One of the biggest challenges we see new first-time managers come up against is changing their mindset when they first take on their new role. As an individual contributor, they were mostly concerned about their own performance and success. As a Manager, they now need to shift their thinking to helping other people succeed.
Here’s the real secret to motivation: People are already motivated, maybe just not in a way that you might expect.
Do you really understand what motivates people? Are you still trying to decipher and apply the Maslow or Herzberg theories, but struggling?
Motivational psychologists and researchers have, in recent years, discovered more about what motivates us than what we know from decades of past research.
As a manager, your primary role is to help other people succeed, starting with your staff. But how can you do that? One of the tools in your management toolkit is 1-on-1 staff meetings, and it provides a unique opportunity to understand what success means to each member of your team. Of course, if you have a large team this can be a real challenge, at least time-wise, and is the reason many managers never get around to it.
Every new manager goes through a “honeymoon” period. That’s when everyone seems to be on your side, with lots of advice on how you should lead and manage. People are really happy for you and want to see you succeed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last for long. Soon, people head back towards focusing on their own responsibilities. It’s then that the advice and support start to dry up. What do you do then?
When I became a manager, I made the same mistake myself. It’s the most common mistake that I see many first-time managers make. It’s a mistake that causes so much anxiety and stress in their lives, and it can be avoided. It’s a mistake that’s easy to make, but not so easy to fix.
I call it the “Expert Syndrome”. Let me explain…