It’s August. Here in the UK, it’s the main holiday season. The rush hour roads are quieter, the beaches are busier. Tumbleweed is rolling through the aisles of some offices whilst theme parks are packed. There seems to be one topic coming up again and again in recent conversations with clients and colleagues: demotivation.
I asked them to describe what they felt was demotivating them and, with their comments in mind, today’s post is the first in a short series on demotivation, its numerous causes and what we can do to tackle it. Today’s demotivating duo is lack of autonomy and other people.
The demotivating impact of a lack of autonomy
When we feel like our work (or even maybe some aspects of our life) are imposed upon us, we feel hemmed in. Struggling to break free doesn’t always work and may make things worse. A client of mine felt like her boss was overbearing, micro-managing and didn’t trust her. She saw that when she’d rebelled against that, she just made matters worse. Together we looked at areas over which she had either control, influence or no control at all and devised a plan for her to address the issue with her manager. They were able to have an open and straightforward conversation during which they agreed areas over which she has autonomy and those which require more oversight.
The demotivating impact of other people
Ever known a mood hoover? I think we’ve all met people who seem to suck all the fresh air out of the room and replace it with a cloud of despondency. Before you know it, everyone’s feeling dejected and demoralised. How can we deal with the mood hoovers?
If you’re the team manager, set a positive example for your team. Also, it’s your responsibility to take the mood hoover to one side to find out what their issues are, what can be done and to discuss the impact this is having on the team. Help them to take responsibility for the effect their demeanour has on colleagues.
If you’re a colleague, don’t allow yourself to get sucked in by the mood hoover. You may not feel confident enough to challenge their behaviour but you can choose not to respond to the negative comments, to offer a more positive assessment or simply to distance yourself from the situation. I’m not sure I agree with the assertion that we are the average of the five people we hang out with, but if you do agree with it, you should probably take a look at those five people.
Two pebbles for you to ponder to choose from today:
- Are you demotivated by lack of autonomy? Will you take steps to gain back some control?
- Are other people demotivating you? How will you prevent them dragging you down?
Come back next week to tackle more demotivators.
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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