Motivation in a can
Motivation in a can (Photo by Kaitlin Forbes )

If you'd like to hear Greenelines on audio, please visit charismapodcastnetwork.com. You might also find a few other Christian podcasts of interest.


One of the keys to motivating a team is to understand the needs of the individual. One size does not fit all. We can't really motivate a team. We motivate each individual member of a team.

I was driving home late last evening when I received this text from my daughter:

"Your grandson just cleaned his room for a can of peas. He got extra butter for not shoving the mess under his bed." The photograph above shows a sweet boy in his happy place. Peas trump broccoli any day!!

In a subsequent text, my daughter told me that, "Bribery is an awesome, under-utilized tool." I replied with a father's scholarly wisdom, "In organizational behavior, we would label what you did for him as motivation."

My granddaughter just called it, "sooooo mean." Mean? The boy got his peas! He cleaned his room and has a big smile on his face. His joy about room cleaning is a wonder to behold! Jesus said kids have angels. I imagine my grandson's angels were rejoicing with him. 

Leader love nudges us to see the need of one person and then we are careful to not assume the total team has the same need. Not everyone in the family can be moved by a can of peas.

But each one has a can of needs. A leader spends time learning what matters most to EVERYone on her team. The love language of a worker is, "Look at me, see what I did for the company?" A leader doesn't only say "You guys did a great job today." She speaks to the one and says "Sally, you made a difference today and I appreciate your touch on that project."

Leaders understand that "fair" means different things to different people. Job descriptions differentiate performance criteria. But evaluations tend to be comparative.

Parents ask Johnny, "Why can't you be like Billy?" Jimmy's gifts and needs become bundled into the family group. Jimmy doesn't think it's fair to get a can of peas when he really wants a can of corn.

The Lord knows my heart. Every heart is unique and filled with unique desires. God knows the desires of our heart.

Leaders will lose influence if they only see their team through cookie-cutter glasses.

Motivate the individual for the good of the team. See the one.

We are not all peas in a pod.

 


 

Today's Scripture

"I will praise you, for You made me with fear and wonder; marvelous are Your works, and You know me completely" (Psalm 139:14).

 


 

Platform Tip No. 152 

Your platform delivers an answer to the question, "What should I do next?"

Guide your audience through a door, then another, and another. We can't help others with a bucket of water, but daily drips can make a big difference.

What should you do next?

 


 

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president–Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.

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