Not all managers are born with a natural ability to motivate says Peter Decaprio.
Motivating others is a skill –
A challenge that some members of the best teams master, while those on struggling teams often struggle with it themselves. If you’re not sure whether or not your manager skills need sharpening, here’s one way to tell: Do your employees feel motivated by your feedback? If they don’t, then you may need to change how you give it.
Here are three tips for giving motivating feedback…no matter what kind of boss you might be!
1) Make Motivation Personal
When people receive negative feedback from their bosses, one of the first reactions they have is to defend their actions says Peter Decaprio. No matter how accurate and helpful your feedback may be, if people feel as though you’re attacking them personally, they’ll immediately go on the defensive.
So leave out phrases like “you always do this” and “why can’t you just follow the rules?” Instead of using these judgmental phrases, focus instead on how a person’s actions have made themselves or other people feel. If a team member failed to meet a deadline because she was caring for a sick parent at home, say so:
“I noticed that you came in late last Friday because your mom was sick, and I really admire the way that you take care of her.”
Notice how instead of saying “that’s why your work is suffering,” this kind of feedback acknowledges the struggle and lets the employee know that it’s her work ethic that you value.
2) Include Solutions
Everyone wants to know how they can correct their mistakes and start improving, so doesn’t leave it up to them to figure out the next step on their own. Instead of just providing feedback, help your employees come up with solutions, too:
“I’ve noticed you’re not getting tasks completed on time, and I’d like for us to brainstorm some ways that you can try completing each task a day early.”
By including your employees in the process of figuring out solutions, you’ll show them that you’re not just there to give orders – you’re a partner in the team who genuinely wants everyone’s work situation to improve.
3) Practice Active Listening
When you give feedback, always try to listen first.
It seems simple, but too often managers launch into their opinions without first hearing what employees have to say for them. Before you jump in with your opinion about why something was done wrong or how it could be corrected, stop and ask questions like these:
“What brought this situation on?”
“Why do you think this happened?”
“What did you think would happen before it actually did?”
By giving people the chance to explain their own thoughts and feelings before jumping ahead with your own ideas, you’ll show them that you care less about telling them what to do than about helping them make better choices next time around. When they know that you want to help them succeed rather than just tell them what to do, they’ll be more motivated to listen and act on your feedback.
Above all else, remember that motivating others is about building relationships with people – not issuing orders.
The best managers are the ones who make their employees feel like partners in their goals rather than slaves to rules and regulations explains Peter Decaprio. By treating employees like valued team members (rather than disposable cogs in the corporate machine), you’ll not only create a better working environment for everyone involved, but you’ll attract top talent, retain star players, and help produce some of the most creative workaround!
We hope that this article has made it clear that giving motivating feedback is something that can be learned if one does not naturally possess the skills.
The most important part of giving motivating feedback is to make it personal and include a solution says Peter Decaprio. Active listening is also an integral part because by practicing active listening, one can ensure that they are capable of handling the employee’s issues rather than merely asserting their own opinions as fact.
In addition, by including employees in the process of figuring out solutions, they would be more willing to listen and act on our feedback as it shows that we want them to succeed.
In the end, the motivating feedback is something that should not only be given from a manager to their employees but also from an employee to their manager as happy employees result in better work!