February 20, 2019

39: Motivating Your Team to Adopt New Behaviors

As a manager, you are responsible for your team members accomplishing their individual and collective goals, but you also need to motivate them to work in ways that will foster a culture that will ultimately serve the team best. This may include what seem like obvious behaviors such as owning your mistakes, or more complex ones such as giving real-time feedback to one another or asking for help.

It’s your job as the manager to find both the internal and external motivators that resonate with each person and help them adopt the desired behaviors.

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Read the related blog article: How To Motivate Your Team To Work in New Ways.

Key Takeaways:

  • People will change their behavior when (1) the expectation is clear, (2) they have the capability and opportunity to do the new behavior, (3) they understand why it’s important, (4) they are rewarded when they do it, and (5) feel consequences when they don’t.
  • Motivation is only one component of successful behavior change.
  • According to Daniel Pink, there are internal motivators, external motivators, positive rewards and negative consequences. Different motivators resonate with different people.
  • BJ Fogg explains 3 essential motivators, each with a positive and negative side: Sensation (pleasure and pain), Anticipation (hope and fear), Belonging (social acceptance and social rejection).
  • How we respond to expectations set by ourselves and others impacts our motivation. According to Gretchen Rubin, there are 4 tendencies which explain how we respond to expectations – those who meet all expectations, those who meet internal but struggle with external, those who meet external but struggle with internal, and those who push back against all expectations. There are various strategies that work to support each tendency to meet expectations.
  • It’s not always easy to follow-through on rewarding the desired behavior or “punishing” lack thereof. Many times managers unintentionally respond negatively to the exact behaviors they asked for, ensuring people don’t try them again.
  • Your job as the manager is to clarify expectations, ensure proper systems/processes/tools to support successful behavior change, help people understand why it matters, link the behavior to each person’s motivators, and finally reward positive behavior and reprimand failure to change.

Links to Additional Resources:

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