Motivating Skills - Quick Guide


Motivating Skills - Introduction

Motivation is one of the most important reasons behind people’s actions and behavior. It can also be used to direct someone’s actions and behavior in a constructive direction. Scientists have asserted that motivation is the name given to a collection of instincts that is a critical step in our evolution and it has helped us survive.

What are Instincts?

Human instincts are very different from the ones that animals and birds have, which are some very basic instructions hardwired into them that they start following as soon as they are born. Examples of such instincts are a tortoise crawling towards the sea as soon as it hatches out of its egg, or a baby elephant trying to start walking within minutes of it being born, or a dog vigorously shaking itself dry immediately after it is drenched.

This type of instinct is called an “Imprint Instinct”. Konrad Lorenz observed that as soon as the geese hatched out of their eggs, they started to look around for the first moving object they could find and treat it as their mother, who they will then depend on for their feeding.

Imprint Instinct

Using this observation, he could successfully demonstrate that the baby geese used this imprint to identify their mother. He waited for some geese to hatch out of their eggs while the mother duck was away. When they started looking around, he started moving in front of them. All the geese then started following him wherever he went.

However, the instincts that human beings have are not related to the following instructions; they are more to do with survival. These instincts follow Darwin’s Law of Natural Selection, which says that only the fittest will survive in the end. Keeping this in mind, human beings are hardwired to look for positive qualities in a partner so that their offspring has enough qualities to survive in the future.

Motivating Skills - Theories

Motivation is one of the most widely researched studies ever so there are many widely-accepted theories on it. Let’s discuss some of these and define motivation through these theories.

Herzberg’s Motivational Theory

Frederick Herzberg formed a theory known as “Motivation-Hygiene Theory” which was based on the idea that there are many factors in a person’s workplace which determine his levels of motivation towards doing his job properly. He labelled these factors as hygiene factors.

According to him, every workplace has the ability to influence the productivity of its employees by either encouraging him to work further or by discouraging him. If the person was satisfied with the working environment, he would have motivation to work even harder. On the other hand, if he was dissatisfied with the working conditions, then he would not be willing to give his 100% into his job.

Motivation Hygiene Theory

To quantify his theory, Herzberg interviewed many employees about the kind of working conditions they are asked to do their jobs in, and what are their feelings at work. Based on their responses, he published his observations in 1959 in a book titled “The Motivation to Work”.

The most interesting thing that Herzberg observed that the absence of ideal working conditions, which he called “Hygiene Factors” was one of the biggest reason for job dissatisfaction. However, there were a vast number of employees who had ideal working conditions, yet they had a low motivation to improve.

He reasoned that giving employees ideal working conditions is not enough to keep them motivated, but removing the hygiene factors would definitely cause a lot of dissatisfaction among the employees.

Examples of such hygiene factors could be unwanted changes in the working environment, very strict implementation of log-in, log out timings, not getting the expected raise in salary, etc.

Herzberg stated that the following factors were the top reasons behind job satisfaction −

  • Rules & Policies
  • Supervision
  • Equation with Boss
  • Nature of Work
  • Career Progress
  • Relationship with co-workers
  • Individual Achievement
  • Recognition of Hard Work and Talent
  • Working Conditions
  • Job Responsibility
  • Salary
  • Organizational Growth

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

Victor Vroom posed a theory that shifted the focus from the needs of a person to the outcomes of his action, as the source of his motivation. According to this theory, a person doesn’t derive his motivation from identifying and taking actions to meet his needs, rather he derives his motivation by assessing the outcomes of those very actions.

If he was pleased with the outcome of the actions, and was convinced that such performances will help him to address his needs, then the person will find motivation from it, and all his subsequent actions will be the result of this new-found motivation.

He proposed the idea that a person needs to be given that initial confidence that his output has had the desired outcome, so that he can use this confidence as an impetus and proceed on to other actions, which will deliver the desired results.

According to Vroom, a person can be motivated only when he sees a connection between the action he took, the efforts he put, and the outcome of his performance. Depending on these three factors, he defined these three variables −

  • Expectancy
  • Instrumentality
  • Valence
Vrooms Expectancy Theory.jpg

Defining Expectancy

Expectancy is the belief that by putting adequate effort, it’s possible to enhance the performance that you will deliver. It is affected by factors like time needed for the work, money to be spent, skills needed for the job, along with having authorization and clearance to do it.

