By Rasheed Ogunlaru.

Leading life & business coach and motivational speaker, Rasheed Ogunlaru shares some insights into understanding, motivating and inspiring your team.

Whether you are a Managing Director leading a team of twenty or CEO of an international conglomerate, the skill of being able to understand, motivate and inspire your team is what separates top-performers from the chasing pack.

Once you deeply understand your team you can often drastically boost productivity, sales, confidence and performance. Whatever the size of your company the issues outlined here will decide whether your business will thrive or not survive.

The big picture…all eyes on the prize

1. First thing is first. It’s essential that you and everyone in your business has a clear picture of what the organisation is all about, its vision, its mission and it’s purpose. Once this picture is clear and compelling you, your team and your clients can become motivated by it and attracted to it.

2. This means you need a clear, simple written mission statement and set of values — which everybody in your company can communicate in everyday language. Interestingly it’s this that your employees and customers to you in the first place. Thousands of businesses / teams fall down at this hurdle.

What’s my motivation?

1. Once you know what makes members of your team tick personally and professionally you can get the best out of individuals and the team.

2. Most people are motivated by having a purpose, gaining security, contribution, respect, reward and being valued. These things shape all the actions that we take in life.

3. Ensure your staff understand and identify with the purpose of the company and their part in it

4. Once your staff see and share the big picture and feel valued and supported they’ll perform at our best.

5. The opposite is also true and underperformance and poor communication happen when these things are not in place.

6. Support this by having regular one-to-ones and team briefings so that you can boost individual and team understanding, support and performance.

Leading from the front

In every team the captain is a key figure. Your ability to inspire, motivate, support and lead from the front is key. Your performance and attitude will consciously and subconsciously affect that of the rest of the team. The ‘captains’ performance is often a barometer of the teams. Being mindful of this, personifying the values of your business by ‘walking the talk’ will play a huge role in boosting the spirits, focus and results of your team.

Spend a moment to identify the three people who inspire you most as a leader / in business. Write down the qualities they have. Usually we are inspired by those whose values we share. So identify how you have those qualities and how you can develop them in your role, business and to support your team.
Also jot down the three pieces of advice you think they’d give you.

Everyday communication… and team effort

In Sport, managers also know that when communication and team-work falters performance nosedives they have tackle it at the first signs if the team is to prosper are survive. Adopt the same attitude and outlook. You can get the best of your team by ensuring everyone knows the shared goal, the team structure, project goals and how they support each other. Developing a strong team ethic where every role is equally valued is key. One person in your team may be top paid striker and the other a part-time substitute — your job is to ensure they all are equally valued through feedback.

The value of feedback

One of the most powerful ways to motivate people is to show your appreciation, tell them what they are doing well and actively seek their ideas and involvement. This must be done through positive feedback. Before becoming a coach I spent over ten years working in communications, media, PR and corporate strategy. Most companies I worked for fell down at this crucial hurdle. Giving specific praise is one of the most effective ways of boosting confidence and performance. Giving negative criticism is one of the quickest ways to destroy it.