How to get the best out of yourself, and your team at work
When I worked as a Leader, I was curious about why some of my team performed well, and some didn’t.
I was so passionate about this subject of human potential, that I quit the corporate world and trained as a Psychologist.
Years later I came back to working with businesses as a Coach to help them answer that question that I was so motivated by – how to get the best out of people at work.
So, how do we understand what motivates people to do well?
First, we all need to feel valued and supported at work.
We want to feel valued both personally, and professionally.
Personally, we want to feel that we matter. We want to feel seen and heard. We want to feel that we contribute in some way, and that leads on to how we like to feel valued at work.
Professionally, we like to feel that our skillset helps. We like to feel that we make a difference. We want to feel that we have something to offer.
How do you feel valued personally outside of work?
What makes you feel valued in work?
If we feel valued and supported, we are more motivated, more productive, and feel more connected with our role, and our colleagues. In essence, we do a better job.
So, what can you do to make sure that you feel valued in work? And what can you do to make other’s feel valued?
How you feel valued
Identify specifically what has to occur for you to feel valued and supported. You might not use the word valued. You might better identify with feeling motivated, inspired, or energetic after some situation. What was the situation that gave you that boost?
What makes a difference for you? Is it a compliment? A sale? Some form of connection? A gift? Someone asking you how you are, or asking if you need any support?
How others feel valued
For the people you work with, know that some of them are motivated internally, and require little outside input regarding whether they are doing a good job. And some people are motivated externally, and require praise or feedback in order to give them that boost of motivation to perform at their best.
Some people like to be asked how they are doing. This makes them feel valued. Some people find this micro-managing, or patronising. Get to know who you are working with.
Straight forward communication is very much lacking in the workplace.
If you are a leader, communicate to your team by asking them more questions. Give them permission to communicate to you what they want.
Workplace relationships are relationships too. And in order to get the best from our team, we should know what they want and need, in order to understand what motivates them, what makes them feel valued, and what support they need.
Second, we need the right level of stress.
Another area I found to be a good predictor of effectiveness at work is our current stress levels.
Everyone knows that too much stress is counterproductive.
But we sometimes forget, or fail to remember that too little stress is counterproductive too.
When we have too little challenge, or too little stimulation, or excitement, our energy levels dip. This is because some stress can be very motivating.
Stress gets a bit of a bad name, but it’s not a bad thing. The stress hormone, Cortisol is one of the hormones that energises us and helps us get things done.
Too little Cortisol, and you and your team will be tired, unmotivated, and unproductive.
Too much stress and Cortisol and you feel overwhelmed.
Just a little note on overwhelm. If you, or your team feel overwhelmed, do the quickest, simplest, smallest jobs first. This will release dopamine, reduce cortisol, and give you the confidence, energy, and the headspace to move onto the more complex and bigger tasks.
The right amount of stress leads to optimum performance. When you get excited, or feel motivated to complete a new project, this is a form of stress.
When you actually complete that project, a difference chemical is released – Dopamine.
Dopamine is the reward chemical. When you finish a task, tick something off your to do list, or even buy something off Amazon, Dopamine is released.
It feels good. And it is very motivating. It can even be addictive.
So, how can you use this knowledge of our bodies chemicals to get the best out of yourself and others?
Our stress levels
How much stress do you need to thrive?
What causes you stress and how can you eliminate some of those stressors?
Other people’s stress levels
Do any of your team experience too much stress? What can you do to reduce that?
Do some of your team want more responsibility? How can you empower them? What can you delegate?
Once we know the answers to these questions, the actions will naturally follow.
When we feel valued, supported, and have the optimum level of stress, we are more likely to function at our best.
On top of that, people at work need the right skills, autonomy, clarity of role, clear goals, and regular feedback.
Chris will be leading a workshop for Wimborne BID on 25th January. You can book a place at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/369091050267
If you would like to get the best out of yourself, or your team, you can book a complimentary coaching session or workshop with Chris Finn via his website – https://chris-finn.com