How to Uninspire People – Part 2

February 5, 2024 by in Blog

Welcome. This is the second blog in our 2-blog series on bosses’ behaviors that can reduce a team’s motivation and prove to be counter-productive to growth in the long run.

In the first blog, we discussed factors related to work management like changing or confusing instructions, boss’s unavailability, too much or post-work follow-up, and restricting relevant information and their impact on employees’ morale and dedication toward their work. (read here)

In this blog we discuss actions related to how “valued” your team feels. Here are some more actions that you may think are ways to keep your team on their feet but, in reality, hamper people’s creativity and efficiency.

  1. Criticize strongly – appreciate weakly

This one is quite familiar to most people. Over-criticize and you break people’s confidence. Under-appreciate and you break people’s motivation.

Here are our tips of how to navigate this. If you tend to prolong criticism for mistakes even after rectification, then remove yourself from the situation. Calm down and let go; going on about the same mistakes makes a person define themselves by those mistakes and they naturally repeat the mistake more often.

While appreciating employees, free yourself of the fear that if you over-appreciate then your team members will take you for granted. Instead, deliver the full impact that the appreciation can bring.

  1. Focus just on results and not on efforts

Many external factors govern outcomes and results; they are not only dependent on the people doing the tasks. A leader should objectively assess the reasons when results are not as expected. Then, they can take a call whether or not to pull the string on the team.

If the team has worked with discipline and dedication, then they are already disappointed with not achieving desired results. Is it then fair to blame them? Will it not lead to a feeling of being unappreciated? It is important to show trust in your team and to critically analyze the causes for the obtained outcomes.

  1. Carelessly use words like exit and pay cuts

When you often refer to your authority, say in terms of terminating people’s appointments, you come across as insensitive. Probably, you intend to only keep people in check and not actually act on such words. But it can lead to helplessness in your employees. A feeling of being at your mercy will only increase anxiety in your team. How can they then deliver good quality work?  

  1. Attack people and not address the situation

The quickest way to uninspire is to condemn. Comments like “you are not committed!” “you are not serious,” “you don’t deserve your job” or “you really are quite incompetent”.

It is understandable to unhappy with someone’s performance. But, resorting to such “attacks” will not resolve anything. Instead, it will trigger the person, make them doubt themselves and reduce their confidence.

What do we suggest? Keep calm, be assertive, and address the situation.  

  1. Devalue the Importance of People in your Business

Various aspects of a business – be it customers, finances, systems, process and people are not mutually exclusive. Having one in place, does not make the others redundant.

Business owners often use phrases like “Customer is king” or “Earning is everything.” They unknowingly devalue the people working in the business.  

While people is that variable, which if managed well constantly improves the other variables {customers (through the Sales & Marketing function), finances (through better credit management), systems (better automation) and processes (sensible operational processes)}. Hence, constantly highlighting the importance of better systems or processes over the importance of people will prove counter-productive for business growth.

We cannot reiterate the importance of making people feel capable and valued in a team.

In conclusion, a boss’s behavior should be conducive to people working at their maximum potential and contributing meaningfully to the organization. This requires bosses to understand their employees as humans first. Hopefully, our exhaustive list over these 2 blogs have given you some useful take-aways.

If you need our advice on this matter, or have any suggestions or experiences to share, please use the comments section.

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