What Gets us and Keeps us Motivated?

We all like to feel driven and motivated, so what’s the best kind of motivation?  Self-motivation of course!

Doing something for its own sake and for your own purposes is likely to be more fulfilling, enjoyable and successful than doing something to meet external standards or to please others.

How can we improve our ability to inspire or motivate other people?

We need to understand what motivates us and others at work.  You’ll notice that you are first and the reason for doing so is that we use ourselves as analogies for understanding others.  ‘No person really knows about other human beings’, said the novelist John Steinbeck.  ‘The best he or she can do is to suppose that they are like themselves’.  If you have an accurate picture of what motivates you, you will be in a far better position to understand what motivates others.

We need an AWARENESS of both the general and the individual dimensions of motivation.  

In motivation theories, you can learn plenty of generalisations about people, including ‘individuals.  These are useful.  But they are only half the story.  Think of yourself – both complex and how unique you are.  To motivate anyone beyond the ‘stick-and-carrot’ level means you must know him or her as an individual person by name.

We need to develop our SKILLS as a leader of others.  

As a manager you are called now to be a leader, and leadership includes the ability to motivate and inspire others.  How do you do it?  What you are and what you know matters, but what you do as a leader in those three-circles of team or organisational need – task, team and individual – is vital.  For high motivation, like happiness, is largely a by-product.  Hence the considerable overlap between leadership and motivation.

See our very popular Managing & Leading Teams course if you are looking for a great foundation in the core principles ‘getting the best out of others’. For any further information, please get in touch, 01623 409 824 or info@futureproof-training.co.uk.

Unconscious Bias and Dignity at Work

When people favour others who look like them and or share their values is known as unconscious bias.  Everyone has unconscious bias, the brain receives information all the time from our own experiences and what we read, hear or see in the media and from others.  The brain uses shortcuts to speed up decision making and unconscious bias is a by-product of that.  There are times when quick decision making is useful such as in a dangerous situation.  However, it is not a good way to make decisions when dealing with recruiting disciplining or promoting staff for example.

Conscious thoughts are controlled and well-reasoned. Unconscious thoughts can be based on stereotypes and prejudices that we may not even realise we have. Stereotypes surrounding tattoos may subconsciously suggest a person is unlikely to conform and follow rules. Stereotypes surrounding mothers may lead to unconscious bias against women who apply for a role which involves regular travel away from home.  Stress or tiredness may increase the likelihood of decisions based on unconscious bias.

So, how can we overcome unconscious bias? 

  • We need to become aware of our thoughts and reasoning
  • Don’t rush decisions – take your time and consider the issues properly
  • Justify decisions and record the reasons for your decisions
  • Try to work with a wider range of people and get to know them as individuals by working in different teams or with colleagues in different locations
  • Focus on the positive behaviours of people and not negative stereotypes
  • Implement policies and procedures which limit the influence of individual characteristics and preferences

People deserve to be treated equally and with respect and dignity.  Before your unconscious bias gets the better of you, remember respect breeds respect and everyone deserves to be treated the same as you would expect to be treated.

Futureproof have a team of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion specialists who can help change the culture of your business. For more information, please get in touch 01623 409 824 or info@futureproof-training.co.uk

Diversity & Equality Training Workshop

Communication in the Workplace

Communication within a workplace environment is one of the vital factors to a successful organisation.  We all know that it is the process of exchanging information and ideas, both verbal and non-verbal within an organisation. But, effective communication ensures that all organisational objectives are achieved, and it is so important because it increases productivity and efficiency.  Ineffective workplace communication leads to communication gaps between employees which causes confusion, wastes time and reduces productivity.

Words are only a very small portion of how we communicate.

Face to face communication is always the best type of communication and should be used wherever possible.  Speaking directly with someone in the workplace can eliminate any misunderstandings that often occur.  You can also gauge how a team member is reacting / feeling from their body language and facial expressions.  By having one quick conversation rather than lots of email interactions can make the outcome more efficient in the end.

Body language and facial expressions play an important role in how effective or ineffective you are at communication with team members.  Eye contact makes people feel acknowledged as they speak and listen.  It helps to stand in front of a mirror before a meeting if you rehearse what you are going to say, so that you can see if your body language matches your words.

Phone conversations are part of everyday work life.  Some people enjoy speaking to their team members by phone, but others dislike it.  Always speak clearly and slowly so that your words are understood.

Written communication such as emails and notes are the types of communication that can lead to the most misunderstandings.  People often read between the lines or feel that there are implied messages or emotions in written forms of communication. 

Communication between you and your team will always be a work in progress, but always remember to communicate , communicate, communicate!!

Overcoming Barriers to Change

We all know that we need a plan in place to guide change, but it is never as simple as it sounds.

