40% of a team's success factor lies in their motivation and willingness to get the job done. Here are the four motivation traps and targeted strategies to help your team escape them:

1) I don’t care enough to do this: When a task doesn’t connect with the team's values, they won’t be motivated to do it. Help the team by finding out what they care about and connect it to the task.

2) I don’t think I’m able to do this: When teams believe they lack the capacity to carry out a task, they won’t be motivated to do it. Help the team by building confidence and competence.

3) I’m too upset to do this: When teams are consumed with negative emotions, they won’t be motivated to carry out a task. Help the team by telling them you want to understand why and engage in active listening. Do not agree or disagree; be nonjudgmental and offer your help.

4) I don’t know what went wrong with this: When teams can’t identify the reason for their struggles with a task, they won’t be motivated to do it. Help the team to think clearly about the cause of their struggles with a task.

With each of these four motivation traps, the trick is to think about what stops teams from initiating, persisting, and putting in the mental effort.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - 4 Reasons Good Employees Lose Their Motivation, by Richard E. Clark and Bror Saxberg