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You & Your Team

In many times of your life, you will need to lead people. The opportunities to do so, moreover, will not be few and far between. For instance, in school, you needed to push people to finish their work in your laboratory or group exercises so that you did not become the last group in class to pass your work. In the workplace, you often have to tell people how to work together and remind them of deadlines constantly so that you are not behind on your workload.

Even your weekend getaways can be times and places where you need to motivate a team. You may need to push your family to get out of bed so that you can all go to church, or so that you can all get to the party in the next town just in time. Or you may have a group of friends who aren't quite sure if they should go into business together, and you need to motivate them to start getting to work.

In other words, you will find no dearth of opportunities for you to learn how to motivate a team. With the many different personalities on the planet, it is not unlikely that the people on your team will have as many different personalities as there are members of your team. You need to not only make sure that these personalities do not clash but push these team members to forget about their differences and produce output. Here are a few tips that you may want to consider when you start motivating your team.

Be firm, not pushy.

The biggest mistake that managers make when they try to get their teams together is to emphasize the importance of output over everything else, personalities included. This can be a great way to get the job done of course, but if you have to keep reminding people every single day about how good they are, about how they should not mind each other's quirks and idiosyncrasies, and about how they have to finish a job, then you can get sick on two different fronts. One, you can get emotionally worn out at having to keep on repeating yourself. Two, your team can simply just get sick of you

Be realistic with your deadlines.

The day of the art of procrastination, and the myth of working best under pressure, is gone. If you are in school, then so be it, pull an all-nighter and get your work done. But if you are in the office, then you need to have some discipline. Treat your team members like adults, certainly not students even if they are students. They already get spoken to like students for 8 plus hrs a day, the additional time they're with you, you have an opportunity to treat them as adults. Don't cut too close and give them short deadlines. Two different disasters may occur. Your team can either finish on time, but you can get poorly made output; or your team doesn't finish it on time at all, and you don't get the output that you need.

For the best results, consult with your team.

Recent research in social anthropology have shown that people will work best not when they are under pressure, but when they are empowered to do things themselves. This concept of participation and engagement is gaining ground in many different fields, from management to education. Keep this in mind when you are trying to motivate your team: consult with it on what deadlines will work best, negotiate these deadlines, talk to them about work output, and give them the power to decide things on their own. If you empower people, you can motivate them easily.

Have some rewards ready for a job well done and make sure that your team knows about these rewards.

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