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How managers can use motivation and discipline for successful team leadership

Despite the fact that motivation and discipline are on the opposite ends of the management spectrum, managers need to apply both to lead the team successfully.

A manager, who only uses motivation techniques, can be very popular. However, over time, employees start losing respect to his/her management style of leadership, if they assume they can let their “bad behaviour“ come out.

On the other hand, a manager, who only imposes disciplinary measures, cannot inspire the team without motivation.As soon as employees realize, that there is no reward for positive behaviour, they lose the desire to succeed.

By combining motivation and discipline, managers create equality of rewards and disciplinary measures, which lead the selling team to better performance. Try to apply this equality by using the following methods, to build a stronger and more efficient selling team.

Motivation techniques:
Create positive environment!

creating positive environment, where your team enjoys working, is a part of your management responsibility. By supporting learning, cooperation and individual growth, you can support your team and establish constructive, comfortable workplace.

When creating positive environment, support personal and professional growth, but also, have equal approach to all employees. If you prefer a chosen group of employees or single out employees based on unrighteous warnings, you create working environment causing malice. Listen to opinions of the whole team before making decisions influencing the whole group, or you may compromise your employees´ respect.

Set the goals!

Intelligent Goals = specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound

Every person sets all kinds of life goals, including psychological, work-related, personal, financial, spiritual, physical and family ones. Identifying the goals can help each team member to reach them. An example can be a psychological goal of an employee, who wishes to learn more about a specialized topic. Help him/her reach this goal by paying for further education.

Setting company goals your team will be heading up to. Offer something, which will help them reach their personal goals, if company goals are reached. Providing the “quid pro quo“ goal structure ends up with success for all involved. With group motivation, you will support a stronger feeling of teamwork in your office.

Provide individual incentives!

Understanding individual motivation is the key for the right employee inspiration. If a member of the team reaches the goal, provide him/her with an incentive, which motivates him/her to promote harder work or fast transition to fulfilling the next goal; whether the incentive means a kind of bonus, or an extra day off. Even small incentives provide motivation, which leads to future success. Teams need to feel appraised, otherwise, they lose strength to reach individual and company goals.

Recognize success!

Summon the particular employee after he/she reaches positive results. Even though professional triumph should be emphasized, nothing can build stronger bonds in a team than individual success. It is necessary to realize, that any personal triumphs should be awarded with the employee in private first, before mentioning them in public.

Private recognition of professional success is correct, but, by public recognition of great service, we provide the employee with real recognition within the whole team. Public recognition is a reward itself. By recognizing individual or team successes, you motivate your workers to continue reaching the goals. Remember, that effective recognition must come as soon as possible after the goals are reached. If you reward your employees at the end of the year for successes reached in May, this action will probably have counter-productive effect.

Ask for feedback!

Your team should feel appraisal. By asking for feedback, you communicate your respect for their opinions and look for areas where there is room for improvement. Although this can seem like an ineffective form of motivation, you show your employees you care, encourage them to express their opinion and contribute to better spirits, understanding and motivation in the workplace. During our management and communication training sessions, we often encounter employees, who feel frustrated because of their superior not asking for feedback. Especially with implementing new strategies and changes, which the same team members must fulfil.

You can get more information, ideas and practical experience on the right motivation and motivation techniques in selected Maxwell International courses, or individual coaching sessions. If you are interested in improving your skills in this area, contact us.

Discipline Techniques:

Remedy by the use of mentoring

This softer approach invites managers to demonstrate the conduct expected and be the example. Offer team support and counselling for understanding and setting the appropriate steps leading to remedy. By focusing first on the personality of the employee, and only after that on the product or service, you lay a solid basis for healthy functioning of your team. Try remedy by the method of mentoring, if you want to see a permanent change in your employees without using a harder form of discipline.

Positive Discipline

When implementing the positive discipline techniques in your team, be clear what you want to see, and not what you do not want to see. Positive discipline relaxes the negativity workplace environment, while solving issues influencing your team. This approach prevents the employees from feeling that you are criticising or picking on them. Even though positive discipline requires patience, it is a constructive way of enforcement of the conduct required in the workplace.

Escalating Warning

From escalating warning, more and more serious consequences follow from each breach. Start with verbal warning, which is private and gives the employee the opportunity to discuss the issues of his/her conduct without the rest of the team knowing. Ask the employee, if external influences or personal problems can contribute to his/her production problems. As most workplace problems are not long-term, keep from making the first warning written. That enables the employee to correct his/her conduct without potential long-term harm to his/her career.

With the next serious misconduct, react by written notice. Documentation of the problem increases the seriousness of the misconduct, and, at the same time, means that the conduct is not improving. This written notice also provides legal protection in case the dissatisfied employee sues the company.

In case neither written notices help rectificate the conduct, clearly show that such conduct is not acceptable by lowering work level of the employee, or, if appropriate, terminating his/her employment,. By escalating warning, you give your team the opportunity to correct the wrong conduct before it damages healthy work environment of your team.

Combine some of these motivation and discipline techniques to become stronger managers and better team leaders. By emphasizing positive steps of the team and restraining negative manifestations, you will demonstrate a fair, nevertheless strong manager position. Polish and adjust this balance in yourself, to see how you can lead your team to better results.

Do you want to develop yourself in management techniques and get practical experience necessary for successful team leadership?

Take part in strongly practice-oriented Maxwell International educational programs in the field of management and leadership. Contact us.

We will happily assist you with your personal development.

Written by

Bára Soukupová

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