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Manager’s Checkup: Are you ready to motivate your staff?

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Are you ready to motivate your people? Not if you aren't motivated yourself. If you feel like you're dragging yourself through the workday, your people are going to pick up on your lack of energy and enthusiasm. And that's the last thing you need. Take this quiz and see how you handle some common demotivators for managers:

1) You mistakenly docked Marcia's pay, and she's still steamed about it. You've apologized and corrected your error, but what else can you do?

a. Try to make it up to her by doing something special.

b. Make sure you know how to avoid such mistakes in the future.

c. Have a one-on-one talk with Marcia.

2) Neville, a fellow team leader, pooh-poohs your proposal in the managers' meeting, and you think he's trying to curry favor by showing you up. What do you do?

a. Go directly to your boss with your proposal.

b. Talk to Neville one-on-one to hear out his objections.

c. Promise to withhold your support from any of Neville's proposals.

3) Downsizing is in the air, and your people think you know more than you do, which is nothing. But if your team fumbles its current project, you're sure they will be in jeopardy. What do you do?

a) Find out what you can about downsizing plans and share it with your team.

b) Focus on the day-to-day challenges of the current project.

c) Remind people that their fate may depend on how well they produce now.

4) You've got far bigger things to do, but you've been laboring over this memo for hours, trying to make sure it raises the right issues without sounding like whining. What do you do?

a. Trust in your ability to write a memo and send it as is.

b. Drop it — if you can't get the memo right, you shouldn't tackle the issue.

c. Put the memo aside and revisit it after you've handled some of your pressing tasks.

What do your scores mean?

Here's what the experts said:

1) B is best. Everyone makes mistakes, and the chance that Marcia will never forgive you is slim. What's most important is that you don't make the same mistake again.

2) Again, B is the way to go, because what if Neville's right? If he is trying to tear you down, you'll know after a one-on-one talk. And if he has valid points, you can improve your proposal, and then take it to your boss.

3) A makes the most sense. It's certainly no fun, and you may not find out anything. But even a little information can neutralize a lot of fear and help people focus on the task at hand.

4) A again. Don't decide that an issue is unimportant just because, right now, you aren't satisfied with your writing skills. Devote your energies to the big picture instead.

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