Help Groups Connect
It's great to tailor your motivation for particular people, but that's not always going to be possible. There may be times when, acting as a leader, you deal with more people than you can practically get to know with any degree of closeness. At such times, you need a different motivational strategy.
Create the Atmosphere
The first step is to create an acceptance of the proper role of motivation. To that end, stop activities that ignore the emotional needs of others. Make everyone aware that mindless following of orders does no good. Insist on meeting the needs of the organization and people's legitimate self-interest at the same time.
Organizations that push their goals at the expense of their people are dysfunctional, and the problems generally systemic. Bad behavior is usually the result of official policies. Depending on the existing organizational or social culture, instilling an atmosphere conducive to motivation might require extensive negotiation with other leaders and re-examination of policies and procedures.
Structure Your Approaches
Different people will find different things meaningful, and you need a variety of ways to motivate them. Before you come up with the mechanisms, develop the approaches. Look at some of the different connections one might make with a given goal and see how to best express them. That way, you're not groping for a way to relate the goal to anyone in particular.
Good salespeople don't talk to prospects without preparation. They know ahead of time the types of objections they're likely to get, and they know what they'll say in those situations. That's the type of preparation you want here. When someone is not motivated, you need a range of possible tools and messages at hand so you can respond with something relevant. That way you're not flailing about, trying to find something to say.
You won't always have the appropriate answer. In that sense, a leader is very different from a salesperson, who is likely to lose touch with a prospect whose objections he is unable to counter. Your team members are still there. If one approach doesn't seem to work, go off and think more about how else you might help.
Plant Motivation Seeds
When you seed a lawn, you don't cover every single inch of ground where you want grass. You spread the seed around and water and fertilize it. The seeds start to grow and, as they do, they spread to fill in the blank spots. If you don't have the resources to motivate each and every person in the organization, try working with a select few to start. Positive attitudes are catching, so sprinkle your motivational work about and let it spread.
Work with Others
Don't assume that you have to do all the motivation, particularly if the group is large. Work with other leaders to create a motivation strategy. Are there approaches that might work in one group better than others? Could different groups with complementary strengths help motivate each other? Discuss motivational tools that all of you find useful so that each of you can learn and expand your leadership repertoire.
Interacting with Groups
You may have to address groups of people involved in the organization. Obviously, whether you're speaking or writing, you cannot literally relate on an individual level to everyone at the same time. But you can make sure that you touch on different motivational aspects that are common. You can keep particular individuals with different needs in mind as a way of focusing your communication and making it more grounded and practical in tone.