Do you suffer from low motivation at work?
It is widely recognised that within the IT Industry we techies can sometimes have challenges with communication and that we’d rather be tapping away on a keyboard than engaging in verbal conversation with the person next to us. Though this is by no means the case for all of us, there is a definite trend here that can’t be denied. I have known cases where two developers have sat opposite each other on the same desk bank and have conducted long and complex conversations on messenger for hours when a 5 minute conversation would have resulted in a prompt problem resolution.
Therefore today’s blog has been kindly provided by Phuong Skovgaard who is not only an accomplished Project and Programme Manager, but is currently completing her coaching course and is passionate about helping IT professionals reach their potential in both their personal and professional life. The theme of Phuong’s blog is the importance of communication and how to improve and grow the relationships in or daily lives.
What causes low motivation?
Have you ever taken time out to reflect on how the difference of being heard or being ignored impacts your motivation levels? Further still, how being heard but misunderstood with no chance to clarify your point of view can be extremely frustrating. And let’s face it, most of us know how being rejected for a promotion or pay raise can be demoralising.
Turning to our personal lives it can be difficult to understand why home doesn’t give the same positive energy as it used to. Maybe you’ve tried talking about it but it hasn’t seemed to make any difference. So you plod on, treading through slowly setting concrete until it becomes unbearable enough to look for a new job and/or new interests in life. By which time your energy is drained and you can’t muster the energy to make the positive moves you yearn to.
The importance of communication
Communication is key when clarifying our thoughts and intentions to each other, but if we are too busy to listen, which most of the time a lot of us are, the communication breaks down and we get more and more frustrated and despondent. How often do we remember that good communication consists of 1/3 talking and 2/3 listening? As an old folks tale reminds us: that’s why we have one mouth and two ears!
Communication in life is like other parts of us; hair, teeth, nails, weight… If you don’t care for and nurture it, it will fade and become dull and meaningless.
The formula for having good relationships both at home and in the workplace is simple: build it around effective communication. Make explanation a habit and don’t expect or assume that everyone is like you, seeing things the way you do, because no one is like you. We all have different backgrounds, experience and thought processes which will give us different perspectives on the same truth.
When communication is a central part of your relationships everything seems to flow more naturally and smoothly. Nurture and enjoy your relationships and you will start to see growth and progress. You are probably doing this already in some of your relationships, for example there are not many misunderstandings when it comes to your best friends, but nothing can be said to the grumpy next door neighbour.
Listen…start improving your communication today
Firstly practice listening to improve communication skills by holding your tongue and not speaking until you’ve completely understood what others are trying to say. If you are still not clear try asking questions to clarify their thoughts before considering your answer or response. Others will copy you when they see the positive synergy. However if the other person in the conversation fails to understand you and doesn’t appear to want to, then you might be better to walk away until they are ready to listen to what you have to say and to try to understand your point of view. Otherwise, your frustration and unhappiness will unconsciously show in your eyes, language, body language….it will give people the wrong perception of you based on what they are seeing. This tends to drive people away rather than attract them, and we need to attract people to help us succeed.
Secondly turn a bad experience to a great motivation factor by increasing the need to succeed. Define your success criteria and create milestones with broken down small tasks. This is not difficult but does require great patience. Treat it like a module you would have done at school, college or university. You’ve probably done similar exercises in the education system for almost 20 years, now it’s time to take control of your career in a similar way. Imagine where you want to be in 5 years time, what role, position, salary, where do you want to be working? What skills do you need? How are you going to acquire these skills and how long is it likely to take? And so on…these questions will help you making a plan to get there
Lastly don’t be afraid of dreaming and letting your imagination drift free. Make sure you put a date on your 5 year plan as this is how you’re most likely to achieve your dream, maybe not on the exact date, but you will be sure to become the person you want and were born to be!
Tips for managers to lead and grow a happy and productive team
- Be open and honest about your own limitations both finance and influence
- Listen and practice your team’s ideas as much as possible, this will motivate and inspire your team to be more productive and creative and to feel valued
- Nurture the trusting relationship you have with each team member to completely understand their needs and aspirations
- Take the pride in helping people succeed in their goals rather than just focus on your own
- Or ask yourself, how you would like to be led and watch how you lead your team
- Don’t feel threatened if you find a star talent within your team who will outshine you and surpass your own achievements, but rather take pride in your contribution to this rising star
Coaching is a great way to grow yourself as well as the people around you and no manager should be without good, solid coaching skills and technique awareness.
Phuong Skovgaard has spent many years in Project and Programme Management roles and as such is expertly placed to coach technical professionals. She is highly respected and loved by many who she has led in teams or worked alongside. If you are interested in being coached by someone who understands the challenges of working within the IT industry, or are interested in coaching for a member of your team, contact Helen@it-hummingbird.co.uk or contact Phuong directly via LinkedIn.
I recently asked a number of my friends and contacts in the IT Industry if they’d be kind enough to have a go at writing a blog for me. I’ve been blown away with a great response and very much appreciate the number of offers I’ve had and the time and effort people have given to this. If you and I have worked together and there is an IT or Digital topic you feel passionate enough to blog about, please do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.