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Motivating Employees with NLP

by Guest Writter
NLP is a series of techniques that can help individuals and businesses achieve better results faster. For CEOs, NLP can be used in all day to day activities, including negotiation, selling, leadership, team management and employee engagement, as well as staying fully motivated as CEO. Given that CEOs need to inspire and motivate those around them, let’s look at how CEOs can create the environment where all staff are engaged.
Let’s assume:
  • the CEO and fellow directors have communicated clearly the organisation’s vision and values,
  • these are used as part of the recruitment process to recruit people who are right for the organisation
  • consequently, the organisation’s employees buy into its ethos, goals and vision.
One excellent method to enhance employee engagement using NLP is to ask all line managers to follow a two-stage process. The CEO would also do this with their line reports.
Stage 1
Each line manager has a conversation with each of their staff (approximately one hour, usually at the annual appraisal/performance review), to find out what really motivates them to perform, i.e. find out their values.
The manager would set the scene, by explaining:
  • they want their staff to be motivated, so that they’ll perform well, which will be good for the staff, the manager, the team and customers
  • their job as manager is to motivate the staff, and that they promise they will do everything they can, within their remit, to help the staff member have what they are looking for in their job
  • they’re not mind-readers, so cannot be expected to know what motivates their staff unless the staff tell them honestly
They would then go through the following process:
  1. Ask “what’s important to you in your career/work/job?”, “what do you want/look for from your career/work/job?”, and write the answers (i.e. their values) in their words, without suggesting or conversing with them at this point (examples could be challenge, variety, recognition. Values are usually expressed in one or two words, not long phrases)
  2. Ask them to remember a previous situation (or two) when they felt really motivated and happy in their career/work/job. What was it about those situations that led to them feeling so motivated and happy? Add any new values to the list
  3. Show them the list. Ask, “if you had all this on your career, would I want it or is anything missing?” This is a ‘catch-all’ question; add any additional values to the list.
  4. Ask the staff member to rank the values A/B/C in order of importance, where A means absolutely essential (i.e. deal-breakers), B means important but not essential and C means ‘nice to have’.
  5. Check that this is a true representation by asking the staff member to imagine being in a career with the B and C Values compared to one with the A and B values. Which one would they choose? And would they want the one with all the A and B values? If they prefer the career with the B and C values, or are not really motivated by the thought of the career with the A and B values, re-visit steps 1 to 4.
Steps 1 to 5 takes about 10 minutes.
Because values are usually abstract (You don’t know what, for example, recognition, respect, challenge mean to someone else), for each of the values, delve a bit deeper to find out what they mean to the staff. The line manager must resist the temptation to make assumptions. Exploring each value typically takes around five minutes per value, hence the whole process takes about one hour.
At the end of the hour, the manager will know a huge amount about what motivates their staff.
Stage 2
The manager has to keep their promise, i.e. do whatever he/she can do to ensure that each of their staff members’ values are met. If circumstances change, the manager will need to explain and possibly re-negotiate.
Just about every person would respect their manager, and be extremely engaged, if their manager kept their promise. If managers do not keep their promises, they deserve to have de-motivated staff!
Imagine being the CEO of an organisation where all managers knew how to motivate each of their staff, and consequently where their staff were extremely engaged. Imagine the impact of profits, staff turnover, productivity, innovation and other key business metrics.
This is just one of many ways that NLP can help CEOs to deliver the results they seek.

About the Author

Jeremy Lazarus is the author of NLP: The Essential Handbook for Business. He is a certified NLP Master Trainer and business performance coach and owner of The Lazarus Consultancy Ltd, a niche NLP training company based in London.

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