How to Not Demotivate People

By Ron Pereira Updated on October 31st, 2011

Here is a short, but excellent, video on how to not demotivate workers. The person speaking is Jim Collins, author of the bestseller Good to Great.

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on whether you agree with everything Mr. Collins says in this video. If so, why? If not, why?

  1. John Hunter

    October 31, 2011 - 11:42 pm

    I agree with the main premise that the first idea is not to demotivate people.

    Confronting business realities is necessary. I am not sure how key addressing that first is – seems not that key to me.

    I don’t mind if the decision maker has an opinion going into a meeting (in fact normally it is better). What matters is listening to good ideas even if they counter your original belief.

    Undermining isn’t good. But my experience with those pushing hard for calling out undermining is weak willed people that need mindless following of ideas. Those pushing for no undermining I see like those that say standardization is horrible because then you can’t continually improve. That isn’t the right mindset. You should always be challenging to find better ways to do things. i realize that those against undermining will say improvements are fine, what we don’t want is someone sabotaging things. That sounds wonderful. But what I find is those people really are trying to prevent any questioning of the merits of the current course which is basically saying adhere to some decision no matter what we find. The concept I have no problem with. When I see the idea in the wild, most of the time I have a problem with it.

    I agree you want to show success in the real world. Calling that motivating people I think is the wrong mindset. http://management.curiouscatblog.net/2010/08/08/build-an-environment-where-intrinsic-motivation-flourishes/

  2. sachin kundu

    November 1, 2011 - 4:40 am

    Have to agree. There is nothing disagreeable with what Jim said.

    I am just cross that Jim stole my line you cannot motivate someone, you can only not demotivate them(but then again maybe I stole from someone else)

    The greatest problems with leaders(people in general) is that listening is so tough. Leaders have their own vision and they want others to come to the same vision. They are not interested in listening and understanding.

    Grave mistake.

    Your colleagues know way more than you think they know. Its just dumb to not use the talent around.

    Confront the facts as Jim said is essential. However must add that before confronting the truth one has to build a culture of trust and accepting failure(http://www.leaderexperiment.com/why-does-not-mary-innovate/)

    Fear of failure is what prevents most organisations from becoming great which eventually demotivates the best people.

  3. Steve

    November 21, 2011 - 3:49 am

    Fantastic video.

    I agree that confronting potential issues head-on – no matter how scary they might be – is a great way to motivate people, as you’re seeking to remove the things that are likely to demotivate them in the future.

    I also agree about avoiding the “somewhere down the road…” talk as more often than not, saying “things will pick up/get better” is akin to buying one’s head in the sand – it’s talk, which doesn’t necessarily become an action. But as the video says, if you can prove that things WILL change (and not just say that they will change) then you’re more likely to have more people on your side.

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