6 Ways to Motivate Others

Note: This is a guest post by Mark Foo of 77 Success Traits

If you’re leading a group of people towards success, you must learn how to motivate others. If you concentrate on understanding what motivates others and you meet the needs of these people, you’ll be on the right track for a positive and enlightening experience for all involved.

Once a person’s base needs are met, they usually move on to working on certain needs of self fulfillment. For example, if someone is hungry, they won’t be able to concentrate on a critical thinking task. In this case you’ll need to make sure that this person has had lunch before the task needs to be completed. But how can you motivate them to complete certain tasks once base needs have been fulfilled?

Try one or more of the following ways of motivating people:

1. Treat People Kindly. As a leader you need to treat the people helping you with the utmost respect and kindness. Hand out praise when it’s warranted. You might not know it, but it’s a big motivation booster when people are treated right. People enjoy knowing when they’re doing a good job and enjoy working with people that treat others with kindness.

2. Give People Responsibility. If there are certain tasks that you’re allowed to delegate to others, by all means choose someone to take responsibility for that task. When people are fully responsible, they’ll be more likely to find the motivation to complete the task. This is because, as a part of a group, they may not feel like their hard work matters, but when they’re responsible it certainly matters. They also know that they’re being held accountable for the success or failure of the project.

3. Be a Good Listener. No one likes to feel like they don’t matter. Just because you have final say doesn’t mean that you can’t get some help with important decision making. People enjoy feeling like they’re making a difference. Always keep an open ear and you’ll be motivating your team to come up with solutions and creative ideas.

4. Set Stretched Goals. Think long and hard about how your goal setting abilities can teach you how to motivate others. You don’t want to set goals that are too easy. Your team might reach them quickly but they won’t be pushed to become the best they can be. On the other end, you don’t want to set goals that are unattainable either. Your team will quickly lose motivation because they’ll never get the feeling of having met their goals. You want to find a goal that would push them to achieve just a little more than they have in the past and keep going from there.

5. Get to Know People. You may not want to be personal friends with your colleagues, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get to know them as people. Keep lines of communication open and get to know your team by paying attention to their wants, needs, strengths and weaknesses. People are smart and they’ll know when they have a leader that cares and a leader that doesn’t. They’ll certainly be more motivated to work hard for somebody that cares about them.

6. Keep Everyone in the Know. Nobody likes to be left in the dark. Make sure that you’re open about your thinking and decisions with the people you’re motivating. Sure, sometimes there will be things that you’re not supposed to share. You just need to make an effort to spread the word around when you can communicate important issues.

Remember that when you’re working on motivating others, it’s definitely important to strengthen their sense of belonging. You’re leading a little family and when everyone’s happy, they’re motivated to achieve big things.

Mark Foo has brought together 48 personal development bloggers and writers to co-author The 77 Traits of Highly Successful People eBook that spells out all of the success secrets of the very successful people. This eBook is available to you FREE and you can grab your free copy now at http://www.77SuccessTraits.com.

Photo by Darcy McCarty


  1. All too often, many of us hold back who we truly are, fearing how others will take us. The thing is you can’t compromise yourself and who you really are, nor should you be apologetic about who you are. None of us is for everyone.

  2. Hey Mark,

    Being a good listener combined with giving people responsibility is a sure-fire way to build a motivated team that passionately and effectively achieves results.

    Maxwell and Ziglar stated as such in their book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

    By showing that you genuinely care what someone thinks, they become passionate about the project. They see that their unique value can make a difference, so they want to try so that they become personally responsible for the results.

    By then giving these people responsibility, they feel independent and a strong member of a team, rather than just a pawn to push widgets.

    Passion combined with a desire and belief that they can make a difference is a powerful combination to have in a person. One that can get higher quality results in less time.

    The other 4 tips are solid as well. Expands beyond just motivating others into being a great person. To reference another book, How to Win Friends and Influence People would confirm that these tips will help create better relationships with others.

    Nice one Mark. Simple and to the point list, a handy resource to reference when needed.


  3. > Hand out praise when it’s warranted.
    I like how you qualified. Some people give out praise to the point it no longer has meaning. I think the best praise is when it’s specific and from the heart.

