83% of employees feel they do not need an office to be productive, according to the Fuze Global Report on Workforce Future.
Knowing how to motivate virtual team members is now an essential skill for team leaders.
Let’s dive into the art and science of motivating yourself AND others.
1: Celebrate Small Wins
Most people think about motivation in terms of incentives, competition, compliments, financial rewards, etc.
What do you think is the biggest motivator of all? Progress!
In his best-selling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink pulls apart four decades of scientific research on human motivation. His research shows that financial incentives are poor motivators for success.
Pink argues that there’s a deep human need to direct our own lives, to learn, and to create new things. This is the secret to high performance and satisfaction.
According to Pink, we need to harness the power of small wins by being heroes of progress.
Whether you are talking to your colleague, your spouse, or trying to motivate yourself, highlight progress. Here’s how:
- As you make your to-do list, start with what you already have done up top
- Check off the progress you’ve already made ceremoniously before doing more
- Make scoreboards for yourself and your team so you can see how far you have come in the middle of a big project
- When speaking with your team, talk of what’s already been done, in addition to what’s next
- When giving a compliment, highlight specific tasks already achieved. Don’t talk about how little they have left; talk about how far they have come!
2: Watch What You Say… to Yourself!
Our thoughts are secret—and that’s often a good thing.
We are far more brutal in our minds than in reality.
The problem is the brain believes what you tell it most.
How do you talk to yourself? Are you kind, mean, harsh, or sweet? Ask yourself, would you talk to your best friend that way?
Our self-truths are the beliefs we hold, whether they are true or not.
Sometimes, we learn our self-truths from life experiences. Other times, we pick them up from those around us, our parents, bosses, teachers, etc. These become our limiting beliefs.
Here are some common negative self-truths people say all the time:
- I am horrible at remembering faces
- I can’t remember names
- Things never work out for me
- I have terrible luck
- I’m awful with people
- I’m so clumsy
- I’m so awkward
- I’ll never fit in
- I’m not creative
- Mondays suck
- I’m no good at …
- I’m just not the type of person who …
If you are warming up your mind with these kinds of thoughts, there’s no way you can be your best self.
Watch out for your limiting beliefs and limiting wishes.
For example, one woman told me that the reason she can’t make friends is because of her horrible nose. “I look like a toucan,” she said. “When I’m talking to people, I know all they are thinking about is my nose. As soon as I get it fixed, it will be so much easier to meet people.”
Let me ask you a question. Have you EVER not been able to talk to someone because you didn’t like their nose? Absolutely not. Her limiting wish was, “If only my nose was smaller, I would be able to make friends.”
She helped me realize that my own limiting wish was: If only I was thinner
Here are some more common limiting wishes:
- If only I was taller
- If only I was richer
- If only I was funnier
- If only I was smarter
- If only I got that promotion
- If only I could move to that city
- If only I could find a significant other
- If only I could have a baby
- If I was older…
- If I was younger…
Are your desires holding you hostage?
Bottom Line: Stop thinking you need to change something before you can achieve your desired outcome!
3: Say Bye-Bye to These Buzzkills
In order to motivate others, you need to know how to motivate yourself first.
We are inspired by highly productive, efficient people.
Here are some of the most common bad habits that hurt our motivation:
- Starting projects but never finishing
- Numbing yourself with addictive habits, substances, food, etc.
- Watching too much News
- Watching too much TV
- Projecting negativity
- Eating badly
- Not exercising
- Ignoring problems
- Being disorganized
- Working too much
- Working too little
Any of these look familiar?
In his book What to Say When You Talk to Your Self, Dr. Shad Helmstetter states that we are programmed by our thoughts. He breaks down being able to change your self-talk into five levels:
Level 1: Negative Acceptance
“I can’t _____ .”
The fill-in-the-blank with your limiting beliefs and wishes. These are the current negative ideas you’ve accepted about yourself.
Level 2: Recognition and Need to Change
“I need to …”
“I should …”
Here you’ve achieved a level of awareness.
Level 3: Decision to Change
“I no longer …”
Here you’ve decided to change some of your limiting beliefs.
Level 4: The Better You
“I am …”
Once you have retired a limiting belief or changed it, you then have a new self-vision and concept.
Level 5: Universal Affirmation
“It is …”
Finally, you see the world differently. You have changed your own belief and the world around you.
What level are you at?
If you’re not at Level 5, commit to change.
You have a choice. You can live on autopilot or you can live intentionally. If you want to thrive remotely, choose the latter.
Do you have rituals and routines, to get psyched up for something big… like a meeting, a date, or an event?
Your life is bigger. Create the right habits to motivate yourself.
Here are a few ideas:
- Use music to pump yourself up
- Build the perfect morning and evening routine
- Use daily affirmations and incantations
Love the affirmation that Jennifer Lopez shared in her interview with Oprah (at 39.41 mark):
I am open and receptive to all the goodness and abundance the universe has to offer. I am in perfect health. My children are in perfect health. We are safe. We are whole. I am whole. I am good on my own. I love myself. I love you, Jennifer. I love the universe. The universe loves me. God loves me. I am beautiful, youthful, and timeless at every age. I am enough.
What’s your daily affirmation? If you don’t have one, commit to thrive and create one today!