Managers recognise the need to inspire and energise their people to perform at their best and hit their potential. However, if all you’re doing is passing out information or topping up their knowledge with data, how can motivation or inspiration play even a small part in the communication?
It’s a natural part of a manager’s daily routine to simply send or pass information along the line. Surely I can’t be serious about seeing this as a motivational opportunity?
Well, yes I am serious and it doesn’t take more than a minute or two’s thought to actually achieve some benefits over and above just filling their heads with knowledge.
Let’s say you are passing on sales figures or customer details or even product details onto the sales team. You can ask yourself five key questions that will help you to see how even these routine, mundane snippets of info could actually have an impact on the motivation of team members. Ask yourself firstly,
What does this information mean to them? By this, I am thinking about the meaning they will attach to the information they are receiving. Will they see it as good news or bad, should they be concerned or content, will they have more work to do or will it save them effort? Think about the meaning that each team member will read into this information.
What impact will it have on them? Think through what the repercussions of this data will be for them. How will it affect them in the short and long-term? Will they be encouraged and motivated to expend more commitment?
What changes will it drive? Every bit of information you communicate will create change in one form or another. It could help people to develop their motivation. Or it could make a pathway towards further changes down the road. Whatever the data is, think what effect it will have on the receivers.
What potential is there with this information? Does the information hold the key to improved performance? Will it create opportunities to expand the operation? Even if it’s a list of details someone has been waiting for, does it still open up chances for people to change they way they work or help them improve something?
What opinions will they have about it? Put yourself in their shoes and ask if the information will create a difference in the way they think about results. Will it affect the ideas they come up with for improvement? Will it change attitudes for the better or worse? How will people react when they hear others’ opinions about it?
So, if you are simply passing on information or data, consider these five questions and then see if it is simply a communication exercise you are carrying out.
Head of Training
Originally published: 22 April, 2014