Have you ever wondered why people do what they do? Have you ever had anybody say they would do something, and they didn't do it? Have you ever had anybody tell you they wouldn't do something, and then they went ahead and did it anyway? Managers often ask me how to get people to do what the managers want them to do. I have to tell them gently: "You can't."
People only do things for one reason: THEY WANT TO.
If the manager doesn't know why somebody comes to work in the morning, it could be very difficult for the manager to motivate that person. People are motivated to do what they want to do. People might tell you they will do something, but if they don't want to do it, their whole heart won't be in it. The task might be late; it might have mistakes; it might even be forgotten.
Most of us learned very early in life that it's best to tell other people what we think they want to hear. We learned that telling someone what they want to hear is a good way to avoid being punished, being constrained, or being sent to our room. Nobody wants those consequences. We learned how to avoid them by telling people what they want to hear, rather than the truth about what we really feel or what we want to do.
There's often a real conflict between what we want somebody to do, and what they themselves want to do. If we believe that we really can't make someone do something they don't want to do, it might make a lot of sense to find out what they want to do. Do you want to know that sooner or later? It's really not that difficult to find out what somebody really wants to do.
The first step is to create a trusting relationship with a person so they feel comfortable telling you what they really want to do. Sometimes this takes a while, especially if the relationship is not firmly grounded in trust. Without a trusting relationship people might think you are looking for insight into how to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do.
The second step is to ask questions. After describing a project, we might ask the person we have selected to do the project, whether they want to participate in the project. We might wonder if they have the time or the resources to complete the project when we wanted to be completed. If we conclude that someone really doesn't want to participate in the project, doesn't have time, or doesn't know how to complete the project, we might be better off finding someone else to take on the task. Having this conversation increases the probability that the project will be completed on time and in the best possible fashion
What steps are you taking to discover what motivates your team?