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Improving Team Motivation

March 12, 2013

The challenge in improving team motivation is the fact that a team is made up of different individuals with varying needs and motivating factors. Some team members find financial rewards as primary motivators while others value challenges more. Hence, the needs of each team member must be met in order to boost team motivation. Here are some general guidelines to improve team motivation.

Get to know your team. Spend some time with your team members. Do not force it and keep it casual. Start with a few minutes of small talk every day to build rapport. Find out what other things you have in common with your team besides work. It could be an interest, a hobby, or maybe something about family life. Later, you can also organize team building activities like games and trips to create more opportunities for everyone to get to know each other better.

While you do not have to be a best friend to your team members in order to boost team motivation, you need to have a positive and open relationship with every individual in your team so you can better understand what motivates each person.

Performance assessment and coaching are important elements of team motivation. It is the job of the team supervisor to provide regular feedback to each team member about their performance, whether good or bad. Keep in mind that one of the factors that highly motivate employees is recognition. Everyone wants to be recognized for a job well done. It does not have to be a big public event, although that is a great way to boost team motivation. You can simply ask for a few minutes during a meeting to recognize the best performing team, team members and supervisors.

At the same time, if you want to improve team motivation do not hesitate to give negative feedback if there is any. Ignoring poor performance or behavior will not help your team in any way. The important thing when giving criticism is to do it in a considerate and respectful manner. Otherwise, you will lose team motivation. But show them that you are serious and you expect them to do a better job next time.

Utilizing employees does not mean overloading them with work, which to be certain will not help team motivation. Empowerment means allowing the team to make certain decisions regarding the project, which enables them to make use of their experience, skills and knowledge. Empowerment increases team motivation because they can initiate changes and are, therefore, more engaged with the project.

 

Motivation is that which drives a person to attain a goal or realize a dream. Whatever your goals are in life and whatever your motivational factors are, performing a motivation exercise can help you stay inspired and on track. Life is filled with stressful moments and sometimes, they can overwhelm you and make you feel like giving up on your goals. Unfortunately, there is no wonder drug to produce motivation. It simply has to come from within a person. However, there are many ways to inspire motivation such as a motivation exercise that help deal with the destructive forces in life.

One good example of a motivation exercise is known as “creative visualization”. You can do this anytime and wherever you might be. This motivation exercise simply involves creating a mental picture of yourself realizing your dreams. Feel free to be as detailed with your visualization. By holding onto the mental picture that you have created and using it in your daily life, you can motivate yourself to work for your dreams.

Verbal affirmation is another motivation exercise that works well with creative visualization. The power of words has long been proven and pronouncing your success strengthens your vision even more. Once you have captured your vision, affirm it. When you speak positive and encouraging words to yourself, you become empowered.

An essential motivation exercise when setting your goals is to write them down. This helps you to understand fully what it is you are trying to achieve. It is hard to become motivated when your goals are not clear to you so make sure to practice this motivation exercise with every new goal you have. Having a written statement of your goals also allows you to go over them at a later time, which is important because changes happen all the time that you may need to adjust your goals.

In addition, be sure to write down your reasons behind your goals. Why do you want to achieve them? This is important because life can throw blows at your plans that can dampen your spirit. Having something tangible to remind you of your reasons is a great way to gain back your motivation.

Recording your progress in a journal is another excellent way to stay motivated. When you are going through a rough time, you can look back at what you have already achieved and realize that quitting is certainly not worth it.

The above exercises are simple but effective ways to get you started on your dreams and keep you going when you are running out of fuel. Begin with even just one motivation exercise and be inspired.

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My first Lifetime event, the energy was high, the crowds busy, and the action good.  I enjoyed touring the fair city of Minneapolis on this event.  However the staggered swim took something away from the normal energized effect of the triathlon start.  The race day was hot, which made the run a challenge.

This was a unique race day for me.  If there was any doubt I was hooked, after completing this race I became a true convert.  First of all, Square Lake in early September is as beautiful of place as you will ever visit.  The mist coming off the marsh as you drive through a sun rise gives you a feeling that today will be a special day.  As I got off the bike, and on to the run, my legs were sluggish and chunky.  Within the first mile, a competitor came up on me, and it was at that point I decided he was not going to pass me.  I picked my pace up, found a new base, and then accelerated past him.  In fact once I accelerated I never stopped.  On this day I ran five miles at an average pace of 6:47 min/mile, one of my best runs ever.

This was the race I learned to swim free style.  As we entered the water, I noted a stiff 15 mph head wind from the South, such that the high profile of my side stroke made it such that I was swimming in place.  Without any option, I was forced to put my head down and start moving my arms, and breathing on my side.  Miraculously, I learned to swim free style right then and there, and I found that it was not that difficult, that I could do it, and I moved fairly fast through the water.  The sprint distance allowed me to give good chase on the bike and run.  The race day was a fun and competitive event.  The energy of the group throughout the day was contagious.  On this day, I became hooked on triathlons.