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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a professional speaker and CEO of Contagious Companies, a training and consulting firm that develops better leaders and trains managers how to become better leaders.

“These steps are even better than motivating with pom-poms!”

The Latin root “re” is used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition and repeating the efforts of engaging, energizing and motivating the team you lead will pay off. Engaging team members is not an act that is “one and done” and successful leaders know this. This is the power of these three quick and critical steps to take when you want them to come back to work with even more motivation.

Take a Breath

When the hamster wheel is running at full speed and you’re taking tasks on “two wheels”, it can be tough to take a breath, much less find time for a nature break. Stop. Just stop. Take a moment to allow your creative juices, objective analysis, and clarity to go to work. Pressure and stress do not play well together with inspiration and engagement. Take a breath to look at what the team is doing and seek answers to these questions:

-What do I need to do to become a better leader to the team I lead?

– What are my employees doing that I want them to stop, start, or continue doing?

– What do my employees complain about that I might be able to resolve?

– What do we want to achieve next year that we didn’t do this year?

– What is standing in our way of doing just that?

Recalculate Objectives

After the answers become clear, you can create a more effective strategic plan of attack with objectives that are now aligned with what you want, need, and know they need. The most effective leaders have clear objectives. Some create their own, some solicit input from the team to create more buy in, and all limit their objectives to a very select few. What are your objectives for the team? Could they repeat them back to you? Does each team member know and understand how their role, tasks, and actions impact those objectives? Are there legacy objectives that you need to let go? Clear your head. Consider your desired direction. Create objectives. And remember to consider those on your team with this final step.

Recalibrate Expectations

Leadership simply does not occur in a vacuum. Not only does the very word leadership indicate there are others involved, but it also implies that there are many elements one might lead. There are. Leaders develop a wide variety of gifts, skills, talents, traits and attributes in those they lead. The most effective leaders do this by nurturing who those team members are, not by trying to create a clone or mini-me version of the leader. This leadership trait will show up in your expectations of those you lead. Is what you expect from them based on who they are or what you need? Expectations strictly focused on what you need will breed frustration. Those based on who they are and how they need you to lead will create results.

We don’t reenergize a team or motivate the managers who report to us with pom-poms alone. This isn’t about how you can come back from a holiday break with even more caffeine induced enthusiasm than you had before. These steps are about how you can get clear on what you want, get clear on what they need, and as a result speed up the team’s energy, engagement, and motivation. We all tend to freeze in the face of ambiguity. Thus, clarity is a remarkable motivator.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

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