Motivating Your Team

Motivating members of your leadership team is an ongoing challenge for most leaders. The sometimes-daunting task of knowing what to do to keep them motivated can be discouraging.

The unfortunate reality is that demotivation often proves easier. If you want to demotivate your team, do nothing; but keeping them motivated takes intentional action from you as their leader. Let me suggest a few things you can do to keep your team motivated.

Be a good listener. Feeling they are not being listened to is probably one of the main reasons people feel demotivated under a leader. When you ask for input but do not show interest in what is being said, or if you already have your answer without really taking the time to understand the person’s concern or address it, you send the message that you are not genuinely listening or valuing the person.

People are motivated when they feel heard. This only happens when a leader takes the time to give undivided attention to the speaker, and asks questions until they see the situation in the same way the speaker sees it. When people feel heard and respected they will be motivated.

Get personal. In this age of technology, it is easy for us to neglect the personal side of relationships. We text, email, Snapchat, tweet and Facebook lots of nice things about people, but nothing can replace a handwritten note or good old face-to-face exchange.

Send a handwritten note of thanks and appreciation. Take someone out to coffee just to say thanks or celebrate a success. Invite them into your office just to say thanks for a job well done. Celebrating another’s success one-to-one is as important as doing it in a room full of people.

Acknowledge your follower’s success. It is easy for leaders in ministry to conclude that team members should be motivated simply because what they are doing is for the Kingdom of God. While there is some level of truth to that, as humans we all need to be acknowledged for the contributions we make.

Taking 30 – 60 seconds to publicly acknowledge the successes of those you lead can go a long way toward motivating them from the heart. When you connect people with their successes it lifts their self-worth and their spirits. Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless.”

Words of appreciation and acknowledgment will do more to motivate those you lead than money or material things.

Be the source of positive energy. Don’t be a killjoy who always sees the glass half empty. Don’t be the leader who sucks the joy out of everything. Don’t speak negatively about one team member to another. If you micro manage or lead by command and control, seek other methods of leadership.

We all know leaders whose team is much more positive and productive when they are out of the office. “Instead of being the type of leader who sucks the energy away from others, resolve to be the kind of leader who strives to bring passion and positive energy to the workplace every day.” Martin Zwilling

Are your team members motivated or demotivated? Whatever your answer, be assured that you hold a lion’s share of the responsibility for it. If your followers are motivated by someone else, then that person, rather than you, is their leader.

Are your followers motivated? If not, what can you do today to start motivating them?

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.