By Susan Begeman Steiner
Energy drives progress, but what type of energy is the best? In the global conversation about the environment, we might argue the virtues of various forms of energy including solar, wind, geothermal, hydrogen, tidal, wave, hydroelectric or biomass.
But what about with people in the workplace? What is the most powerful energy there? Various sources of energy drive people’s behavior. In the past, the energy sources we’ve paid the most attention to have boiled down to either reinforcement (money, awards, recognition) or punishment (demotion, dismissal, public humiliation). These forms of energy work in the short-term, but their effectiveness diminishes in the long-term. ...Click 'Read More' below
The new reality in the business world calls for an energy source that comes from the inside of the person, not outside. The hallmarks of this kind of energy are passion, commitment, responsibility, idealism, resilience, enthusiasm, devotion and vision. Think Millennials. Think Mac or Google or SpaceX.
This kind of energy source renews itself. It is fluid and flowing and you can’t really harness it because it has a life of its own. But you tap into it if by calling it forth from your people. Everyone has this potential energy.
How can you tap into it? Simple. Discover what motivates the person and find out if it ties in with the results of your project. Whether you are the boss or not, you can ignite the energy of others.
Disclaimer – When you ignite the energy of someone, that energy is his or hers, not yours. It is the highest form of leadership to lead people who are being led from within themselves.
To discover someone’s motivation, you will need to explore with them. Below are four questions you can ask. Listen carefully to the answers and let the person’s answers lead you to the next question.
If you are sincere in asking these questions, you will learn something significant about this person. What you learn may enrich how you think about your project or may have you and the person realize that this is not the project for him or her. But whatever you discover, use it help the person get what he or she wants. You will reap the benefits of this for many years to come.
Want to learn more about how to motivate?