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Article: Management: 5 Mistakes to Avoid In Motivating Others Related Resources

Management: 5 Mistakes to Avoid In Motivating Others
by Duncan Brodie

As a manager you are highly dependent on others to deliver results. Getting results relies on you continually motivating others and get the best from them. From a theoretical perspective this might seem really simple but practically it is much more difficult to do. So what mistakes must you avoid when it comes to motivating others?

Mistake 1: Assuming everyone is like you

If you are a manager or an aspiring manager, you are probably someone who is highly self motivated and gets on with things. It was be easy to fall into a trap of believing that everyone else is just like you. The reality is that different people are motivated in different ways. It is important that you get to know your staff and know what makes them tick. Spend time interacting with people on your team and pay attention to when they are at their best.

Mistake 2: Relying on financial rewards

Everyone needs to earn a living so that they can have somewhere to live and have food on the table. They need sufficient income to do those things. Yet the reality is that money in itself is rarely the main motivator. People spend a huge amount of their life at work so want are interested in things like enjoying the work they do, getting feedback and having the opportunity to grow and develop. Make sure that you do not become completely reliant on financial rewards to motivate.

Mistake 3: Promising something you cannot deliver

People might not be happy if they are told that it is not possible for something to happen at the current time. They will be even more de-motivated if you create an expectation that you are going to deliver something and then fail to make it happen. Always check that you can fulfil any promises you are making to your team before committing.

Mistake 4: Not creating training and development opportunities

There will be a small proportion of people on a team who are happy doing what they are doing and have no real aspirations on developing themselves. The majority of people do want at least to have access to opportunities to training and development. Many managers fall into the trap of believing that providing training and development opportunities relies on having a large budget. The reality is that there are many opportunities out there that cost nothing. For example, free e-courses, podcasts, newsletters, free or low cost continuing professional development events and even the opportunity to work on a special project.

Mistake 5: Not giving feedback

People like to know how they are doing, how they are perceived or viewed by their manager, whether their manager is happy with the work they are doing and where they can improve, to name just a few. Giving feedback to people on a regular basis costs nothing but can be incredibly motivating. Just imagine you had spent 4 hours doing a report, you gave to your boss and heard nothing back about it. How motivated would you be? A simple thank you or acknowledgement for a piece of work done well or even effort can go a long way.

Bottom Line - It is often the simple things that make the difference. So what could you be doing differently to better motivate others and get even better results?

Duncan Brodie may be contacted at
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements Ltd (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability. Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at


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