Effective Ways to Motivate Others

March 28, 2023by Lisa Philp

One of the top questions our coaches receive in the area of dental practice management is; “How can I motivate my team members?” All leaders agree and believe that motivation is critical to increasing employee performance and productivity.

The assumption that only some employees are motivated is false.  Research indicates that all behavior is motivated. By recognizing this fact, we can examine the motivation that exists in each employee. Then, we can determine ways to shape the environment to increase the chances that the employee’s motivation and behavior will be productive.

Tips for motivating others are:

Empathy: is understanding what others might be feeling or thinking so that we can see their perspective.  Seeing the world through their eyes allows us to see the diversity and relate to them in an enhanced way. The coach of a championship team, for example, gets the best from players by placing them in different positions to assess their potential rather than insisting they always play the position for which they were hired. When we are willing to look again at someone from their world, we stay open and flexible toward others and ourselves.

Modeling: Modeling may be the most important factor in motivation.  People model others.  If people see and hear the same method repetitively and consistently, they become used to the new change. They begin to see the benefits of the change and the successes related to it. Positive reinforcement, when done repetitively and with sincerity, becomes a motivator. Sometimes you have to think about this consciously before it comes as second nature.

Respect: The term respect comes from the Latin word respicere, which means “the willingness to look again.” A leader is willing to take a second look rather than remain stuck in a particular view of a situation or individual (re-spect).


Lisa Philp