While managing employees, it’s very important to put give them jobs that they are confident they can do by themselves. In addition to that, you need to make sure that they have the resources they need, and a realistic time-frame to deliver the output.

Defining Instrumentality

Instrumentality defines the belief that good performance is appreciated and rewarded when it brings in better outcome. This is one of the major motivational points for all the employees in a company. They believe that if they perform well, the results will be good. And if the results are good, then their efforts will be taken into consideration and they will be rewarded for it.

This belief is influenced by the clear representation of what needs to be achieved to get the reward, by recognizing key people who can determine whether you will receive this reward (e.g.- boss, supervisor), and also the transparency in the process that decides whom to reward.

Defining Instrumentality

To practice instrumentality, a supervisor needs to have a complete understanding of the reward system, and also needs to know what could be the possible outcomes so that he always remains aware of what to do in which situation. The rewarding system should be clearly drawn out so that the employees can know what their efforts have earned them.

Drawing targets in numbers is often the best way to avoid any ambiguous interpretation of hard work. Managers use tabs, flags, and whiteboards to convert the achievements of their teams in numerical values to enhance the clarity of their achievements.

There shouldn’t be anything left to guesses. No team should be left wondering why they didn’t get the reward they were expecting, whereas some other team has won it. There must be transparency in the entire process.

Self-Motivation vs Motivating Others

There is one important difference between people motivating themselves and people motivating others, that being the fact that when you motivate yourself, you will most likely try to focus on your work and responsibilities and try to improve yourself in that field.

In other words, the areas that get benefitted from your self-motivation are all within your control. You are the sole person who is in command when it comes to the quality of output in your job. That is also the case in your family life. However, things change when you are motivating others. In this case, your motivation skills need to be tested on the quality of output of other people. In cases like these, it’s best that you focus on the hygiene factors with respect to each individual in your team.

It means that instead of going after the oft-regarded, collective, generic idea of motivation − i.e. salary hike, perks, benefits, etc., the focus should be more on understanding what different things motivate different people.

With things like hiking salary, adding more perks and giving more benefits might keep dissatisfaction at bay, but it won’t necessarily bring job satisfaction or motivation in itself. Different people will have different areas of motivation. Some might appreciate a frank discussion with their boss every now and then, others might like their work to be praised and acknowledged. A successful manager is he who manages to identify these areas and keep motivating people towards that.

McClelland’s Need-Based Model

Before moving on to McClelland’s need-based model, let us first understand the term Valence and how it plays an important role in motivational theories.

What is Valence?

Valence is the value of a reward on-offer to an individual. It is the importance or necessity that an individual employee places on the incentive that’s offered to him at the end of the task. For example, a manager offers a handsome hourly compensation to his entire team if they were to work overtime that weekend on Saturday. To some people in the team, it could be a nice reward, but someone who values spending quality time at home with his family in weekends won’t be thrilled at the prospect of losing a weekend.

On the other hand, there could be an employee in the same team whose financial conditions make extra income a very good incentive for him. He might be motivated to go for the extrapay because of his needs. In this case, we can observe that two people in the same team will have a different valence for the same proposition. Hence, managers need to be wise in offering a reward that will have high valence points for all the employees in the team, or else the entire team will fail to be motivated.

McClelland’s Need-Based Model

David McClelland, a noted American psychologist, who was famous formulating a scoring system of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), had mentioned in his “Need Theory” that motivation is based on individual needs. According to him, each of us has a few fundamental needs −

  • Achievement
  • Affiliation
  • Authority

To demonstrate his point, McClelland set up his famous experiment “Fairway Throw”, which involved a group of people who were asked to throw rings over a peg. If the ring landed through the peg, then they were supposed to be given rewards.

Fairway Throw

There was no instruction as to where the people need to stand. It was observed that some people from the group tried to do crowd-pleasing activities like throwing from a distance, walking directly to the peg and dropping the ring, etc.

Some were not participating themselves, but were sternly instructing others on how a ring can be thrown. They were providing others with strategies and were celebrating the success of others as their own.

