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How to Motivate, Influence and Challenge the People Around You. Part 1.
If your head's battered and bleeding since you've been hitting it against a brick wall because no one's listening to you, then this hub is for you. If there are goals to reach, targets to hit and sales to be closed to get job done, or if you just want your 10 year old to tidy his room, we're going to look at how to motivate, challenge and influence the people around you.
Even if you want to motivate yourself, these tricks will help.
For more tips on motivation...
What is motivation?
Experts describe it as an emotional state that drives a person to perform activities that fulfil a need. The word to focus on here is 'emotion'.
For example, what motivated you to get out of bed this morning? Was it the anticipation of all the fun you're going to have or the thought that if you stay a moment longer you'll be late for work/the kids will burn the house down? The anticipation/dread is the emotion that motivated you.
In order to motivate ourselves and others, we need to provoke that emotion.
A powerful way to do that for ourselves, our children or our work teams is to create a clear and compelling vision of what life would be like if we/they reached our goals/tidied the bedroom/made the sales targets.
This vision will drive the project forward - no matter how large or small - because we want to make it a reality. It will give the project depth and meaning, and make it personal. And in times of low motivation, where it waxes and wanes on a long project, it gives us something to come back to and re-focus on.
Martin Luther King's vision was to see a day when 'Youngsters will learn words they don’t understand. Children from India will ask ‘What is hunger?’ Children from Alabama will ask ‘What is racial segregation?’ Children from Hiroshima will ask ‘What is the atomic bomb?’ Children at school will ask ‘What is war?’ You will answer them ‘These words are not used any more, like stagecoaches, galleys or slavery words no longer meaningful. That is why they have been removed from dictionaries.'
Henry Ford wanted to 'build a car for the great multitude that will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one and enjoy with his family God's great open spaces. (When) I am finished the horse will be gone from the roads and we will create jobs and good wages for many men.'
Creating a vision
The vision-creating process needn't be difficult. It needn't take a long time and it should be engaging. Try it for yourself and/or with your kids and then roll it out to co-workers.
- Think for a moment about what you want to achieve and what it will mean in terms of quality of work/life/health etc – whatever is pertinent to the project. Now give the picture some more detail, make it colourful and real. Think yourself into the picture as if it's the present reality.
- Get as much of this as possible down on paper. Use words and pictures, colour, texture, whatever you like.
- Don't censor anything, just have a free flow of ideas onto the paper.
- The vision should also be tangible so that you know when you've achieved it. If the aim is to hit sales targets, the numbers will tell you when you've got there, but individuals' sense of accomplishment or the rewards will be different.
- And in the same vein, they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
- Think about who else is involved. What will they do? When? And why? What's in it for them? This last point will be their motivation to help you or be more fully involved.
- Write your vision in the present tense as this is where you want it to be happening - right now.
- If you're struggling to get to the emotion that floats the boat of the project, keep asking yourself 'why?'. Why does this need to happen? Why is it important? Why is that important? Until you feel a light bulb go on in your head.
In part 2 we’ll look at influencing and challenging the people around us.