Team Building

The Motivation Partnership - Managers And Executives Working In Harmony

Read in 5 min. After extensive research (of my own personal, and others' motivations) I have discovered that in order to produce 'self motivation' in others, a manager should concentrate on four key factors.
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Allan M.

A Business Trainer from
Glasgow, United Kingdom

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Motivation is a subject that is constantly on the lips of managers and executives and it is a subject that usually confuses more than enlightens when discussed at any length. There is usually an emphasis on the manager having to have the ability to motivate his or her direct executives and team and very little about what the executive or team can do in order to support the manager.

In this article, Performance Coach, Allan , argues that for motivation to occur then a partnership approach between manager and executive is best and when this happens it can quickly lead to enhanced productivity and results.

Motivation is complex. Take a trawl through the internet and you will find scores of academic theories, many of which , in my opinion, can end up causing de-motivation simply because they are hard to understand and difficult to put into practice in the ‘real world’. Traditional theories such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Hertzberg’s Hygiene Factors Model or McGregor’s X & Y theory are regularly trotted out to explain what motivates individuals. From an organisational context these theories are useful in that they can help an organisation to put in place measures and processes such as working conditions and reward systems which are necessary to motivate individuals but what they don’t actually achieve is an understanding of what specifically makes a person ‘tick’. Managers will admit to knowing about the various theories but how many actually use them on a day to day, face to face basis when attempting to produce self-motivation in their executives?

After extensive research (of my own personal, and others’ motivations) I have discovered that in order to produce ‘self motivation’ in others, a manager should concentrate on four key factors. These are:

* Ensuring Clarity and Understanding.
* Ensuring Freedom of Expression.
* Creating Choice and giving people freedom to make choices.
* Ensuring people are, and feel, valued and rewarded.


These are highlighted in the ‘Diamond Motivation™ model:






Managers can use this model in order to adapt and develop their behaviours so that they produce self-motivation in their teams and executives. By taking a more open, facilitative and consultative approach, they can ensure each of the four points within the model are actively worked upon and implemented. Leadership skills such as contracting and performance coaching must be used to ensure the motivation model works and that self-motivation is produced.

However, why should it just be down to the manager to do all the work? I would argue that the executive has a huge role to play in motivation and that they must assist the manager to create a partnership approach in relation to motivation.

In every partnership both parties have to agree what they are going to contribute and to ensure that the model works, I would suggest that both parties have to contribute the following.


Executives Contributions:

* Be Open to Learning
* Be confident in asking for clarification of any unclear communication.
* Be prepared to speak one’s mind positively as opposed to negatively.
* Is proactive with ideas.
* Admits to challenges or mistakes and offers productive solutions
* Gives feedback to the manager in a constructive manner
* Praises manager when praise is due.
* Is open to taking on extra responsibilities where appropriate



Manager Contributions

* Ensures absolute clarity of communication and checks understanding as opposed to making assumptions.
* Agrees specific objectives / goals and measures of success.
* Allows freedom of expression ensuring that the team can outlines their fears, concerns, hopes, and ideas.
* Listens actively.
* Provides choice and opportunity through flexible working approaches, and supports the creation of choice through performance coaching.
* Ensures the executive is valued through regular support, constructive feedback and appropriate praise.


The most frequent challenges to the motivation partnership working are simply based on the fact that there isn’t a partnership in the first place.
Managers take a ‘hierarchical’ approach and the relationship is ‘one way’ with the manager being overly directive and perhaps even dictatorial, resulting in the executive feeling repressed and under-valued. This causes de-motivation and a potential lack of productivity and success. This situation can occur due to the manager having an ‘I am the Boss’ attitude, possibly caused by their experience of previous managers and as a result they don’t know any different way of working. An absence of training causing a lack of skill in contracting and performance coaching can also result in a lack of confidence in dealing with people and as such this can result in the "one-way" approach which completely defeats the notion of a partnership.

All this can be rectified through the communication of ‘best practice’ (there are excellent partnerships about!) and a little training and it is my opinion that the best way to train the ‘motivation partnership’ is to ensure managers and executives are trained together. That way they are both aware of the skills and behaviours that are needed and can practice them together. This approach would really get the partnership up and running! This may be seen revolutionary (and it is) but it will break down barriers between manager and executive and bring them closer to that all important motivational partnership.

This Article is authored / contributed by ▸ Allan M. who travels from Glasgow, United Kingdom. Allan is available for Professional Training Work both Virtually and In-Person. ▸ Enquire Now.

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