Unless the barriers to change management are accounted for, your organisation’s transformation will hit a stalemate.  You may have your plan in place and your necessary tools, but if your employees are resistant, your efforts will hit a major roadblock.

Resistance is a difficult problem to overcome but by anticipating which influences might create the barriers and addressing them, the likelihood of your change going to plan will run much more smoothly.

So, let’s think about the obstacles that may arise:

The Unknown – None of us can assess the effectiveness of change without knowing exactly where you are starting from.  Take the time to evaluate where your business currently is and what you will need to drive it forward with maximum success.  Employees will become very resistant if they feel unprepared.

Communication – We all know communication is a huge barrier in organisations, but it is one that can be overcome.  As a leader, try to be as transparent as possible, encourage questions and encourage employees to talk about their concerns, ask for ideas to help improve the transformation.

Limited Employee Involvement – If employees are not included in the change plan, then be prepared for them to become resistant and de-motivated.  Not a good idea if you don’t want your productivity to reduce – Involve your employees and ask for their feedback.  You may learn something that will enable you to amend your strategy for the better.  Your employees will feel valued and appreciated and we all know it’s great to feel that you’ve been able to provide a valid input.

Complex Processes – Implementing new processes are a major barrier to change management due to employees being frustrated with complex processes that they can’t quite grasp.  The tip is to provide as much relevant information and support and provide plenty of training. 

Next time you are planning on making a transformation, help yourself and remember the tips.  Employee motivation and training is paramount to making a happy, productive organisation.

Managing Change Workshop

Driving & Implementing Strategic Change – Workshop

Being Resilient Matters More Than Ever

It never crosses your mind that something like this Pandemic would ever happen within our lifetime.

This is now reality, take a minute to think about all the other situations this Pandemic brings in life… being made redundant, losing someone you love, losing your business, becoming ill, relationships becoming increasingly difficult etc.

Life at the minute is scary and this is a fact we can’t change. What we can change, though, is how we react to each of the negative situations which arise, and perhaps even more importantly, how we bounce back. So, why is resilience even more important now and what does it take to be resilient?

A definition of resilience is ‘the ability to recover from setbacks and still complete what you set out to achieve’. Hopefully, this is a skill that every one of us can develop.

Being resilient is crucial to maintaining good mental health. While it’s ‘okay to not be okay’ we don’t want to feel sad forever so we need to be able to ‘bounce back’ and try and rebuild our life and emotions which in turn, can enable us to grow and strengthen us for the future. 

There are many qualities that resilient people have compared to those people who aren’t and it’s true that between 1 and 5 working age adults will become depressed, anxious or will experience stress related problems at some time during their life.

We have an emotional reaction to many things and our stress response is activated when we feel threatened or scared such as times like now. Developing resilience is the ability to effectively manage our emotions and responses in any given situation.

Let us look at some tips to help us to stay resilient…

Don’t isolate yourself…

We are all in isolation which in itself is draining.  We are social animals and we need our friends and families more than ever at the minute as they allow us to feel nurtured and safe. However, due to the restrictions put in place for us all, it’s not that easy, we all need that hug and that reassurance.  We must try and stay connected to our friends and families through social networking and facetime/skype etc as we are all feeling the same and that one conversation will help to lift our mood. 

Be kind to yourself…

Some people are more resilient than others and being less resilient doesn’t make you a lesser person. Nurture yourself while you find the time to heal and bounce back. Once you have bounced back from a tragedy, it’s normal and inevitable to revisit the event and the feelings associated with it but don’t beat yourself up for having a bad day, for crying, or for being anxious. Allow yourself to feel. Holding in emotions doesn’t do anyone any good.  Always show yourself some love and never compare yourself to anyone else.

Ask for help…

Reaching out for support in these difficult times can make a significant difference in life. You are never alone and your support network will always be there for you, never feel like a burden to anyone and remember that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.

Be flexible… Everything happens for a reason, but if you’re the sort of person who likes to have everything planned out in detail, you are going to have a hard time coming to terms with the change.  You must tell yourself that life has created a new path for you and you’re going to have to deal with it the best you can, learn to be a little flexible.

Self Care…

We should always be looking after ourselves, but we definitely need to turn this up a little at the present time.  Do some different activities to see which makes you feel better both mentally and physically.  Go for a run, a walk, a bike ride (while social distancing of course).  All exercise can help release your emotions but be mindful not to overdo it.

Next time you’re feeling a low try and keep some of these tips in mind. Even following just one of them can help you bounce back. Soon enough, you’ll be feeling like yourself again, and you’ll be stronger and ready for the next thing life throws at you when normality returns.

Stay safe!