There was a third category of people who drew McClelland’s attention the most. These people kept changing positions in such a way that their distance from the keg was neither too less nor too lot. They were interested in winning but not in an easy victory.

In a scenario that didn’t have any challenge, they were creating challenges for themselves, so that they don’t get too easy a victory and yet keep the winning chances realistic.

McClelland's Fairway Throw

As per McClelland, every individual has these three needs inside them but not in equal measures. Some might be motivated by the need of authority and some might be more attracted to achievements. While many people are motivated by authority and affiliation, which is building relationships with powerful people, it’s rare to find people who are motivated by achievement.

Achievement − McClelland observed that people who have a high need to achieve, strive a lot of meet goals and want to advance in their life. They also keep asking for feedback and appreciate it when their hard work is recognized. They want to feel that they have accomplished something.

Affiliation − People who have needs of affiliation will always want to interact with others and build relationships with new, influential people. They feel the need to be liked and be a trusted person. These People naturally form networks of people and feel pleased in helping one another through their contacts.

Power − People who are motivated by power feel the need to be an authority and have the power to take important decisions and influence actions. They feel the need to lead and make a mark. Most of the times, such people are found to have some personal agenda behind their actions, i.e. they want to gain individual fame, recognition, and name from the actions of others.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published a paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation”. In this paper, he proposed that people have different levels of needs that they seek to meet. Maslow mentioned that people are more motivated by the most basic needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

When these needs were placed in different levels, it was found that people have five levels of needs that they seek to meet. The most basic needs, i.e. the most motivating needs were placed at the bottom of this pyramid model.

Level 1 – Physiological Needs

These needs are considered the most important because they are the most immediate needs and hence are also known as “basic needs”. They include food, clothing, shelter, sexual activity, etc. These are all the necessities for our bodies to stay functional. The bottom, or most important needs, are the physiological needs.

One of the most important reasons people look for a job is to meet these basic necessities. However, a person whose job enables him to only provide these basic amenities to himself and his family is very difficult to be motivated.

People who are working on a minimum wage are tough to motivate because they realize that their efforts won’t ever be sufficient to reap the rewards that go beyond providing food on the table. These people are more interested in putting in just the efforts that helps them keep their jobs, as compared to trying and putting in a better performance.

Level 2 – Safety Needs

Once a person makes sure that all his basic necessities have been met, he will think about safety and security. That’s why many insurance companies or loan-offering companies generally check for people’s incomes to see if they earn beyond a considerable limit, before approaching them for services.

They know that a person who is not able to provide the basic necessities won’t be interested in future security or safety, protection from health issues, financial issues, etc. When they breach this line, they face issues. The biggest example of this is the sub-prime loan-lending by the USled banks to the people who were never in a condition to pay back the loans.

The safety here is not only about financial safety or health. It’s also job safety and security. Employees won’t be easily motivated in an environment where they see employees being removed frequently. They will be more worried about saving their jobs, compared to giving any importance on listening to motivating stuff.

There are many jobs where health safety is not an assured thing. For example, people in military services are well-aware that they could face fatal injuries any day. In these cases, they are motivated by their anger towards their enemy, how their sacrifices are keeping their families safe back in their homes, how they are doing their country a great service, and how they are inspiring millions to join the forces and fight to keep their nation safe.

Another outcome of constant efforts in providing safety and stability in jobs is the “Whistleblower Policy”. In this policy, rules and conditions are drafted in such a way that the employees don’t fear being exposed to threats, dangers, bullying, and harassment of any kind when they report any wrong-doings happening in their company. Other such policies include health insurance, sick leaves, company leaves, welfare programs, etc.

Level 3 – Belonging Needs

Once a person is done taking care of basic needs and has gotten a secure life and job, he will look to establish relationships with individuals. At these stages, people would want to go out and socialize, and mull over the absence of any companion in their lives.

These needs are emotional in nature and can be fulfilled by friendship, love and care. They develop a need for the sense of belongingness, i.e. they want to feel that they belong to the place they are working in.

It has been observed that employees who feel that their presence in the office doesn’t have any impact on others gradually feel isolated and depressed. This affects their productivity and makes them socially awkward. Many people feel as if they don’t belong at their office because they are constantly ignored by the management or peers.

