How to Motivate Your Team When You’re Demotivated
It’s one thing when you make efforts to motivate your demotivated team, it’s completely another doing it when you yourself are demotivated. You’ll find plenty of material that’ll give you tips on how to pump up your demotivated team, but there’s not much out there when it comes to motivating them when you’re running thin on it yourself.
As a leader you’re expected to be the source of motivation, the driving force that your team looks up to. You’re the light that guides them, the catalyst that fuels their energy. How can YOU be demotivated when you’re working with a team who’s turning to you for inspiration? It’s only natural that you can at times feel pressured and the heavy weight of responsibility bringing you down. You can’t always be brimming with energy and positivity (though of course you try your best to be that). Sometimes you’ll feel demotivated and that’s when it becomes challenging to motivate your team.
When you’re feeling exhausted, burned out and demotivated, you need to snap out of it so you can continue to inspire and “lead” your team. Times may be tough, the pressure and challenges may be enormous, however, you can’t buckle under pressure and let your unmotivated energy permeate to your team. Here are a few ways you can motivate yourself and, ultimately, your team.
1. Immerse Yourself
When you feel demotivated you’ll most likely procrastinate and avoid starting off a new project. Because you’re filled with questions like “why am I doing this?”, “what’s in it for me?”, and “what’s the point in doing it when it won’t get a positive response?”, you’ll push back all major projects and just focus on day-to-day operational tasks. Understandable, however, to spin yourself out of this mode, do just the opposite. Take a deep dive into the biggest, most challenging project that you can work on. Think of a deliverable that’s so big that it’ll involve several members of your team. Now get started on it. You’ll realize that by working on an massively challenging project that requires you to work so closely with your team you’ll feel renewed excitement and love for your job. And the best way to motivate yourself is to start enjoying what you do again. Pretty soon all those questions you had asked yourself will find their answers.
2. Count Your Past Wins
Often when you’re demotivated you’ll lack positivity and everything that you do will seem needless. This is the time you should take a break from it all and think of all your past wins. List down all those accomplishments and victories you’ve had in your career with your present organization. When you’re done, take a close look at each of them and recall how you achieved it, who all was involved in it and what success felt like (I’m sure it felt great!). Talk to your team, particularly those who supported you in some of these accomplishments and reminisce with them. You’ll realize that talking about past wins with people who shared it with you is a great way to rekindle the motivation flame. And of course remembering how great victory felt will reignite your desire to feel that all over again.
3. Take It Outside
Spending several hours in a day with your team in the same room for many, many days can get to everyone. Though it may not seem like it at first, but tensions do escalate when you’re just seeing each other at work and talking only about work. So before temperatures arise and shots are fired, take it outside! You all need a break from work. Go on a team building activity that allows you to change the scenery, talk about anything under the sun and redevelop bonds. Getting to know your team and connecting with them (again) will remind you just how much you enjoy their company and how proud you are of each of them – after all these are the talented individuals you handpicked to be in your team. A reformed connection with your team will not only motivate you again, but it’ll also reestablish your leadership.
4. Take Some Time Off
We all know the benefits of taking time off from work and going on vacation. It’s a great way to reset your mind, refresh your energy and get much needed (and deserved) rest and relaxation. It’s probably one of the best ways to recharge your passion for work and be motivated again. But how does that motivate your team? Well, when you’re away the best advice you can give your team is to do an even more brilliant job than they normally do. Your team will interpret this advice as your belief and trust in their abilities. Plus, it shows you’re giving them ownership of situations and challenges while you’re away. Basically you’re stepping away from work not only to return motivated yourself, but also to a highly motivated team.
Remember when dealing with your team your personal feelings need to be shut out so you can stay objective and focused on the job at hand. As a leader you want to avoid your team seeing you beaten down. You need to put on a mask that shows them a strong, capable and in-control leader who is brimming with positivity. It’s you who can bring out the best in them, and for that you need to stay motivated in order to boost their motivation.
Like what you read? Subscribe to the Keijzer Community and get updates to your inbox. You’ll also get a free download which will help you take your leadership teams through a growth model which will help them mature on a personal and professional level.