"It's not my job to motivate my people. It's my job to create an environment where they can motivate themselves."
This is a comment made by a fellow manager quite a few years ago when my own management experience was yet in its infancy. What an odd thing to say, I remember thinking then. Surely, motivating others falls to the manager. Isn't it the most important responsibility we have?
But as the years passed by and experience filled the void, I began to see what he was saying.
Perhaps you've encountered the following when you're interacting with your team members:
*Your feedback at times just doesn't seem to be hitting the mark.
*You need to return to the same developmental issue over and over again because little or poorly sustained progress is being made.
*You offer up praise, raises, and acknowledgement yet the employee is still not happy.
*A once engaged employee seems to be distracted, or worse, disengaged.
These are just a few examples of many that I've experienced. I remember clearly the deep feeling of frustration that came with my inability to motivate change with these employees. Frustration from the lack of responsiveness, the time wasted, the impact on my business outcomes, and my own feeling of inadequacy as a manager.