It is me, Ellen Soentken, again with a great tip that will change the way you get yourself motivated. But first a little insight I gained from the Motivators Survey that started in the summer of 2014 thanks to a very motivating client.

Your colleagues are not motivated because of you.
According to the Motivators Survey (300 respondents and counting) superior’s leadership or social skills are not top of mind when asked ‘What is the biggest motivator in your career’. But do not think you are off the hook now. Because there are factors where you can play a key enabling and facilitating role. Just make sure next time your colleagues give you the credits for it too …

Do you want your colleagues to be motivated to the MAX to do their work?
Think of what you need yourself. What would make you really get into that wonderful positive flow? Right before the biggest break you cannot help to start daydreaming about a wonderful great new next step. The greener pastures. Abundance. Recognition. Success. Things that come your way that are good, that last and that lift you up. A better time in which you don’t have to worry anymore about little things. That you can play a bigger game. For the win. I have a little exercise about it in my linked in blog Relax.

Give them what they need.
Now you know what you need. Let me tell you this: it all comes to one central desire we mortals dream about. And it is not more money, not a bigger house or a nicer partner.

Two words: Big Break

A Big Break is a wonderful opportunity you are longing for as long as you can remember. A staggering 50 % of the respondents said that the biggest motivator in their career is the opportunity for growth and development. Independence and self esteem come next.

Here is the trick:
You can think: I make people like me. Or I try to sell the work to them telling them that their work is so important. Or maybe you prefer the more directive controlling tactic by putting pressure on them so they feel it and run faster. Now I agree, these things also work. But only if you are crystal clear which archetype behavior your colleague shows and what kind of motivators that archetype prefers. (I will talk about that another time). But there is a much better and time efficient way:

Give your people (or yourself, when you are the 12% of the people who gets highly motivated by job crafting) the opportunity of a big break.
A big break that can enable them feel passionate about what they want to achieve and proud of what they have achieved. And maybe if you are a tough love superior: to proof that the colleague was underestimated.

This method forces you to focus on your biggest internal motivation-kickstarters.
So it is essential that you find out what your colleagues consider their personal big break. What would be the best thing that ever happened to them at work? You would be surprised how easy some of the big breaks can be arranged. And how fast they work on the motivation.

Just remember these key ingredients of the big break:
Opportunity to grow and develop, Independence & self esteem, passion and pride, maybe a little ‘told you I can do it’ element to give it that little extra edginess too.

It works a lot better than the proverbial ‘plastic carrot’.
I am telling you. If you can rise your self up to the level that you can be the gatekeeper of big breaks. You will be more valuable than a mentor or a coach. You will be the next talent guru at work.

And it unleashes your colleagues zest for work.
You will fuel people with that extra power they did not know they had in them. Helping them focussing and getting forward making each their own big break happen.

Now try it yourself
What would your big break look like? How would your day be? Where would you go? What would you do? When would the ultimate feeling of ‘this is it’ ‘this is what I am supposed to do/share/be to do my part in this world?’ come real?

Want more?
The Motivators Survey is an ongoing research. If you want to know what makes you and your colleagues sublimely motivated (and what not). If you like to compare your company motivation results to the control group. Please contact me directly.

Stay tuned: and we will go into what are the most devastating demotivators at work and what you can do about it.

See you next time,

Ellen Soentken

M. +31 (0)6 510 300 36

* Author of the dutch bestseller De 7 Ondeugden van vrouwelijke managers (transl. The 7 Vices of female executives)
* #22 on the list of best public speakers in the Netherlands (Source Management Team)
* Founder of the upcoming Female Leadership Academy
(the place to be for female executives and the companies that treasure them)