You've heard it for years: Effective managers instill passion in their employees. But the big question is, "How?"
Many managers equate passion with rah-rah, fist-pumping theatrics. That may work if they moonlight as motivational speakers, but it tends to fall flat in most workplaces.
Passion rings true when it complements your authentic personality. Employees can tell whether you're truly engaged and enthusiastic--or you're resorting to a ploy to motivate them. Because there are different ways to convey passion, use these guidelines to stay true to yourself while energizing your staff:
Harness quiet intensity. If you're taciturn by nature, you can radiate passion without raising your voice. Watch any Bill Gates interview and you can see how he injects emotion into his comments by pausing before he begins, gesturing emphatically with his outstretched arms and ending his comments on a note of self-assured finality.
Describe your vision. In a calm, conversational tone, ignite your team by painting a picture of a better tomorrow. Vividly describe positive outcomes so that your listeners can touch, taste and feel what it's like. Instead of saying, "It excites me to think what we can accomplish together", provide clear visual imagery such as, "One year from now, I see us holding up our tropical drinks in Hawaii, toasting our results in doubling sales."
Vary your voice. It's impossible to sound passionate if you talk in a monotone. Droning on about a potentially exciting topic puts people to sleep. Enliven your delivery by varying your voice tempo, pitch and volume. Slow your speech as you make your most important point--or whisper to grab everyone's attention when you announce a reward for superior performance.