Managing and motivating a diverse group of individuals is like herding cats.  Cats are known for their independent nature, agility, and elusive behavior. Similarly, motivating a diverse group of people with varying personalities, interests, and motivations can be quite challenging. 

Leadership Guru and author Warren Bennis wrote a book about “Managing People Is Like Herding Cats. The book spells out the dilemma faced by leaders of today both in society and in corporations. Leaders of today should look beyond how to motivate their people. They have to understand the individual motivation.

Here are a few skills and tips from Steve Zynda so you can lead your team well:

  • Excellent communication skills are essential to influence your cats 

Communicate clearly, honestly, and even frankly.

  • Effective cat herders who can bring business enemies together

Temporarily turn them into colleagues, to perform an invaluable service.

  • Cats are easily distracted, and so are the team members on your projects 

 Using agile principles to keep meetings time-boxed or sprints short are good ways to keep focus

  • Cats appear to be aloof with a “why should I care about this project?” mentality 

Get your team emotionally engaged by sharing why the project is important to the organization and also highlighting how it can be important to them.

Motivating others is not an easy task. How much more if you are motivating a diverse group of individuals? It is not a one-time process but rather a continuous process. Motivating the unmotivated takes time and strategy. It will require a lot of patience, empathy, and understanding.  

You have to embrace the challenge. Then you can effectively motivate and inspire your team, even if it feels like herding cats most of the time. We can help you let us know.

Watch this video for more information.

 

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