5 Ways To Build Your Team’s Inner Leadership
How do we keep our teams motivated? I believe that the answer to that is inner leadership.
You know what it is like to work in a highly motivated team. When your team is firing on all cylinders, the energy that creates and the work that gets done is phenomenal. And you also know the drag of trying to get this happening with a team that is listless and has no heart or skin in what they are doing. And that leads us to the golden question… How do we keep our teams motivated? I believe that the answer to that is inner leadership.
Ok, I have just thrown that term out there. If this article had a soundtrack, there would be a dramatic crescendo at the point. Now cue the curious tickling tunes while I tell you what I mean by inner leadership.
Inner Leadership is the way that you lead yourself first and others second.
Inner Leadership is the way that you lead yourself first and others second. It is having a clear internal compass on how to move forward and having self-mastery over your thoughts and disruptive emotions. It is the ability to speak up for yourself and others, and it is knowing what you are responsible for and what you are aren’t. And Inner leaders take all of this into how they connect with others.
Now, what has this got to do with motivation? Not much if you are a carrot or stick motivator but everything if you are looking to have a team lit up from within. Let’s explore how it works (Cue dramatic music)
Aligning the Inner Compass
One of the biggest challenges you face when motivating your team is getting them to buy into your team’s vision and purpose and align it with their own. For some team members, this is as easy as making a cup of tea, for others you may have the feeling that you will never get on the same page. To create this alignment, you need 3 ingredients. Firstly you need to know what the purpose and the vision is of your team. On the flip side, you need for your team members to discover what their vision is for being in the team. Then knowing how to communicate through this in a way that allows for everyone to feel like a valuable part of what you are trying to get done.
What has self-mastery got to do with motivation? Well, we all know what it is like to want to change a habit from stopping yourself from eating that 4 pm chocolate bar to pressing the snooze bar when we had promised ourselves to get up and go for a run before work. We also see it in the workplace. The extra trips to the photocopier to procrastinate, the endless working through emails that aren’t the high priority task that we need to be doing. Self-mastery doesn’t create motivation, it supports and facilitates it.
So how do you build this within your team? I believe in a two-fold approach. Training to develop self-mastery and then integration time. Give your team pockets of time with the resources that they need to continue to grow this. It is a practice, not an aha moment that will build this capacity.
Nothing is more motivating than having skin in the game, and a great way to get your team to have that is to include their ideas. I know that I will work much much harder to see an idea that I have had come into being than following the idea of someone else. Now I know that this isn’t always practical yet I still challenge you to keep looking for ways to open up communication, so your team has a forum to share their thoughts and ideas.
The other side of this is friction and conflict. Whether it is out in the open conflict, or you have a couple of elephants in the room with your team, and no one is talking about it. Both scenarios leave people not wanting to speak up. This is when creating a platform for discussion is even more crucial.
As well as creating the platform for discussions, also providing training to support your staff to build the confidence and the skill to speak up with integrity is crucial to inner leadership.
Inner Leadership – It isn’t an instant solution; it is a powerful and long-lasting one.
Responsible – Yes or No
One of the biggest things that kill motivation is a culture of blame and even worse, a culture of shaming. This happens when there is no understanding of self-responsibility. Blame occurs when someone has a big surge of negative emotions and dumps them on someone else. If each person on your team is responsible for their feelings, their thoughts and their own words, there is no blame.
Providing training to your team on building self-responsibly will grow motivation like spring rain for your lawn.
Connect and connect again
If self-responsibility is like rain, connection is the sunshine. Feeling like you are all in this together, part of something more significant than yourselves creates a high-performance environment. Supporting your team to build connections with you and with each other will see motivation souring.
Now the closing music starts up as I encourage you to think about supporting the inner leadership of your team. It isn’t an instant solution; it is a powerful and long-lasting one. What small step can you make to day?
Do you want to motivate your team but don’t know where to start? I invite you to have a 20-minute team motivation analysis session with me. We will look at the dynamic of your team, the team environment and your leadership style to shine a light on how you can boost motivation Book a time here.
Trish Everett is a mindset coach and communication geek with a passion for creating workplaces that people love to work at. She is also a lecturer of Wellness Coaching at RMIT uni and is passionate about conversations that bring positive change.