If the needs of relationships are not met, people tend to become nervous, emotionally fragile, depressed and lonely. Some of them end up becoming irascible and ill-tempered. Some actually end up sacrificing some lower needs to feel this need.

Belonging Needs

People forego their necessity to feed themselves to look slim so that they can draw attention of people towards themselves. As you might have already guessed, many of such practices end up in people foregoing important necessities which may cause long-term ill-effects in the long run.

Making friends, being close to family, being in relationships, having memberships in different clubs, associations, teams, and belonging to different organizations are multiple ways of keeping people emotionally secure. Many companies do a lot of homework on their office culture, so that all the employees feel that their efforts are integral to the success of the company.

Level 4 – Esteem

“Esteem” means self-perception. It is the image of the self in the eyes of the others. Esteem is the image that a person thinks he has in the eyes of others. A person with high esteem thinks that people think highly of him. It’s our esteem that gives us a recognition of our own skills. For example, when someone says that he is funny, entertaining and amiable, he must have heard others saying the same things about him.

People who have the need of esteem will try to improve their perception in people’s minds. They often want to achieve success at work, and are interested in accumulating wealth and status symbols like premium cars, etc. They take pride in the achievements of their family-members and seek opportunities to socialize with people who are looked up to in the society.


When there are people like these in a team, it’s important to note that they are motivated more by name and prestige. A handsome hike in salary couldn’t mean as much to them as an honorary title like, Assistant Project Manager.

When the efforts of these types of people are directly mapped to the company’s achievements, they feel happy and motivated. However, if their efforts are not acknowledged and their hardwork isn’t appreciated, then their productivity falls.

Level 5 – Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is the realizing of oneself. Many people reach a stage in their life where they start wondering what is expected out of them in their life. They hear a voice that tells them to fulfill their destiny. Such people try to figure out the meaning of their lives and face existential questions.

Generally, such people are found to have achieved every other level in the Maslow Pyramid. They feel they have provided for all the needs that they had in their lives, and are now looking for a purpose of their life.

It’s often found in the lives of successful career-oriented professionals who retire and then feel that they want to be model grand-parents to their grand-kids. Some feel that this is the time they should switch their profession and take up an artistic pursuit.

Many successful businessmen have abandoned successful, stable careers and have changed their professions at the top of their game. Lawyers have become hoteliers, bankers have become actors, actors have become investigative writers, and so on.


People who seek self-actualization have crossed the stage when they used to worry about what other people think about them. They also partake in activities that they find genuine fun doing.

Not every job can be made to feel self-actualizing for everyone. The trick here for the supervisor or the manager is to find someone who feels that this is the job that he would love to do for his entire lifetime.

Many people are initially excited about their profession and feel happy and satisfied in their jobs. However, with age and experience, they could start yearning for some other activities. A successful manager should know how to utilize his team-members so that they stick to their jobs and keep feeling fulfilled. Until these employees believe that they are in a job that they must be taking care of, they will be dealing with self-actualization in a positive manner.

Motivation in the Business World

Motivation is the driving force behind a person’s action. If you have a low motivation towards work, you will take longer time to complete it and the quality of the output may not be very good, either. On the other hand, if you have high motivation towards a job, you will not only enjoy the work but also get satisfaction out of the outcome. It has been observed that people who enjoy their work also feel the most fulfilled in their lives.

People often try to find what the factors to motivate others are. If an employee can be motivated to do his work, then not only will he get a sense of satisfaction and triumph from his efforts, but the company will also get high productivity, good outcome and all this will result in the employee getting rewards for his hard work. When people are motivated at work, there are many positive forces that play in the working environment. Self-motivated people motivate others and persuade them to work better. This improves the efforts put inside the job and the results improve.

Successful managers always make a clear point to explain their team what is needed of them and also delegate work as per a person’s talent. This makes the entire workforce feel like a cohesive unit, where everyone is functioning like a part of the machinery.

Case Study

Case Study Procter & Gamble (better known as P&G) has mastered the skills of motivating its employees. That’s the reason they have been operating successfully for many years in more than 80 countries. They have understood that different cultures get motivated with different rewards.

