How do you lead your team in today’s organization? The basic premise is: intrinsically motivated team members perform better because they come to work because they want to, not because they have to. So how does your function as leader change as you shift your focus towards this intrinsic motivation? Theunissen and Stubbé (2011) provide an excellent strategy: Leading by providing bearing, room, and backup.
Written in collaboration with Ellen Sebregts
At long last, focused attention for Mastery, Autonomy and Connection!
Do you know what’s so great? For years we’ve been writing about the three needs which when fulfilled make a person happy – at home and even more so at work: Mastery, Autonomy, and Connection. It’s so simple. Yet not easy. That’s why many organizations who have understood this message realize how difficult it is to truly live up to this challenge and appoint a Chief Happiness Officer.
A hype? Rubbish? We think not.
I often hear (about) leaders in organisations mumbling things like, “We need to get the dialogue going on the subject of . . .” Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what do we mean when we say dialogue? Is it just a hip way of saying we should talk to coworkers?
In a previous post, I explained why you should trust the competence of your colleagues. In this post, I go a step further and discuss stepped decision-making, or delegating responsibility for a certain task, role, or function to the lowest possible hierarchical level in the organization.
You don’t generally select new employees on obedience, but on what they’re competent at (or potentially capable of doing) together with their ability to collaborate. In this post, I delve deeper into encouraging trust in others’ competence, or allowing people to get on with what they were hired for.
Good performance is good for the organization; it promises quality results in the future. It’s about more than only the outcome: how the result was attained in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and collaboration is equally important. Performance feedback entails it all: information on how and how well a task has been executed. In this post I deal with how to let coworkers know their effort is meaningful, good, or excellent.
Colleagues need to feel free to tell each other what they observe and from their expertise make critical comments, without chopping heads off or having their own heads chopped off. Safety also lays the basis for positive relations with one another. So how do you create safety?
Without communication, no organization. An organization’s achievements are directly and indirectly influenced by interpersonal communication. This is true in all three directions: top-down, horizontally, and bottom-up. If you want an excellent organization, you will need excellent communication and, by extension, excellent interpersonal communication. But why? And what do you need to do to implement it?
One of the most powerful theories on how to motivate people on the work-floor is Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory. In my post ‘Effective Communication Is About Understanding Emotion’ I dealt with the idea of Observational Listening and how that way of listening focuses on emotions people are currently experiencing. These two concepts together make a powerful combination in which motivation takes current emotions into account.
Imagine a world in which you wouldn’t experience any emotion whatsoever. What would your life look like? Drab? No, it wouldn’t be drab, as that’s an emotion. Nor boring, peaceful or any other state of mind which implies an emotion is being experienced. This means, therefore, that emotions are necessary for you to be able to experience anything at all. It goes a step further: Emotions are adaptive, they increase your chances for survival. Take fear, for example. If you didn’t ever get scared, you wouldn’t be aware of danger and would do silly things, like not jumping out the way when a car comes barreling down the road towards you. Emotions tell you what is important, what needs your attention and what action is required. Only when something is important enough does it capture your attention, this all thanks to the emotion that brings it to the forefront for you. And you only learn something when it is important enough to be able to react appropriately to such a given situation. In other words, emotion not only tells you what is important, it also is the motor for your learning. Emotions are primary. Emotions motivate.