Not a day goes by without one of our clients asking, "How do I motivate my people?"When I was younger and more apt to answer questions than ask them, I'd launch into a listing of ideas and activities that we've seen motivate teams in the organizations we serve. These ideas and activities have value, and I'll share them in my next article, but first, let's explore the most important idea I have to help you motivate your people: Ask them!

Why? Because your people know what motivates - and deflates - them. They are the best ones to guide you in your quest to develop an inspiring, maximally productive work environment. And motivation is a highly individualized, very personal thing. We see this in our work environment and in the partner, key leader and staff groups that we coach. It's a hard but simple truth - what motivates you to perform does not necessarily motivate me.

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