  4. @Persha: I like that you say “You can’t compromise yourself” and that “None of us is for everyone”. I have mentioned in my eBook that one of the 77 success traits is Acknowledge That You Can’t Please Everybody. As Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” You can seek to be more well-liked by becoming a better person, but certainly not by losing your true self.

    @Oleg: Thank you for your input in expanding the article and I’m glad you find the post useful. I haven’t read the book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, but I sure will after I’m done with the half dozen of books on my shelf which I’ve yet to read.

    @J.D: Yes, a praise has to be genuine and comes from the heart. People can sense whether you’re sincere in giving praise or you’re just faking it.

    Thank you so much for the comments guys!

    Have a happy holiday and a prosperous 2010!



  5. great list, nice idea.
    My “add” would be to inspire people. I think the easiest way to do this is to identify a ‘signature’ area for the person you wantto motivate – in other words, where do they naturally excel. Then create an opportunity where they get a chance to shine in that area. The results will be swift, authentic and rewarding for the person and those who are the recipients of that outcome.

  6. Reverse the golden rule.. treat people how they want to be treated.

  7. There’s one lesson I’ve learned that’s central to all leadership. It’s comes through each of your six points. Everything you hope to get or accomplish will come through other people. I’m not sure if I got that from Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, or Norman Vincent Peale. Doesn’t much matter since even their seminal works draw from lessons contained in the Bible. Your post breathes fresh life into timeless principles. Thanks!

  8. So true – ‘people enjoy feeling like they can make a difference’, the principles as set forth here for leadership purposes can also be applied to customer service and customer delight concepts – ‘make the customer feel like they are making a difference to the business’ and ‘be a proactive, good listener’…

  9. […] Leadership – how to motivate others – 6 ways – Link. […]

  10. Hey Mark,
    I know, that a lot of people are not trying enough, just because the aren’t motivated enough. so, this article just comes in handy for me to present it to many of my colleagues. The point is that, any project thats made with more than 3 people risks to be spoiled by the lack of careless, regarding to knowing your peeps. Very good article! 🙂

  11. Another great way to motivate them: tell them your stories of how you overcame the same obstacles. Give them all the details regarding your fears, your failures, and what you did to hold on and get through challenges. People are better motivated when they realize others have had the same challenges and that it’s possible to accomplish the task at hand.

  12. […] Latumahina presents 6 Ways to Motivate Others posted at Life […]

  13. Great post. I guess you could use some of the tips even for motivating yourself. Well maybe you are motivationg yourself, if you work on motivating others.

    Claus D Jensen

  14. […] you are the leader of a project, you have to read these 6 Ways to Motivate Others. If you’re leading a group of people towards success, you must learn how to motivate others. If […]

  15. I’ve always had conflicted thoughts about motivating others. When people need to be motivated, it means they haven’t found something that strikes their core.

    It just seems like these ideas, great ideas nonetheless, are just temporary cover up for a lack of passion/ambition.

    Help people find their passion and something worth fighting for, then they don’t need the help to be motivated. They’re on fire without the help.

  16. Good tips to know. Thank you!

  17. To be motivated, the manager must integrate well his team and he must communicate to employees. Moreover, to be motivated, employees must be implicated in the decisions and they must fix themselves to their objectives.

  18. Leticia Dominguez
    Leticia Dominguez

    So in other words, be the motivation and your being will inspire and motivate others. Great blog!

  19. […] The best employees you can ever have is NOT a person who is driven, but a person who knows how to be a cheerleader for OTHERS, and thus as a team, they thrive to drive the […]

  20. Alexander Alexanderov
    Alexander Alexanderov

    Thank you ,
    let us know how to motivate yourself,

  21. I really like this article. I think the key to motivating others is to give value to them by saying something good about them in order to make them live up to that behavior.
    So as an example. If someone is treating you in a specific way that isn’t what you’re expecting. You can mention a characteristic you’d like for them to ideally have and it will encourage them to behave like it.
    It’s a psychological tactic known as pre-loading. It’s very effective. 😉

  22. These are some great tips. I work with people dealing with PTSD and motivating someone toward recovery is part of the process.

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