Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

The ‘M’ Word that is Really Magic


As managers, we agonize over how to motivate our agents/employees. Yet, we generally know little about how motivation really works. Here is one psychologist’s view on motivation, with tips on how to make it work for you in the workplace.

Different strokes for different folks. We think people are motivated by whatever motivates us. If we like to be up in front of hundreds and receive those number one trophies, we assume others do, too. Not true. MCClelland, a psychologist who wrote lots about motivation (see Achieving Society, Power is the Great Motivator), wrote that people were motivated by one of these motivators:
a. achievement
b. affiliation
c. power
Which one are you motivated by? How do you know? Think of a time in your life when you were very motivated by something. Was that ‘something’ categorized as achievement, affiliation, or power? You can ask your team members that same question, and find out their dominant motivator (and just observe them in action, too!).

Managing to the Motivators

McClelland said, that, if you’re managing an achiever, you should:

provide clear-cut goals
give prompt feedback

Managing an affiliator? You should:

treat him/her as an individual
be emphathetic
provide encouragement

With the power person, you should:

set clear guidelines
talk about how to win
speak in terms of results

To really put this to work, pick a person you manage that you find challenging. Pinpoint their main motivator. Try the actions McClelland suggests. I’ll bet you’ll not only get more cooperation, you’ll start to feel ‘in tune’ with that person–and provide the atmosphere for them where they can be motivated–their way.

Learn More about How to Motivate

On July 15, I’ll be presenting a webinar on effective motivation sponsored by the Learning Library of the National Association of Realtors. Click here for more information and to register.

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