For example, Swedish might not appreciate the remuneration-based reward system of the Americans, because they appreciate being rewarded with time-offs more. Similarly, Japanese hold group-based incentives and equality at workplace as rewards for their hard-work. For them, that could be the incentive to get them motivated.

P&G has tailored its reward and incentive program as per the culture of the place it operates in and this has resulted in the company featuring in Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies”.

What is Personal Motivation?

All humans are born with the innate desire to dream of a better future. This dream creates the desire to achieve our goals in life. We feel the need to know that we have achieved something important in our lives. It is one of the most important motivations behind our actions in life.

This motivation improves our confidence and makes us more focused on our work. It makes us disciplined and makes us set realistic targets that we can achieve. Once we reach our self-set targets, it is this motivation that makes us work harder to challenge ourselves and climb greater heights.

This is the reason people say that “the success of hard work is sweet”. It’s due to the efforts that go into getting the achievements, it feels great when the rewards start coming and it also feels good to enjoy them. The more we achieve, the more self-confident we become. In turn, the more self-confident we become, the more we achieve.

Personal Motivation

The complete opposite happens when we don’t manage to achieve our goals. There is a dip in confidence, and people start questioning their own abilities. Many opt out of their careers they are in and feel happy to settle down for something way less below their potentials.

There is a very interesting co-relation between motivation, confidence, and achievements. Higher motivation leads to higher confidence, and higher confidence results in higher achievements. However, if the targets are too steep, then it will be very tough to achieve the targets, and then low confidence sets in. That’s why it’s common practice in any training program to start the trainees with easy, achievable targets.

When a supervisor motivates his team-mates, he is supposed to know that there are two types of motivation that the team-mates will look for. One, where they will see whether the supervisor is motivating them to partake in wrong actions, or if he is motivating them to achieve an unachievable target.

But the second observation they will make is if the supervisor himself is motivated enough for the targets. If the supervisor appears to not be convinced that these targets can be achieved, then no matter how hard he tries, his words will sound hollow.

That’s why it’s important to give self-motivation as much importance as motivating others. A person who tries to motivate people without thinking about their benefits and returns from the efforts, is only going to get short-lived motivation.

How to Motivate Employees

Successful managers realize that the tags of “disobeying, uncooperative” etc. are attached to those employees in a team who were once selected to work for them by the company itself. In other words, the said person was never short of talent, nor he has any negative attitude towards work. Something in the company must have changed him. It could be the working environment, it could be the co-workers who have ignored him, or many other issues.

A person might get disappointed with the working conditions very soon if he does not have the real picture in front of his eyes. That doesn’t mean that the talent inside him has died. What it takes to bring out that talent and rejuvenate such employees is trying to understand their issues.

Most of the times, the poor attitude and the casual approach to work could be deviant behavior for some management-generated policy. In other cases, it could be improper reward policies, or even poor work culture.

Motivate Employees

A good motivator is not someone who skims of the top best of his team and works with them, and ignores the rest. The best manager of resources won’t allow people with talent to waste their skills. They would like to know the reason behind the resentment so that they know what’s the best for all in the end.

Many times, a poor performance could just be the result of not having often frank discussions, not appreciating hard work, not giving due credit, and leading by example. A good motivator understands that it’s important to gain the trust of the person whom he is motivating to reach his potential.

There could be many reasons behind the lack of motivation in an employee’s life. Experts state that the chief ones among them are −

  • Lack of Required Capability − In the times of retrenchment and recession, many aspirants accept whatever job offer they are made, as a result of which they end up working in a sector that they never had any interest to work in, nor did they have any talent in it. In such cases, further motivation is impossible, unless the employee is given professional training in the needed job set. In such situations, training programs after work-times could be arranged.

  • No Challenges in the Job − A lot of good candidates find themselves plain bored after the first few years in a company. That’s because they feel that their skill-sets are not being put to use, and their talent is not being given an opportunity. Multi-talented people get frustrated working in the same job and this boredom can cause poor attitude and low motivation.

To improve this situation, such employees may be tasked with other extracurricular activities like training new inductees, getting them in committees and taking their suggestions in different team projects. This will keep them interested and also motivated in their jobs.

