Christopher Avery FAQs: Motivating Others Who Don’t Report to You

Posted by Kristin Arnold on October 13, 2015

Today I bring to you a special guest blogger, colleague and friend of mine, Christopher Avery. He’s a fellow thought leader on leadership, teamwork, and change for companies. Since his mission often fits so well with The Extraordinary Team’s, we share his thoughts today on just one entry of his 5 part series on frequently asked questions about teams.


Here’s one from the Top Twenty:

How do I motivate someone who doesn’t report to me?

Often, when people are unmotivated or even resistant, they just want others to take responsibility for their emotional state. Whatever you do, don’t get sucked into this. Instead of thinking that you must motivate such a person, tap into his or her existing well of potential motivation. You do this by asking, “What could be in it for you to work on this project with this team?” Don’t tell, ask! Probe until the person finds something. Then make an agreement to help him or her get that by working with you on the team.

If you can’t help the person find something that raises his or her energy and commitment, then save yourself and get out of that situation. Otherwise, your own commitment and performance will slide down to match the other person’s level of effort. If you think it through, this explains why there are so few high performing teams!


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