Getting top performance from your team is more about motivation and inspiration than it is about attaching blame.
In order to have a high performing team you need to look in the mirror and ask, “Am I a person who inspires and encourages others?” In other words what type of leader are you. If you are not sure why not ask the people around you to give you some guidance. And if you have employees make sure you ask them. Ask them what they feel is your biggest leadership challenge and what you can do to improve it. Asking others for their opinions conveys respect, shows that you value their feedback and increases your credibility as a leader. Of course that’s assuming that you are open to the feedback and will actually commit to making changes. It’s easy for people to not feel comfortable giving you the total “honest” truth at first, so it’s your job to make it comfortable for them to do so.
It takes courage and commitment to change and produce the results you want. While you can change and improve your traits, it will take real commitment, discipline and desire to change your old habits. In other words, you can do it, but you’re really going to have to work hard at it. If you expect to get performance from your team, however, you are going to have to succeed in making changes yourself. You will need to change your behavior and habits if you expect others to do so.
Our habits are a function of our attitudes which are patterns of thought developed from our conditioning. Unfortunately, most of our conditioning occurred to protect us when we were very young. Statements such as “Children should be seen and not heard, don’t talk to strangers, don’t go where you’re not invited” were designed to help us when we were very young but they are actually hindering us now. The salesperson who has call reluctance, for example, is exhibiting the adult behavior of “don’t talk to strangers.”
In order to change those habits you will need to change your attitudes. Here are 3 steps:
1. Recognize that your attitudes are Habits of Thought. And the attitudes that you currently hold give you some level of satisfaction.
2. Determine the satisfaction you derive from that attitude or habit.
3. Replace your old attitude with a new one.
You need to understand that you are getting some satisfaction from your old habit; maybe it is just complacency and comfort. Substitute the new satisfaction you will get from the new habit; such as more income; a new car, respect and prestige or anything that you define as success. Think of the pleasure of getting those things. In reality, you must have a new satisfaction which will take you out of your old comfort zone to a new zone of satisfaction.
Understanding motivation and having empathy for others in helping them is just one component for getting performance from teams of employees, associates, or volunteers. Master this and you can work on the others.
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