6 Ways to Motivate People to Step Up

UPDATED: September 22, 2015
PUBLISHED: August 28, 2015

Q: How do you motivate your peers to take the initiative and have more accountability for their actions so you end up with the best results?

E.K. Smith, Kansas City, Mo.

A: There must be a clear vision and expectation placed upon each individual in order to focus on the actions that need to be executed. Here are six ways to help you achieve this:

1. Invest your time in your team. Find out what your people’s goals, values, aspirations and futures are all about. This can be an overlooked detail, yet it is valuable for fostering a group of loyal and motivated people.

2. Communicate to others as they wish to be communicated to. It’s simple: If we want to motivate others toward a greater initiative or sense of accountability, then reach out to each person in the way he or she best understands. Learn each individual’s preferences and personality styles, and communicate accordingly.

3. Define how each person fits within the group. This will create a stronger sense of role identity, promote team synergy and camaraderie, and increase accountability. Individuals will understand that the whole group can’t finish without all team members doing their part.

4. Measure progress. Establish criteria for your employees to report their growth. For example: daily recaps, weekly objectives and monthly benchmarks.

5. Teach your people how to win. Work to align what you expect with what others want and care about. Communicate how the goal will impact the individual positively and how it will establish a win for the group as a whole.

6. Do favors in advance. Helping others inevitably promotes a reciprocal relationship. When you are in need, you will have others willing to help.

Become a top-notch leader by mastering the art of conversation.


Editor’s note: This article appears in the September 2015 issue of SUCCESS magazine. We gave you, the reader, the opportunity to ask the SUCCESS columnists anything—and these are some of your best questions answered.


Tony Jeary is an author, executive coach and presentation strategist. Jeary has published more than three dozen books about making presentations and strategic effectiveness. He coaches the world's top executives from companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, New York Life and Texaco.