Your organization’s vision is set. But without your team’s enthusiasm and commitment, your vision will not become a reality. As an organizational leader, how can you enlist others to implement your vision?
Understand your team members’ interests and strengths. If you focus people on activities they enjoy, they will want to work on the vision. If you encourage them to do work that uses their strengths—activities at which they naturally excel—they will be happy and more likely to succeed.
Pay attention to others’ motivational needs. These are harder to get at than interests and strengths. Discover not only what motivates others, but also what causes them stress. Even if an individual loves an activity, they will not succeed if they are focused on their stress.
Here are some real-life examples. First, there was an outspoken woman on my team who was very direct with others. I assumed that is what she wanted in return. However, when I spoke directly with her, she had an emotional blowup. She actually required more empathy than she gave others. Until we discussed that, she was unable to communicate her interests and was not using her strengths to her advantage.
There’s also an individual on my team who finds group meetings draining. So I minimize those for him. He has a strength in giving presentations, but as soon as that is done, we give him several days of solitude.
I am also a case in point. When people relay information to me, I desperately need them to tell it like it is. If I feel they are sugarcoating the message, I get emotional because it is the exact opposite of what I need. So, if you enlist my help, be straight up with what you want.
As a leader trying to get others to implement your organization’s mission, it is essential to be sensitive to your team’s needs. Quietly explore with team members what causes their stress so you learn what motivates them. In addition, when you share your own needs, others will see it’s valid to share their own.
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