Six ways to motivate yourself when your boss can't

Six ways to motivate yourself when your boss can't

If your boss is not up to it, it’s a DIY job



Let’s face it: Some bosses are not inspiring. If your boss doesn’t motivate you, how can you keep your engagement up and your own professional goals on track? Here are some suggestions.

1. Understand what makes you tick.

When was the last time you felt a sense of meaning and purpose at work? What were the conditions that allowed those feelings to flourish?

2. Set your own goals.

Make an individual career plan to help you track your projects and results, and set goals for your own development.

3. Use if-then planning.

For example, if your goal is to finish a presentation, but you find yourself getting distracted by conversations with colleagues, you might say, “If I haven’t finished the presentation by the end of the day on Wednesday, then I will come in early on Thursday to finish up while it’s quiet.”

4. Ask for feedback.

You might request feedback from your manager directly and in the moment by saying something like, “How did you think the meeting went? Is there anything I might do differently next time?” You might also look to peers for an objective assessment of your performance.

5. Expand your internal and external networks. Find mentors within your own company to give guidance and perspective, and, if possible, develop an in-house peer group designed to help all of you move forward.

6. Focus on learning.

By shifting the focus of your work from performing perfectly to consistently learning and improving, you create the conditions for both heightened motivation and success.

In association with Harvard Business Review

Previously published in The Irish Times.


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