Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Art of Motivating Others: Turning Passion into Action

Throughout my career, whether in business and in my capacity as a consultant, one of the most common challenges leaders have is how to engage others to take action. Whether trying to motivate employees, consumers, volunteers, etc the challenges are similar. It can be difficult to get people to do something. There may be head nods, or the perception of consensus, but later when everyone leaves and goes back to their desks, homes or hang up from the conference call, all too often there is no real change in behavior. Leaders find this exceptionally frustrating. I've heard countless executives tell me, "I've explained it numerous times" or "I had a meeting and told everyone".  I typically push back and ask if they communicated and motivated as well. Then I get the blank stare. 

Don’t mistake good communication for good motivation. Just because you are talking, it doesn’t mean anyone is really listening. And it certainly doesn't mean anyone was motivated to take action from what you said. 

Most people understand that good motivation is critical. But what is motivation? Motivation is when a person has the desire or willingness to DO something. However, people can have a desire to do something and still choose not to do anything. To make it real, we must turn the passion into action.

Story telling is an effective method in taking mere words and making them more real, or relatable. Share a genuine story to help illustrate your vision, and the reasons why you want a achieve a certain goal.

Remember that people in most organizations are often diverse. Factors such as age, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, health condition, life experiences, and more influence how we feel and think. Therefore, not everyone has the same point of view or shares your values. People may view you differently by the car you drive, the clothes you wear, or how they perceive your salary, and status at the company. It may be difficult for you to relate to others because your own life experiences and factors are so different. 

People also all have different passions for things they believe in, or mean something to them. In a perfect world, companies recruit, attract and hire people who have a passion for the mission of the company. People who love the cause, the product or the purpose of the organization. When employee passions align to the company's purpose magic happens. However this is not always the case. As companies get larger, it becomes difficult to have 500, 1,500, 5,000 or 50,000 employees who all share the same passion. 

The message here is not to let differences get in the way of being a good leader. When we allow our differences to get in the way, people shut down and stop listening. This is what it is so critical to ensure everyone in your group understands the mission, and what you all have in common. 

Does your group, organization or company have more things that divide or unite you? What common goals do you all share? Is everyone aware of the POTENTIAL for commonality? I have seen many times where a company's own employees are not aligned on the common goal of the company, so be sure to look inward before trying to take action.

If you are trying to motivate consumers, or solicit any kind of external support, passions, along with emotions are factors in how people make decisions to take action.

As humans, we are all affected by how we feel. Emotions influence people to engage and take action

We tend to take action about things we are passionate about. Emotion is a mental reaction. Passion is the action resulting from strong emotion (often liking and desire).

Plutchik's Wheel of Emotion

Dr Robert Plutchik was a psychologist who developed the wheel of emotion to illustrate the relationships between what he called primary emotions and other related emotionsThe eight basic emotions are joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust.
When you are trying to motivate people to take action, it is important to remember the role that emotions may play. Consider how people will feel and react to you. 

Remember the following:

  • Emotions Influence Thought
  • Emotions Trigger Physical Responses
  • Emotions Determine Decisions
  • Emotions Respond to Action

So if you are setting out to drive change, get people to take action remember to communicate, motivate and inspire. 

Here are my Top 10 Tips to Drive Engagement (ok its 11)

  1. Don’t be afraid to share your passions and reasons why. 
  2. Motivation alone isn’t enough. You must inspire others.
  3. Don’t allow differences of opinion to stop all progress or action.
  4. Eliminate unnecessary distractions and noise.
  5. Anticipate what emotions are most likely to trigger.
  6. Offering solutions to problems increases engagement. 
  7. Be authentic, genuine and take time tell the backstory.
  8. Always make your message relatable and as real as possible.
  9. Find common ground joy to bring people together.
  10. Go Big or Go Home. If its worth doing, do it right.
  11. Use your story or cause to engage and inspire people.


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.

This blog is independent and free of any type of financial affiliations. Some images used are from the internet and sometimes hard to credit them, so if you own any and want them removed just send me a message.

No copyright infringement intended. I am not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious, or other laws from the reader’s country of origin or residence. The intention of this blog is to do no harm, defame, libel or offend anyone.