong, you will inspire your team to do the same.


Global studies have proven that when it comes to getting the best out of people in the workplace, recognition is number one. It places higher than pay rises, training or promotion.

Take notice of what your team members are working on and make a habit of letting them know when they are doing a good job!

Invest in your team

Wherever budget allows, you should invest in your team. If a member of the IT team shows potential in an area, look for ways to upskill them with training or online courses. Not only will you benefit from their improved abilities, but employee development can go a long way towards your team feeling motivated and valued.

Act as a mentor

Taking the time to act as a mentor to your employees can help them to progress and improve the quality of their work. Try not to think of mentoring as another job on your already lengthy to-do list. Investing just a small amount of time into your team will inspire and motivate them. What’s more, mentoring and upskilling your team is likely to prevent costly mistakes further down the line, as staff are better equipped to carry out their job.

Key takeaways

Forging strong relationships with your team, praising them, leading by example and being approachable are paramount for motivating your team.

An engaged team with a positive energy is key to productivity and achieving goals. Leadership comes with a responsibility to bring out the best in people. By making small habitual tweaks to your practices, you will inspire a workforce that works together and succeeds.