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8 Steps to Developing People - 7 of 8

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like its heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

Motivation is our seventh step in developing people. John C. Maxwell’s famous quote, “Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing,” is very accurate. However, the Law of Consistency requires a motivating factor to drive the necessary discipline to keep going. Marketer Mike Fishbein says, “If your brain doesn’t understand both the costs of inaction and the benefits of action, you won’t feel very motivated.”

Our achievement motive must be greater than the cost of reaching that objective. The question we must answer is, what motivates me? Another question to answer is what motivates the people you’re developing? Each person is unique and motivated by something different. There is one constant in life, and that is people need and desire love. We are designed for love and meaningful relationships in all areas of life.

Motivating Love-Driven Connections

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
― Dr. Brené Brown

Love-Driven Leaders develop connections with people, more so with those they intend to mentor and develop. The disconnected life is a lonely existence, numerous studies show that connectedness allows for love, joy, peace, and harmony to flow through good relationships; this cultural focus is a massive win for any organization.

Dr. Gary Chapman, Author of “The 5 Love Languages,” says, “One of our deepest emotional needs is to feel loved by the significant people in our lives…The 5 Love Languages is designed to help you effectively communicate love. What makes one person feel loved will not make another person feel loved. We must discover and speak each other’s love language.” (1)

Love is Motivating

Love is a great motivator; when you fall in love, you tend to be naturally motivated to improve many areas of your life, because being loved is affirming and validating. Author Meg Selig says, “True love is consistent with your higher values and goals, expands your sense of self, and helps you function in this world. This “love motivator” is so powerful that I dubbed it one of the “Eight Great Motivators.” I don’t just mean romantic love but also loving relationships, including love of family and friends.” (2)

Any leader who loves their people desires to develop them, helping them reach and function in higher levels of their potential. Knowing what motivates and is meaningful to our people is the first step in developing strong connections and building trust.

Utilizing the 5 Love Languages

“Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself. Love doesn’t erase the past, but it makes the future different.”
― Gary Chapman

1. Words of Affirmation

“Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.”
― Roy T. Bennett

This team member performs best when they are encouraged and affirmed. It’s vital to develop the habit of consistently telling others how much you care about them; if this is their love language, they’ll be motivated to hear it from you consistently. What you say must be precisely how you feel, or your words won’t ring true. You’re connecting emotionally, so; you’ll need to be honest and intentional with your comments.

2. Acts of Service

“Great opportunities are often disguised as small acts of service.”
― Rick Warren

This team member performs best when they recognize the actions of others are helping them to reach their goals. Acts of service are about expressing yourself through an act of kindness or a thoughtful gesture you initiate. Think about going the extra mile or doing something meaningful because you know how much it will mean to that person. Consistent targeted, intentional actions always speak louder than words and are remembered for a lifetime.

3. Receiving Gifts

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
― Amy Carmichael

This team member performs best when they feel appreciated and rewarded by the gifts they receive (Ex. Watch, Vacation, Etc.) People differ in what is most meaningful in receiving gifts, both the giver and receiver. For many, it is more about the thoughtfulness and intentions behind the giving than of the gift itself. Many value the element of surprise, while others it’s the remembering something needed or mentioned that initiated its purchase. Receiving gifts opens the heart and is retained as a positive memory.

4. Quality Time

“Relationships are built on small, consistent deposits of time. You can’t cram for what’s most important…”
― Andy Stanley

This team member performs best when they are given undivided attention by their leader. Quality time refers to intentionally scheduling and spending time together. Setting aside the time and giving your undivided attention is affirming and validating when the activities and conversations are mutually meaningful. The greatest gift we can give to those we’re developing is our time and ourselves.

5. Appropriate Physical Touch

“The human touch is that little snippet of physical affection that brings a bit of comfort, support, and kindness. It doesn’t take much from the one who gives it but can make a huge difference in the one who receives it.”
― Mya Robarts

This team member performs best when they receive a pat on their back or a professional hug for a job well done. Actions do speak louder than words and communicate volumes in goodwill. That consoling hand on the shoulder, the pat on the back for a job well done, or a firm handshake of appreciation or agreement goes a long way. Being a hands-on leader can take many forms; it’s priceless when done at the right time for the right reason.

“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.”
― Sandra Day O’Connor

End Notes

(1) “The 5 Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman

(2) By Meg Selig


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