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Discover new ways to engage others in accelerating results

 

5 ways to engage others in accelerating results.

 

Businesses set out the results they want through a vision, mission, goals, KPIs or other means. Providing these are communicated, individuals should understand the outcomes expected. But, how motivated are they towards reaching these goals and how can they be engaged to achieve them quicker?

Financial Expert Monica Metha, when linking business behaviours with brain science considered how the brain processes success and failure. She explains that the more times that success is achieved the longer the brain saves this information. Physiologically this is because with each achievement the brain releases the chemical dopamine. As dopamine flows in the part of the brain which is responsible for pleasure, learning and motivation, we’re motivated to re-experience the activity that set off the chemical release.

If you can engage with others by defining goals that are then achieved, they’re more likely to want to repeat this success, to get this rush of pleasure. Continual repetition of this will contribute to establishing a results focused culture.

 

Here are five ways you can engage others in accelerating results;

 

1. Create a vision

Build understanding by starting with a vison. This could be a vision about the expected outcome of a piece of work, a project or a change that is being implemented. The purpose is to have a clear picture of the end result. A vision will also engage your subconscious. This part of the brain helps with problem solving, making decisions, leads the way in creativity and takes control when approaching something new. Giving your subconscious a detailed view of where you’re going will ensure steps are taken in that direction.

This vision can take any format. This could be words, a picture, video, whatever works for you and the others involved. Most importantly involve them in creating this vision. Have conversations about how this adds value, both to them and the business. Ask questions to encourage thinking around the role they play and how they can contribute. This will give a real sense of purpose as well as a clear direction.

 

2. Achieve small wins

Once you have the vision break this down into a set of smaller achievable goals. The more successes, the more rushes of dopamine, the more the desire to have more of the same. These regular feelings of achievement will motivate others to keep going, to move onto the next small win. Decide how far you can break things down. Could there possibly be wins every week or even every day?

You’ll still have the bigger picture in mind, but if that is all that is visible to people they may feel they aren’t getting anywhere. They may even feel like they are failing. Metha says that this can be counterproductive. This feeling of failure causes a drain of dopamine from the brain, which can make it hard to concentrate and even difficult to reflect on the learning taking place.

Psychologist and workplace behavioural sciences expert Aubrey Daniels, confirms this. He refers to a study, which indicated that when individuals don’t reach their goals, their overall performance suffers. This suggests that goals only act as a motivator to accelerate results when there is a positive outcome. Thus, confirming the need to agree goals that are attainable.

 

3. Use inspiring language

In developing goals or communicating them, think about the words you use. Do you make the goals sound exciting and worth being involved in? Or do they sound dull and boring? It may be the same goal in the end, but how you describe it can make all the difference.

Inspiring language is more likely to draw people in. Bring goals to life to build the desire to want to work towards achieving them. Use action oriented verbs including; implement, design, create, build, develop, anticipate or promote.

Consider the difference in these two goals for a regular task:

Goal A - Make sure the finance report is completed by the last working day of each month.

Goal B - Create an easy to interpret report on the key financial performance indicators to enable the management team to determine priority actions for the next month.

Which would you rather take forward as your goal?

Remember to consider your non-verbal messages in face-to-face situations.  Is your tone of voice and body language congruent with what you are saying? Do you look and sound inspiring? If you are expecting someone to buy into a goal you need to make sure you sound like you’re bought in and excited about it.

 

4. Generate a wish list

Think about your hopes and aspirations. All the things that aren’t quite goals yet, but that you’d like to achieve at some point. How about keeping a list of these for yourself and involving the team in developing a list? These wishes could be actions related to working towards business or professional goals. They could be activities to implement at a team level. They may be wish stage now, but could be turned into goals as other goals are achieved or when the time is right.

A wish list can be a motivator, as it maintains the theme of having something to work towards. The list will always be work in progress and the motivations behind some of the items on the list might diminish as other items are added. Some might not seem realistic, but might open the doors for other ideas. I can remember one of the wishes of a team I worked with in the past was to have a team puppy. Now this didn’t come to fruition, but we did end up with an office cat, which was more than a good substitute.

  • For more tips on defining goals and the thinking that goes with it, take a look at last week's article here.

And, you may be wondering how a wish list can contribute to accelerating results. But, if you follow the premise that you get what you focus on, articulating dreams and wishes help to create a culture of thinking about and going for the things you want.

 

5. Celebrate success

Make sure you celebrate your wins. Big wins, small wins and anything in between. This will keep up the flow of dopamine and give the impetus to do more. Recognise the good feelings that are generated when goals are achieved and make the time for these celebrations. The celebration doesn’t have to be significant. It could be something as simple as stopping work for five minutes and acknowledging what has been achieved. Crucially, remember to include all those involved in the celebrations.

Make celebrating success a habit. You don’t always have to lead it and you can encourage others to be involved in identifying and celebrating wins. I worked with a team that regularly sent around ‘well done’ emails when they recognised something that an individual or the team had achieved. It was great to see the buzz in the team as the message of the win was shared. Ultimately, when the celebrations are complete people should be fired up to go on to do more. 

 

These 5 tips for engaging others to accelerate results can be applied personally, with just one other person or with a team. It might be worth reviewing your goals and checking the effect they may be having. Are your goals broken down enough to be considered achievable? And, will there be enough small wins along the way to keep up enthusiasm and momentum?

 

Here are 3 practical things you can do straightaway to engage others in accelerating results;

  • Review your goals and your team goals to assess how inspiring they are. If they aren’t, then rewrite them.
  • Think about what might be on your wish list. Give it go – write out your list. Having done your own list, suggest that your team creates a wish list.
  • Identify the wins of the last week and celebrate them!

 

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