If Motivation includes a ‘But’ it becomes Demotivation

When it comes to encouraging people, we must fully focus on positive messaging in order to achieve maximum impact.

I’ve heard too many leaders say things like, “That was a great work, but it’s a shame about the cost overrun,” or “That was a fantastic design concept, but it’s a shame about the colour.”

People only hear what is said after the but when we do things like this. The motivational compliment has been lost, and people are left with demotivating criticism, which was not our aim.

If we’re going out to dinner, I can tell my wife that her dress is stunning, her hair is beautiful and she looks lovely, but I’m not sure about those shoes. All of the other compliments have vanished into thin air, and the only thing that registers is that I don’t like her shoes. She’s now upset because I don’t like her shoes.

So if we want to motivate people through compliments and recognition then we need to just have positive messages.

If we have suggestions for improvements, then it’s better that we park these and bring them up at another time.

If motivation includes a but, then this transforms it from motivation into demotivation.

If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader click the link to make an appointment to talk about how I can help.