Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Motivate with Presence Not Presents

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Do you have any children? I don’t have any children; however, I appreciate the challenges that parents face raising themCaricature of a large son pointing his finger at the small dad. and motivating them to be happy and successful.

To do that, you’d probably take a great deal of interest in them and what they’re doing; show you care about them and give them lots of your time and attention.

Children show us from an early age that they want lots of attention. We become aware of this by the way they physically and emotionally, reach out to us. If we fail to provide their required level of attention or acknowledgement, then they’ll almost certainly let us know; usually by behaving badly.

Some parents have difficulty in giving time and attention and often bribe or pay their children to be successful with offers of gifts or money.

I’m sure you’ve heard a parent say, ‘Pass your exams and I’ll buy you a new bicycle!’ I certainly heard it from my parents.

However, children want presence not presents and if they fail to receive their acceptable level of attention and acknowledgement, then they may behave badly.

Not a lot changes when we become adults; we still crave attention and acknowledgement from other people. We look for it from our partners, friends, children, parents and, very importantly – our boss at work!

Successful Motivational Managers realise this and provide their staff with attention and acknowledgement.

  • They spend quality time with every member of their staff, giving feedback on job performance; be it good or bad.
  • They listen to problems, both business and personal; they show interest and help the staff member find solutions
  • They show that they trust and believe in their staff by empowering them to make decisions and be responsible for their actions

Successful Motivational Managers do not bribe or pay their staff to be successful. Incentives, bonuses and prizes are all acceptable; however, they will never replace attention and acknowledgement.

Some food for thought; take a minute and think about someone in your life who you did your best for. Perhaps it was a parent, a teacher or a manager. What was it about them that made you want to do your best; was it presence or presents?

If you would like to listen to this, here is a podcast I made in 2008:

Motivation means Presence not Presents

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Posted in: Difficult people, Leadership, Management, Motivation

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