Here are 3 things you can do to keep yourself and others motivated when faced with challenges
1. Use Reframing
Part of a leader’s job is to listen to those they lead when they are frustrated, upset and/or feel like there is no solution to the problem at hand. Great leaders learn to acknowledge the way others are feeling and help them reframe their thoughts about the current challenge in a way that serves them and allows them to move forward. In other words, as explained by the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC); “A leader helps the follower see things differently by “framing them in a new way—a way that empowers them to be more positive about what is happening”. Leaders help followers see the opportunity in the challenge.
Here is an example of using reframing:
“You don’t like the project you are on right now, but think about how you are developing some valuable skills that will eventually get you to the next level”
This brings us to the next technique in which you can use reframing to redirect the conversation to a solution-focused one.
Human nature is to focus on the problem instead of the solution. The problem with that approach is that it magnifies the problem instead of getting closer to the solution. What happens when you focus only on the problem? Often times you find more problems, and next thing you know, you are ready to give up. Instead, the best thing to do is to step back and brainstorm on possible solutions. When you focus on the solution, you will be amazed of how you can turn a problem into an opportunity. As a leader, you can help those you lead become solution-focused by asking them these two questions: What do you have control over and what do you not have control over? The answers to those two questions will help them decide what to focus their time on. The things they do not have control over need to be dropped in order to place their full attention on those they do have control over. The last question you can ask is, “Now that you know what you have control over, how will you use that knowledge to find a solution-focused approach to the problem?”
3. Focus on the end goal
It is easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged when faced with challenges and let it derail us from achieving the results we want. It is critical in this moment to help those we lead reconnect with the end goal in order to get them to be charged up again. You can help them do just that by asking these simple questions: What will it look like when you finish the project? How will you feel? What will you/the department/the organization gain by accomplishing the task? What will you/the department/the organization lose by not accomplishing the task?
If you use these three techniques and teach them to those you lead, you will see how they start thinking more positively, solving their own problems and staying motivated despite the challenges they face.
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