Leadership is within itself intrinsically motivational. It prioritizes the needs and welfare of others to create an ending where everyone is satisfied and working towards the best of their potential. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is the need for personal growth that drives people as they ascend through life.
In an ideal situation, an individual is, within themselves, motivated towards their personal growth and the growth of an organization, however, that is not always the case and people often have to deal with their own problems, which gets in the way of their final output at work. Henry ford once said “why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?” This quote is important because it shows that even though you just want someone to do a job you have to deal with the whole person, good and bad. A good servant leader is someone who works past these difficulties in order to create a situation at work where the employee is free to develop their skills, without feeling the needs of matters unrelated to the organization coming back to affect them.
What does a good servant leader have to do?
In order to motivate employees and ensure that the final work output is not affected, a servant leader needs to follow the following simple rules:
Keep lines of communication open: Try to ask the employees about what is bothering them. Keep channels of communication open and make an effort to involve the employee in the running of affairs, if and when they are involved. For example, should they come up with a suggestion, pay attention to that instead of actively dismissing it. Always answer their emails, even if it to say a ‘thank you’.
Show empathy: Pay attention to how your employee behaves, looking both for verbal as well as non-verbal cues. If they are telling you something, listen attentively, and try to understand the spirit and intention behind what is being said. Use your leadership abilities, take a step back to better understand where your employee is coming from and determine if it is something that you can help with. Your employee will be grateful and this will increase your influence with them.
Look at their worth and value: Every employee in an organization comes bringing with them their own special sets of skills. These may prove to be valuable to an organization. Try to assimilate everything they have to offer, and ensure that you help them understand that they have a special place in the organization. Always accept good behavior, but determine if the employees short comings are something that can be improved or if it is better to let them go. Create an ethical standard that you can uphold everyone to. It is true that one bad apple can ruin the bunch. An employee that is defiant can create a spirit of dissent within the entire group.
Use Emotional Intelligence: Create an awareness inside yourself that you want to work on improving your qualities in a way that helps the employees to improve theirs. By coming from a place where you want to help, you will be able to conduct yourself in a manner wherein you can make that into a reality.
Get them involved: Try to make your employees a part of the decision making process. Not only will this help them to feel involved, it will also help them feel as if they are contributing something to the organization. This can fuel motivation, make them work harder, and ensure that their valuable skills are also put to proper use.
Do you have experience motivating your team? We would like to hear about it. Post a comment describing your experience.