While it is good to be aware of motivational techniques to improve an individual’s performance it’s clearly useful if the quality of your personnel is high from the start. If not high then the potential should be there for improvement.
Prior to taking out the ‘new broom’ you must be able to assess if the current personnel can improve their performance with suitable training techniques. If all of your efforts fail then you should consider dismissal. Recruitment costs money and time (see The Complete Time Management package) (see Limited By Attitude).
Business is similar to the theatre in that each would like consistent and high level performers.
Super novas may be interesting but don’t last long.
As an individual you must know your own limitations and focus on your own skill set.
For every person in your company you want distinctive qualities that will contribute to success.
One problem is that some companies can be so full of rules that your ‘natural’ inclinations are easily suppressed.
We all have to follow rules but be aware which ones are stifling creativity.
Dress code is an area that causes a lot of problems.
Feed back is usually often and quick in the theatre. This is not the case in business and it can be a brave thing to ask someone what they think of you and your style of working and management. When you seek this you must encourage honesty in a constructive manner but even then it may be difficult. In truth, if you really consider how you impact on others you are probably aware of some of these traits and just require confirmation. In addition, it’s likely you will get some pleasant surprises as people compliment you for particular qualities that you were unaware of because you did them naturally without thinking.
If you were making a movie and had to cast someone as yourself who would it be?
Excluding the odd exaggerated choice you might get additional insight into your own character.
In business you may not need to call upon a wide range of characters, as in the case of an actor, but at some time you will probably need to modify your natural approach depending on the circumstances.
This is often a reflection of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and maturity.
When you decide to play a role in business that doesn’t fit easily with your natural character it is easy to feel awkward.
It’s not about losing integrity. This will only come about if there is an obvious lack of sincerity in your actions.
Your character adaptation, if based upon actual experiences in your life, will be genuine and appear so to another.
Integrity is about maintaining your own inner standards.
There may be particular aspects of your character that appear on occasion that, on reflection later, you should have kept hidden.
For example, anger, showing frustration, boredom or jealousy. Before they raise their heads why not consider in what circumstances they may appear.
It pays to carry out a similar review with your preferred traits particularly those that give you a buzz of great success and motivation.
Repeating good behaviours at a consistent level may be hard and a better understanding can be useful.
How did you manage to perform at a particularly high standard on that occasion?
When you think through a situation yourself you are only limited by your own imagination.
It’s a simple matter to let your thoughts run riot and really stretch the images in your minds eye.
Once you have taken it as far as you can the tricky part then is to translate those imaginings into a practical vision in reality.
This technique does not involve others and as such does not suffer from any embarrassment of revealing any detail. It is fast as you can easily go off tangentially and explore other ideas in your mind.
It allows you time to reflect and think internally, “What if?”.
Consider what things really inspire you and what would really motivate you to succeed.
You can extend this to thoughts of real life situations both at home and at work where inspiration and motivation were at their peak. From a personal perspective where do you want to be? What do you want to have achieved in one years time.
These techniques are useful to fulfil your own vision and to contribute to the vision of the team or organisation.
How powerful is the final vision? Can it be captured in a sentence as though you were advertising a blockbuster movie?
Casting a vision is covered in more detail elsewhere (see The Complete Leadership package).