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Four wise sayings workplace leaders need to preach — and live.
BY Dave Durand
I’m not sure which is a harder group to
motivate — my staff at work or my kids at home. Both seem to ignore my
directives all too easily. Any tips on creating the right atmosphere and
getting people moving?
Anyone trying to lead either a team
or a family has his hands full. The person trying to lead both: Now there’s a
leader with his hands full.
Let me suggest four meaningful
phrases you can use to build a “productivity culture” at work and at home.
“I believe you can do it.”
There’s a big difference between this choice of words and the classic “I believe
in you” cliché that every Disney movie and pop-culture song promotes. The
latter sentiment is hard to deliver with real conviction, which makes it hard
for people to accept it as sincere. Wisdom tells us that wholesale belief in
humans leads to disappointment. On the other hand, a discrete belief in
someone’s ability to accomplish a specific task is easy to put across. It also
sets an attainable goal for the person
need to know that you trust in their ability to handle their assignments. A
statement of confidence is often the only motivator some people need. If you
don’t believe in your team this way, it is a good idea to reflect on either
your training or your talent-selection process.
“If you fall
short, I will understand.” A
critic might question me for starting out with low standards by echoing that
classic Apollo 13 quote: “Failure is not an option.” It’s true
that rare situations call for a “no failure” option but, for most of us,
falling short is part of routine growth. In fact, this phrase is most useful
where standards are very high. Why? Because the higher the standards, the less
likely people will live up to them every single time.
one Olympian wins the gold medal in each event, but everyone participating is
skilled or they wouldn’t be competing at all. Subordinates need to have a
certain level of security if you want them to take appropriate risks. Show me a
basketball player who knows the coach will take him out of the game if he
misses a shot and I will show you a player who balks even when he is unguarded.
A feeling of earned security is a great productivity booster.
avoid the mistakes I made.” This
is an incredibly powerful productivity booster because it communicates
humility, confidence, understanding, support and stick-to-itiveness all in one
you.” Many people play a
subconscious game of chicken when it comes to trust. They basically say to
themselves, “I don’t trust anyone who won’t trust me first.” If you communicate
your trust in them, somewhere deep inside they say, “She’s not all that bad.
Obviously, she is smart enough to trust me. I’ll reinforce her good judgment.”
Trust is like an unidentified box labeled “Fragile — handle with care.” Most of
us don’t need to know what’s inside to treat that box with respect.
remember what Jesus said to Simon Peter prior to Jesus’ arrest: “I have prayed
for you, that your faith will not fail.”
Do you pray for your staff and your
children? Do they know the answer to that question?
business consultant Dave Durand is online at DaveDurand.com.