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We all motivate others at some point in our careers. Our methodology gives us the power to spark creativity or, just as easily, hinder the individual and/or groups performance. Our goal should be to nurture the embers of dedication in an effort to spark the flame of creativity. Then, as that flame burns brightly, we should support it in the hope of creating an inferno of productivity.
Enthusiasm and Its Impact on Performance
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Performance standards differ from person-to-person. In addition, the definition of performance carries different meaning based upon use. It could be used as a metric to evaluate an employee’s work. It could be a presentation. It could be a variable used to assign worth (or lack thereof) to a given stock. It could be a lot of things.
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You are also creating limits to what you employees can dream or create when you pigeon-hole them into a set of expectations or standards to follow. If you really want to improve performance, take the leash off and focus on encouraging them to share their thoughts and creations. You may find new methods they offer benefit the company even more and you will finally see that “spark” in their eye where it’s not just a job anymore, it’s their passion…and they will WANT to succeed.
Performance Beyond the Employer/Employee Relationship
Performance goes beyond an employee/employer relationship. To showcase this, I’ll need your help. Think of an outside of work group in which you participate. It could be a church or civic group. It could be recreational. (You can also use your family – if you choose – as that is a group, too.)
Now, think about a recent task. (Remember, it doesn’t have to be work related, but it should be something that you agreed to do and completed recently.)
Thought of it?
Good, let’s keep going.
Answer the following question using VERY, SOMEWHAT, or NOT AT ALL as the three potential answers.
How enthusiastic were you about the task?
If you answered VERY…
Did you find the task to be very easy to complete? Or, if not, did you undertake it with little-to-no complaint – content in knowing the effort was worth your time? Basically, would it be safe to say that you enjoyed the task?
If you answered SOMEWHAT…
Was it just a work related task that you do without giving much thought? What was it that caused you to rank the task somewhat? What factors contributed to the lukewarm response?
If you answered NOT AT ALL…
What factors caused the negative response? Was it the task OR was it others involved in the task? What was it about the other(s) that caused the NOT AT ALL? What could you have done differently (if anything) to make the task fall into the somewhat or very categories?
We all need to motivate others from time to time. When we coach, it is important that we recognize the value of the other person and genuinely encourage. If we don’t, we run the risk of smothering all enthusiasm. A compliment should not always come packaged with critique.
Working with Passion
We give our best performance when we work with passion. For me, I love to create and write. I know when I’m “connected” and “in sync” with the project, but I also know when I’m not. When that happens, discovering what causes a disconnect is vital to sustaining your own personal performance standards.
What motivates YOU to give your best effort?
What factors HINDER your enthusiasm?
What is your passion – your calling?
“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart, and success will come to you.” ~ Oprah Winfrey