Try better motivation phrases

Frank Vande Voorde
  • 3 Min de lecture
How to motivate your team members?

As a manager or leader, one of your most important roles is to motivate your team members. We all try to do this well and hope we are saying the right words.

Sometimes, however, what we say can be counter-productive and most of the time we are not even aware of it.

From my own experience, I would like to share those phrases which had the opposite effect, or those phrases which, when turned around, were much more effective.

“This is a great challenge for you". Yeah, right. The reaction was: “why do I have to do what others do not like doing?" I like to do what I choose or ask for. I do not want to have more stress or I do not have to prove that I deserve my place in the team or company. 

“Learn from your mistakes”. Yeah, right. How many times did we hear this and do we still use it? It sometimes seems that making a mistake is the best way to learn. One would make a mistake just to learn and improve!

Why not say instead: “Learn from your success?” He/she did well. How come, what can you repeat, in what state of mind were you, what was the process? Doing something right, being rewarded for it and learning from it – isn’t that more motivating? 

“Keep on doing it, you will get there”. Yeah, right: if you are persistently doing it wrong, that is why there is no progress. Adapt, change. You know the saying “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you always got”. So, stop and tell your people to handle the issue differently.

“Hey, I have a great idea”. Yeah, right. People do not like to be told what to do. It is much better if they come up with an idea of their own; they will be much more motivated to carry it through. The ideal scenario is that they come up with your ideas. You can do that. 

“You are very well paid”. Yeah, right. Studies have shown that employees who are paid too much generate less output than people who are fairly paid. But it needs to be fair, because employees who are paid inadequately will not focus on their work but on the unfairness of their situation.

“I just paid the top performer a top bonus”. Yeah, right. You probably motivated just that one person for a short period of time. In the meantime, you demotivated all the people who did a good job and received no bonuses. You also demotivated all the people who helped the top performer to achieve this performance. Support people also contribute to the success of sales. Never forget this.

These are just of a few tips on how you can say or do things differently. It does not cost more but does require some proactive thinking and a change of mindset. 

If you have any ideas, please share them on Facebook or LinkedIn

Good luck!


Frank Vande Voorde

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