Efforts are not Appreciated

No employee in this world likes if his hard work is ignored or taken for granted. Every person wants his efforts to have some impact on the outcome of the company. When a person is made to feel that his work is not contributing to the success of the company, he loses the drive to work hard, and his productivity starts to lag as a result.

This makes the employee feel jealous of others when the other person gets praised, or is promoted. Instead of being happy for a colleagues’ professional success, the disgruntled employee ends up resenting them.

It is the responsibility of the managers to make sure that people feel valued and needed in a company. They should be proactive in sharing feedback and let a person know where he is going right and what changes he should make in his approach for better results.

Unfriendly Workplace

Most of the employees don’t get along with their colleagues, however some of them might be really getting ignored by all due to poor communication skills or introvert nature. The manager should explain to the team that the objective of the team is to get the work done as a cohesive unit, and it’s impossible to work in a disjoint manner.

In addition to such team-discussions, it’s also important to arrange for team outings, gatherings, etc. to keep the communication in a team healthy. Forming small teams and delegating work to them will also help in this.

Personal Problems

Life is full of uncertainties and one can never truly prepare himself for the situations that may arise in the event of things. Often situations are so tough that they encroach upon both personal and professional life.

To address such sensitive issues, many companies have counselling guides who provide employee assistance. The good news with such issues is that it’s often temporary and there’s nothing a bit of understanding, empathy and frank talk won’t set straight.

They’ve Developed an Attitude

People develop a negative attitude towards work when they either don’t do well in their jobs, or do excessively well. In the former case, the negative attitude is more damaging in that affects the working environment and brings negative tendencies in the rest of the employees too.

The latter case might not be that responsible in creating a negative workplace environment but it isolates individuals and makes them overconfident. No one likes to interact with someone who acts like he knows everything in a much better way that them.

In the previous case, it’s always better to have a frank conversation with them and check what reasons are making him develop a pessimistic approach towards his job. As far as the overconfident attitude-bearing people are concerned, the best way to deal with them is to give them a challenging task, something that will test their knowledge and capabilities.

Motivating Skills - Performance Management

Motivating others through Performance Management is an umbrella term used to describe many qualities in one word. In order to be a good manager of performance, you are supposed to know how to communicate well, how to lead from the front, how to be a role model, and you also need to know the value of collaboration.

The job of a performance manager is to manage the performance of each and every member of the team. Many people think performance management is just overseeing people doing their jobs, but it’s more than that. It’s about trying to create a synergy between the different people, and different teams, and seeing if this mutual interaction is resulting in a better outcome.

Performance Management

Some find performance management a tardy job to perform, especially because it’s difficult when it comes to evaluating individual performances in a team of performers, where the work is equally distributed and shared between them. But when it is done properly, performance management becomes a source of motivation and learning.

Motivating Skills - Delegation

Delegation is one of the most important, yet most misunderstood word in the world of professional management. People tend to mistake delegation with shifting their workload and responsibilities to others. However, the truth is that delegation is the art of skillfully assigning roles to different people in a team so that they can deliver their best in the end.

Companies Can’t Function without Delegation

A team cannot be formed by one individual. Every manager needs people who can assist him in his work. It’s often said that a real manager is someone who doesn’t manage task, but manages resources properly. If a manager were to do everything himself, why would he bother having a team at all in the first place?


Delegation depends of time-management and resource management. A manager should know how to delegate responsibilities properly so that he can think about future assignments while his team is working towards getting the task done as per the scheduled time frame.

Delegation can be also used as a tool for confidence-building. When you delegate a person some job responsibility, you know that the is a person you can trust with the results. These people value that trust and get motivation from the fact that their manager is trusting them with an important work.

In addition to this, these people can learn new skills and learn to be responsible for their action. They get further exposure to new levels of management and use this experience in taking upon new responsibilities.

Delegates Learning New Responsibilities

However, this doesn’t mean that the person delegating the work will pass the buck conveniently when there’s any blame to face. Delegating is the act of managing the entire process behind the scene without micromanaging.

When a goal is specific, then you have clearly identified what it is that you expect to be accomplished. If you can’t say specifically what you want to achieve, then how can you expect yourself or a subordinate to be able to achieve it? A specific goal will answer all these questions.

