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The 7 R's of Motivating Your Team

29 April 2013

± minute read

    The 7 R's of Motivating Your Team
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A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves."

Harvey Mackay Marcia Hughes and James Terrell, developers of the Team Emotional and Social Intelligence Survey, recently posted an article on the 7R’s to Team Motivation. They describe the concept of motivation as a competency that measures a team's internal resources for generating and sustaining the energy necessary to get the job done successfully and on time. Furthermore, motivation can provide feedback on whether creative thinking is promoted and if there is healthy competition in the team. Overall, it creates the drive that gets the team going and mobilizes their three primary resources of time, energy and intelligence. However, there is no “one size fits all” approach for creating motivation, as the right motivational strategies need to connect with the team. Through their insights of the team members, the environment and overall organisational strategy, leaders can achieve enhanced motivation by using the following 7 R’s:

The 7 R's of motivating your team

1. Reason

Create and share the reason or purpose for the team’s existence and need to engage. Then use this goal to help team members develop mastery in their skills.

2. Respect

Appreciate your team members. Even small gestures, such as the leader saying ‘thank you’ can make people strive harder for appreciation. Respect for the team and team members is an integral component of an overarching purpose that everyone is working towards. Remember, earning respect through deeds can go further than words.

3. Relationships

Lead your team to genuinely connect with one another and to consistently demonstrate regard for each other. When teams are focused on accomplishing a powerful purpose, there is a natural leaning to build strong relationships in order to accomplish the common goal. Something as simple as eating together can be a relationship builder.

4. Resilience

When building resilience within a team, 5 key concepts can be worked on:

  • focus on results
  • team and individual accountability
  • commitment to team goals
  • embracing healthy conflict
  • trust

(Adapted from: Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni)

5. Responsibility

Hold people constantly accountable. Let team members know their responsibilities are tied to the team’s ability to accomplish its mission and to overall value. Furthermore, it is necessary to share the information you have about your projects and give them a sense of ownership.

6. Rewards & Reinforcement

Notice positive accomplishments on a regular basis and say something encouraging right away. What team members need in addition to satisfactory payment is to be treated with respect. Supporting them in their ability to develop mastery so they can do their job well is one of the strongest rewards available.

7. Role Model

If you are energetic and inviting, your team will have confidence in you and will follow willingly. It can also be helpful to spot the motivators within your team; there are individuals that bring energy and enthusiasm to all situations that compel others to show the same energy without ever saying it.

In Summary

Develop your mastery and hold yourself accountable to act the way you would like your team members to behave. Keep in mind, not every individual has the same motivational needs. Certain incentives could work for one team member, the same incentives may not motivate the other, and can even backfire. It is of utmost importance to get to know your team as well as the unique underlying qualities that energise them, contribute to their personal growth and lead them to peak performance.


Hughes, M., & Terrell, J. (2013, April), The 7 R’s to Team Motivation. Retrieved from http://theemotionallyintelligentteam.com/articles/7_r_s.pdf Brook, J. (2013). Ways to embed the strengths approach into the DNA of the organization. Strategic HR Review, Vol 12, No 1. Retrieved from http://www.strengthspartnership.com/docs/DNA-organization.pdf Bas de Baar. (2008, August 08). 25 sure-fire ways to motivate your team members. Retrieved from Author unknown. Building team resilience in challenging times. Retrieved from www.usfca.edu/uploadedFiles/Destinations/Offices_and_Services/HR/docs/

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