How to Motivate People the Easy Way

“The key to getting your employees to give high performance is to understand what motivates them.”

– Chris Roebuck


Is this Mr. Roebuck’s opinion or is it the truth?

Well, let’s look at 3 simple facts on motivation and decide for ourselves…

  1. There’s a strong and clear link between motivation and performance (see any Employee Engagement survey for evidence).
  2. Intrinsic motivation is much stronger than external motivation (watch Dan Pink build a compelling case in The Puzzle of Motivation).
  3. Direct manager plays a large role in employee’s motivation (80% of the emotional factor in the decision, according to the author of Lead to Succeed).

Related imageAs every people manager knows, what motivates one person can differ greatly from what motivates another. If one of your reports dreams of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, another might not be interested in climbing mountains at all.

In Science-Backed Tactics For Motivating Other People“, Roebuck states that the secret to understanding someone’s needs is “asking questions to uncover the truth”.

Is it that simple?




Taking the above science into consideration, let’s create 3 smart strategies for motivating others:Einstein in Thought

  1. Get to know the goals of your collaborators and do whatever you can to help them achieve them.
  2. Pay close attention so that you can ask them the right question at the right time to “uncover the truth”.
  3. Find out what inspires them and tailor your words and actions to these drivers.

The best part? Each one is easy. No training. No external expert. No costs.

All that is required is a commitment to pay attention to the people around you. In other words, ask questions and listen to what they say.



So the next time you’d like to motivate someone, remember that if people feel that you value their goals, they will be motivated to help you with yours.

Furthermore, asking questions is the key to understanding someone’s needs and goals, i.e. unique situation.

The more you tailor your words and actions to their needs, the more influence you have.

For tips and strategies to grow your communication impact so you can positively influence your collaborators, check out Impact to Influence.


I’d like to hear what motivates you most at work? What de-motivates you?



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