4) Motivation: Leaders should be aware of motivation theory and how employees are motivated. Too often leaders make two common mistakes. One of them is assuming that factors that are motivating for them will also be motivating for their employees. For example, working very long hours may not be a problem for a leader and indeed motivating, but it would be very demotivating for an employee who values his/her private life. Another common mistake is to assume that all employees are motivated in the same way. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some factors that are motivating for some employees might be very demotivating for others. Leaders should distinguish between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. One should be aware of the fact that motivation is generally intrinsic and not extrinsic. Whenever a leader wishes to motivate his/her employees, he/she should make sure that this extrinsic motivation is in harmony with one of the intrinsic motivating factors of the employee. Leaders might motivate their employees through different ways so that extrinsic motivating factors harmonize with their intrinsic motivating factors. These ways include:


a) Motivating through creating challenges: By establishing and agreeing on meaningful goals for the employees. This can be reached through the goal setting pocess. Goals should be attainable and meaningful, leaders should provide constant feedback on employees’ performance in the process of reaching the goals and furthermore these goals should be in line with employee's self esteem and personality.

b) Motivating though arousing curiosity: Leaders can motivate by providing a task or a project that arouses the curiosity of employees.

c) Motivating through competing: One can motivate his/her employees by creating a competitive enviornment. However one should note that a competitive environment can cause demotivation among some employees and may have a negative effect on teamwork.

d) Motivating though cooperating: Employees can also be motivated by being encouraged to cooperate on certain projects among other employees. The selection of employees for certain task forces is one of the key elements of effective leadership in this case. Leaders should be aware of the fact that some cooperation methods more motivating and encouraging than the others and that, above all, fostering interpersonal skills is one of the key factors for the success of this method.

e) Motivating through giving recognition: Every human being needs recognition or a pat on the shoulders at certain times when interacting with his fellows. Leaders should be aware of the fact that giving praise (providing positive performance feedback) to one's employees is one of the most important factors in motivating them.


In communicative leadership, leaders should avoid demotivating factors such as constant criticism of poor performance on the part of their employees. Instead they should praise their employees for good performance and be supportive to their employees when mistakes happen. To find out what is motivating for one's employees, leaders should talk to their employees about what they value and by observing them they should find which method of motivating works best for their employees. Leaders should also watch for demotivating factors and try to eliminate them. Thus they should work constantly on their own self-perception and perception by others. In our seminars we also talk about various theories of motivation such as Theory Y, the two-factor motivation hygiene theory, hierarchy of needs and achievement motivation.

© M.Khorasani Consulting