We were discussing simple ways in which we can all have an influence in motivating the people around us. We accepted that first and foremost one has to want to motivate themselves but there are many simple things we can do to uplift the people around us.
Firstly we discussed: 1) the Power of a smile; and then we looked at 2) not underestimating the power of that word of encouragement that we so seldom give. If you missed the last instalment you can either do a search in your inbox for the last Movers & Shakers newsletter or if you have only recently subscribed you can find it on our blog.
“So, what else can we do to influence the motivation of those around us?” I hear you ask.
3. Don’t underestimate that shoulder to cry on for someone when they need it.
Did it ever occur to you that that’s not just the person who brings you the report every Thursday; That’s not just the man that helps you park your car in the mornings; That’s not just the lady who brings you tea twice a day? No, that is a woman who is dealing with sickness in her family. That is a man who has a three hour taxi drive to work and home every day and is way over his head in debt due to no fault of his own. It is a person trying to keep themselves together with an abusive spouse waiting at home. He is a man in pain in one of many different ways.
No! I’m here to tell you that first and foremost WE ARE PEOPLE! Don’t turn people into functions. Too often it can be heard of people especially in the larger companies that they feel “like a number”, or that they feel “like a small cog in a big machine”. We need to change our ideas about how we look at people. One of my favourite quotes that I like to remind myself of is Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Every man I meet is my superior in some way, in that of him I learn.” Everybody is better than me at something. It’s a good outlook to have. I drove past a humble gardener this morning who is probably a better gardener than I will ever be. He could teach me how to tend my garden. He is my superior in that way. A humble attitude can only do you proud.
Don’t stop treating others as people. You know, most companies have departments that are dedicated to managing all the resources of an organisation and many of those companies have a department dedicated to managing the human resource of an organisation. Sadly, it’s this department that is most often neglected and given non-voting seats on the board, and yet in my opinion it is this resource that is most important over all the others. Let me justify this by challenging you to name me a company that if you had to take its human resource away you wouldn’t have anything within hours. Even a company like Google, that massive cyberspace conglomerate, if you were to let all the people, go, it would fall over and collapse within hours or even less. Without people your company would have nothing! So let’s start treating them with the respect and value they deserve, every single one of them, even the office ‘pain’. You don’t know what he’s going through at home or what he is dealing with in his life. So give him some undeserved mercy, just as you have been given.
Too often we cannot wait to vomit out what it is that we want to say but seldom take the time to shut up and really listen to what the other person has to say. This is probably the biggest problem that most organisations face in this day and age. It is the biggest problem faced in those companies that have ‘meeting-it is’, that contagious affliction brought about by an obsessive need to hold more ineffective meetings than ever before, because today’s issues are exactly the same as the ones from last year and the year before and before that. It is the biggest problem faced by ineffectual sales teams who are not meeting their quota because most sales people believe they need the gift of the gab, when what they really need is to Shut Up! and really listen to the needs of their customers.
There is a book you have to get. If you haven’t read it yet, buy it and read it. It is the most published book in all history other than the bible and that should tell you something about its importance. Something in excess of 15 million copies have been sold. Dale Carnegie wrote his gem, “How to win friends and influence people”, and this is a book that I try to read every year. One little pearl is worth the price of the book all on its own: You will make more friends in a day by becoming truly interested in other people than you could make in a year by trying to get people interested in you. Think about this then think about it again because it’s important. This is the last word on motivating the people around you. Shut Up! And be truly interested in them. Did you know that it was said that Napoleon had a practise which was referred to as “walking slowly through the crowd”, where he would walk around the camps of his soldiers the night before a battle and they said that he not only knew every man’s name but also what town he came from and what battles he fought in. I’d be inspired to fight for a man like that. It seems so wondrous that anyone could do that, but on reflection it’s probably not as hard as one first might think.
These are a few things that anyone can do to motivate the people around. The best thing about this goal is that you cannot motivate the team around you without in turn motivating yourself.
What you give is what you get.
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