top of page

How Can I Help Motivate Other People?

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

It's one thing to motivate ourselves, it's another thing to attempt to motivate others.

We're going to be exploring how we help to motivate others. What we can do and what strengths and techniques we can use to help them stay well motivated to whatever their goal is.

One thing to remember when it comes to motivating others, is that they do not have to listen to a word you say. Not a sausage! Not a bean! They don't have to listen to you. And that's because you don't control them. You're often not the boss. If you think about how we can positively influence other people, it's not through control. It's through positive influence, helping them believe that they can achieve. So, the first thing we must remember is that we have no control, absolutely none. It's about how inspire somebody else to make that change for themselves.

First things first, you cannot motivate somebody if you do not know who they are, what they want to achieve and what they're motivated by.

We all have different motivations. We have to know them. "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." You have to get to know the person that you are aiming to help motivate.

When I think about motivation, it brings me back to the emotioneering triangle and the fact that we're helping people to move from fear to courage and then to confidence,

remember, "fear is a reaction, courage is a decision and confidence is an absolute outcome" So when we think about that and we're helping to motivate others, knowing that the bit between fear and courage is often the most treacherous part. Know that they'll double back and say, Oh no, I don't really want to do that. or Oh, I'm not sure anymore. Or I might have changed my mind. It's because they are moving out of their comfort zone. Once we start to move forward and we realize this, it will be like we're moving from the thick part of the branch, closest to the trunk and now we're now moving towards the shaky part of the branch. The bit that is a little bit thinner, where things start to change and move, and that's moving out of the comfort zone. That's the analogy, ie. moving away from the trunk, across the branch, to something that's a little bit more wobbly.

So that piece of the triangle between fear and courage is most important. If you are helping to motivate someone be aware that they're going to have wobbles at this point. And it's all about your encouragement.

Encouragement gets people to courage. All those little things that we say where we encourage someone, fill up their cup of courage so that they can make a decision that's going to change their life or move them closer towards their goal.

Many people ask 'well what does motivate somebody?' A lot of the time it can be recognition, doing a great job and achieving something. Financial gain can motivate, but it's not the money. It's what the money can do for somebody. We also have accountability, which we're all motivated by, because ultimately if we know someone's watching when the cameras are rolling, we start to behave slightly differently, especially when there are other people around. Another element that motivates us is purpose. When we're really driven and we're purpose driven individual, then that can really motivate us. All of them are going to be motivating in some way, but one of them is going to be more motivating for a person that you're trying to help. Figure that out first, ask them what motivates you the most, or you might start to see it and piece together what that could be.

When we talk about fear and motivation, understand that when we push someone towards something, we're encouraging them, but also it can feel like a bit of a positive push.

That push can sometimes end up paralyzing them instead of projecting them forward. It's because of the fight or flight response, so if they feel like the push is too sudden, it's too quick, it happens too dramatically. Then it can trigger the fight or flight response. It can take them by surprise. Be mindful of that. When you are trying to motivate somebody, it has to be a gradual thing, if you are reminding them of the pain, that can sometimes feel a little bit too much, but it's, it's about planting the seeds, watering the seeds, and then eventually they will blossom and move towards the goal.

When it comes to motivation, we have to remember that as human beings, we are pushed into this life. We do not hatch. We do not peck our way out of a shell. We are pushed out by another human being. So when we have encouragement from others, it's more successful than aiming to motivate ourselves. That is why we succeed in a coaching session because there's accountability. There's that follow-up, there's that nurturing support and encouragement that we get from other human beings. As long as they have our best interests at heart and we trust them, then that will help us to increase our motivation and our achievement.

70%. of the time is what I recommend is the level of focus when it comes to helping somebody understand what they are good at and their strengths. We have to focus 70% of the time on the achievements and the things that are going well. think about what that person's strengths are before we start to attempt to motivate them or to improve the things that are not so great. Really focus on those strengths. Figure out what they are first, because that's part of how you help to motivate them. When it comes to improvement, It's not about weakness. It's about the opportunity. Opportunity rocks! It's about blind spots. It's about things that we don't know about ourselves and we can uncover. That's how people managed to do amazing things that they didn't think were possible originally. So 30% of the time I would suggest we focus on how to improve. What are their blind spots? What are the things that they can focus on.

Next, there must be some expectation setting because often people can get upset or have an emotional outburst when expectations aren't met, for example - what we imagine is going to happen versus reality. Those expectations must be expressed on both sides. The person that is needing the motivation as well as the person coaching. Having some understanding of what those expectations are, can really help navigate the person towards that goal. We often hear people say, Oh, well, that's just common sense. Really? What do we know about common sense? We know that it's not very common. Ha! Therefore expectation setting is absolutely key so that someone doesn't get disappointed or let down.

Motivating others is also about getting them to commit to goal setting and to write it down, to have a date, to be able to see it. Talking out loud to somebody else about what you want to achieve makes it 80% more likely to happen. Goal setting will help them to achieve anyhing, help them to write it down, make sure it's widely communicated between you both.

Along the way remember to notice the small increments that change. It's so important in the process of helping them towards that goal, that they've got you by their side noticing those moments of change for them because they're less likely to tell themselves about it and notice what they achieve.

Helping someone to make a change or move towards a goal is also about helping them by inspiring them, by sharing a story that's relevant to the situation that they may be in by helping them with social proof, showing them what is possible. Sharing case studies and others success stories. Giving them proof is helpful because it helps them to still increase that belief that it is possible.

Lastly, motivating others is about motivating people with language that uplifts and empowers people. Passive language in conversation is completely different. Passive language is like saying to somebody, do you think it will work? What do you think? Why do you want to do it that way? Should we give it a go? It's about a transfer of trust and confidence. To do that be mindful of the language that you use, make statements that uplift and not questions that cause concern.

Motivating other people is about staying positive for them having more belief at times in them than they have in themselves. If you start to lose faith or sight that it is possible for them then your communication is going to change because your intention will change. That way of communicating with them will be sending a different signal or a different message. So, stay positive. It isn't about how fast we can help someone achieve something. It's about them, definitely achieving what they want and that sometimes can take a long time.

We can't always put a time to it, but believe that it will happen and be that person that has that unwavering, positivity, and belief. Often that will be more than anyone has ever given that person in their life.

And you might be saying to yourself, well, if I have all the answers to motivate in myself and I can do that, then why would I need somebody else? Results and implementation. Remember I said earlier that, we are pushed into this life. We don't hatch, we don't just appear. We don't grow out of a pond. We are pushed into this life by our fabulous mothers and we are nurtured into the world. When you work with somebody else, you are much more likely to achieve success and that's about implementation, follow-up and accountability. There's no hiding from it. If I've got a personal trainer and they tell me to create a diary and two weeks later, I go back, nothing's changed and If I've put that I've eaten loads of pizza and loads of cake also I didn't train as many times as I said I was going to commit to, then that's going to be met with accountability. I'm going to feel disappointed in myself that I've confessed that I want to achieve this goal, and I'm not doing the things that are possible to get there, but we can always adjust the goal as we move along. A great coach or trainer, or leader or manager will just adjust the direction. We adjust the path. We don't adjust the destination. Maybe the timeline changes slightly although we do not adjust the destination.

If someone has set a big aspirational goal and believes it can take place, then if they surround themselves with the right people then they can often get there.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As people operations and performance consultants, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 12 years of expertise in people operations and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


bottom of page