Keeping motivated through tough times (Week 7-8)

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Your focus area for weeks 7 and 8 is to connect brilliantly with those around you.

Spend 30-40 minutes creating your plan now, then follow it for the next 2 weeks.


Reading time: 5 minutes
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Get connected

What to do

Connect with key people around you who you need to gain/share information with and gain support from. Identify who they are and why connecting with them is important for you to perform well in your job and deliver on your goals. Then be great at ensuring you actively connect with them, creating a plan for how to do this well.

Why do it

Connectedness underpins motivation. There are two types of connectedness – feeling connected to the purpose or a higher mission, so you know what contribution you’re making and why that’s important – and feeling connected with the people around you. We’ve all got a basic need and instinct to feel part of team with a shared purpose. It helps us:

  • be more invested, engaged and motivated
  • get clear on what we’re doing and why
  • be more informed – we know the important stuff
  • be supported better by people around us

How to do it

There are 3 steps to take with this. Read these through, look at the example and then create your own plan.

1) Know who to connect with

If you’re going to work on your connectedness, you need to know who are the important people to connect with. It’s not about just connecting with anyone and everyone, but identifying who you need to work with, share information with, support and get support from.

2) Get the big picture

Increasing connectedness also involves getting clear on the big picture – what the values, mission and goals of the team and/or organisation is, and how you and your values and purpose fit into that. If this is important to you – and it is for most people – don’t ignore doing this!

3) Make it happen!

You’ve identified who to connect with and how you can increase your sense of connection to the wider purpose. The last part is planning for actually doing this – when to connect over the next 2 weeks and how best to go about it.

Example plan

You’re nearly ready to start your connectedness campaign! But to help you along the way, we’ve completed an example, using our example of keeping your motivation high through restructure and change. Read through it, get some ideas from it and then create your own plan.

1.Know who to connect with

Who – key people Why
Tim To get information about the restructure and decisions behind it, so that I really understand the big picture
To get support and feedback over the coming months – and to give him support
Mary She’s got a key support role – she’s my goto person for driving through on the marketing plan and she’ll probably need to pick up some of my work as things get busier for me
John We need to get shared clarity on our goals – not sure we’re aligned at the moment
Louise Need to rebuild trust after our misunderstanding last year. As dept heads, we need to support each other over the next few months
Ann She’s the team member who will find the changes ahead most threatening. I need to reassure her so that she feels supported, motivated and is ready to continue to perform well.

2. Get the big picture

How clear am I on the big picture purpose right now? 5/10
How connected to I feel to the team/organisational purpose and values? 7/10
What do I need to do to get clearer?

  • Talk to Tim
  • Read the briefings that are on the intranet
  • Follow up with a conversation with a senior leader if I’m still not clear

Accept that there may not be perfect clarity at the moment!

What can I do to feel more connected to the purpose/values?

  • Get more clarity as above
  • Understand my new role and what contribution I’ll be making to the goals

Reflect on whether I believe in the changes that are being made and why. Talk this through with other department heads and my wife if I need to.

3. Make it happen!

10 mins after the Department heads meeting – let him know the purpose of the conversation and ask him to share his thoughts on the goals​

Who/what (connections to make) When (over the next 2 weeks) How (best tactics)
Tim – support, get clarity on big picture, understand my role Role clarity meeting on 19th

Coffee 17th

Have initial chat over coffee to offer and ask for support – best done informally

Email in advance of 19th to let him know what you want and need from the meeting so he can prepare – he likes to be forewarned!

Time to read more about the restructure and new strategy 16th and 17th Do this at home without interruptions. Do it in advance of meetings with Tim!
Mary – to get her support 15th Chat over coffee. Explain what support I need and why she’s so important/the best person to help.
Ann 16th Arrange a drink after work – she opens up best in relaxed settings. Make sure I’m giving her undivided attention and show that I care and am interested in how she feels
John 17th 10 mins after the Department heads meeting – let him know the purpose of the conversation and ask him to share his thoughts on the goals
Louise 19th Meet over coffee. Be direct as she values directness and efficiency!
Department heads 16th then every opportunity Lead in discussing how we need to support each other at next mtg. then connect at every opportunity – variety of approaches – pick up the phone, arrange to have coffee, text, etc

Coaching tips

Be sensitive to others and their need to feel connected. If connectedness isn’t as important for you as the other Cs, then use these two weeks to try to connect with people who you know connectedness is vital for! You’ll have a big impact on fuelling their motivation, and you’ll be improving the relationship that you have with them.

I'm ready to start!

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