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This brief article is excerpted from a weekly ezine (“Monday Morning Muse”) offered by The Coaching Corporation ( Each Muse has been prepared under the guidance of Inga Estes, president of The Coaching Corporation.

Is motivation really that simple? Motivating ourselves and motivating others is often the frustrating focus of our lives as business people. How do we get others to do their best work? How do we motivate ourselves to do our own best work? If you want to create a climate where people are motivated to stretch beyond what they think they can do, start with exploring each individual’s specific motivators. Motivators are as unique as each personality, and knowing what they are allows you to elicit
each person’s best performance, as well as your own.

Strengthen key motivators by focusing on the individual. Solicit ideas on your company’s or division’s current goals and issues from each member of your team or staff. Is there something you can do to share ownership and visibility in the current initiative or project?

Keep in mind what the top work motivators are (in order of motivation):
1. Job challenge
2. Accomplishing something worthwhile
3. Learning new things
4. Personal development
5. Autonomy
Lower on the list, but factored in, are pay (often and mistakenly thought to be #1), friendliness in the workplace, praise, and a chance of promotion.

To further elicit motivation, delegate and empower others as much as possible and then find ways to reward individual and team successes as they occur. Perhaps the art of motivating others is as simple as finding out what others want, helping them to get it, and applauding their efforts and accomplishments.

Be brave this week, ask people questions about what’s important to them, and see if you can help them achieve those things.

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