Recently I had the pleasure of facilitating a team-building workshop with a truly diverse team: team members were from Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Since motivational triggers may be very different in different cultures, I was wondering if the European team leader could find a common denominator for motivating her diverse team. Or would she need a different approach for each country?
In the session “feedback to manager” I asked the team members: “Remember the best bosses you ever had. What did they do that motivated you?”
In round two we turned this around: “Now think of the worst leaders you have ever encountered. What did they do to de-motivate you?” Here’s their surprising summary:
What best leaders do to motivate their teams
• do what they preach
• see potential and how to use it, they maximizes the potential within the team
• do not make staff stressed
• are knowledgeable
• admit mistakes
• give flexibility for staff to perform
• give appreciation, recognition
What the worst leaders do to de-motivate their teams:
• micromanage (it’s one of the worst things!)
• have double standards
• do not listen (or hear but do not listen, pretend to listen, or do not act upon what is said)
• have a decided mindset/are biased
Plain and simple, isn’t it? Seems we do not need highly sophisticated university studies to understand how motivation works. Surprisingly, too, what motivates or de-motivates people seems pretty universal across cultures.
Now, just go and practice the simple things the best leaders do, and motivate your team to utilize people’s potential better!
More on motivation: see How to Motivate People: The Power of Autonomy
Gerrit Pelzer is a Leadership Advisor & Executive Coach who helps leaders create better results through people. If you would like a personal consultation on how you can set motivate your team, please contact him now:
phone: +66-2 107 2025