In my speeches, I often ask people, “How do you motivate others?” More specifically, “How do you motivate your children, friends, colleagues, employees, and the person you are in love with?”
How would you answer this question?
Here’s the simplest answer: The best way to motivate others is to make those around you feel valued.
When employees walk through the doors of your workplace, do they feel like they’re valued, or do they feel like personnel? When your children come home after school, do they feel like valued young adults, or do they feel like just kids? When you see your spouse at the end of the day, do you make him/her feel special, or do you treat him/her like a distant co-worker?
If you treat your employees or co-workers like personnel rather than valued people, they are less motivated to work hard and go the extra mile. If you treat your children like kids rather than valued young adults, they are less motivated to listen to you. If you treat your spouse like a number rather than a valued human being, he/she is less motivated to support you or your career.
Without question, the workplace is more productive, a family more harmonious, and a society more humane when we all take steps to make others feel valued. Therefore, take a moment or two to make those around you feel valued. This can take place with something as simple as expressing an amount of appreciation for their efforts or sharing with them an acknowledgement of a leadership characteristic you believe they possess.
I have witnessed a turnaround in the low morale of organizations simply by having colleagues share with one another positive attributes about each other. As a result, those who have been on the receiving end of those comments are more dedicated and committed to the organization and their colleagues because they feel valued and needed.
Take a moment at the dinner table tonight and ask your children to share a positive attribute about their siblings. I guarantee you those siblings will be more committed to, and bonded with, one another after that interaction.
Enjoy the pleasure of motivating and encouraging those around you. It is forever appreciated.