When Delegating Works and Doesn’t

A lot of people aren’t fond of delegating. The reason behind this could be that they feel that the work will have a much better quality if they were to take care of every single responsibility. Some of them think that it’s less time-consuming to do the job themselves, as compared to first finalizing someone to do it and then training them about the job.

There are still others who fear that they will lose control over the quality and authority that they have as the head of the project. There are a number of reasons that people decide not to delegate a task or project.

Many of these issues lead to people overworking themselves even if they have a full-bodied team. Team-members of such team easily develop an attitude towards their job, thinking that the work they do is too easy.

When Delegation Works

Not all projects can be delegated. Before doing it, the manager needs to check if the members of his team have the required skill-set needed for the project. If not, then how much time they will need to gain knowledge on these skills and put them to practice. Also, whether a similar project will come up in the future that will make this training relevant at a later stage in their professional lives.

Delegation Works

When Delegation Doesn’t Work

There’s no point in assigning a task to team members who are working on that kind of project for the first time, if a manager can’t afford to compensate them for the hours put it or provide them any compensation for it.

Also, if there is a very tight deadline, and the work needs to be done right in the first attempt itself, then maybe delegating work to inexperienced team-mates. The consequences of the errors could be too high to take such a risk.

Sometimes a work needs to be done by an experienced professional as he can only deliver the highest quality of work. In such cases too, it’s wise to rather do the task yourself, as compared to delegating it to beginners.

Motivating Skills - What Motivates You?

The following worksheet is designed to find out what motivates you so that you can find your source of motivation in life. This will not only help people to focus on what’s important in life, but also make them aware of the challenges they face and what steps they should take in order to overcome them.

It is a list of questionnaire with statements that you need to complete using your choices. You are supposed to tally the total number of a’s, b’s, or c’s at the end of the questionnaire. The largest number of options will give you an accurate idea of the type of motivational person you are −

  • I feel proud after…

    • Getting things done.

    • Helping people.

    • Thinking through issues and solving them.

  • I contemplate/think about…

    • What’s going to happen next.

    • Society and the people in it.

    • Ideas and thoughts.

  • I relax by…

    • Engaging in a pleasing activity.

    • Talking to friends.

    • Learning a new hobby.

  • My way of functioning…

    • Punctually, as per schedule

    • When someone else works with me.

    • When it feels like working for me.

  • While browsing internet, I like to…

    • Search specific topics.

    • Spend time in chatting, messaging, and sending emails.

    • Browse whatever appeals to me at the moment and wander.

  • According to me, assignments should be…

    • Concluded on time.

    • Worked on in groups.

    • Meaningful to people who work on them.

  • When I was in school, I used to …

    • Ask a lot of questions to my instructors.

    • Make a lot of friends.

    • Spend time in reading on a lot of topics.

  • Maintaining schedules…

    • Help organize myself.

    • Help me coordinate properly with others.

    • Keep me focused on the task ahead.

  • I like to be thought of as…

    • Organized, sorted-out, punctual.

    • Kind, friendly, considerate.

    • Smart, curious, observer.

  • While partaking in a task…

    • I finish the task.

    • I like to work as a team with the help of others.

    • I want to work and keep learning from the beginning to the end.


  • Highest tally of a’s − Goal Oriented − You enjoy getting the work done in a direct and obvious manner. If you face any issues with your task, you are more likely to find out a person with whom you can interact and ask your questions to get some help.

  • Highest tally of b’s − Relationship Oriented − You are mainly interested in social contact. Learning is a way to interact with people for you. Working independently or focusing on your task in isolation is not your cup of tea. It’s difficult to motivate yourself without company for you.

  • Highest tally of c’s − Learning Oriented − You are interested in learning new things. You are interested in attempting different tasks so that you learn something new from it. If the task takes longer time to complete than the learning process, then it frustrates you. Such people hate it if they can’t set a television set up even after they have gone through the entire instruction manual.

The highest tally unit is your primary motivational style; however, the second-highest unit is your secondary motivational style. It means that if a goal-oriented person were to find motivation, he will try to get the work done himself, however if his secondary motivational style is learning-oriented, then he will like to read about the task and learn about it first, and then start working on it.