Motivational Techniques One Should Never Use

While climbing the ladder of success, I observed motivational techniques that were so ridiculous, I compiled a list of what not to do when in a position to lead, guide and mentor others. Below, I share the list with you…

1 - Make your employees feel small and stupid, by pointing out their ignorance to not only get their attention, but to show them just how smart you think you are.

2 - Use demeaning language such as, "I can't believe you don't know how to do this! Someone in your position should know how to do this the first year on the job!"

3 - Use threats, because nothing is more effective to get people to jump through hoops to get things done. The subtle approach, "If this doesn't improve, I'm going to have to make some changes." The more forceful approach, "If you can't do this right, maybe I should find someone who can."

4 - Don't follow up on requests. If the request is petty (and most of them are) ignore it altogether because it's the best way to show just how important and busy you are. After all, the ones you manage need to understand there are far more important things on your "To Do" list from senior management than a request from a lower-level employee who has no influence over your career advancement.

5 - Ignore complaints because it only encourages more whining. Wave them away like buzzing gnats, a petty nuisance in your busy day. Complaints are probably about fairness, respect and having a voice in what happens at work, which doesn't really count as much as the bottom line.

6 - Keep them in the dark if changes are going to be made, because it's better to announce the change rather than involve the employees beforehand. It's so much easier to just make the change than to endure everyone's opinions and ideas. That would take far too long and they might want to change your plan.

7 - Don't give too much praise -- it will go to their heads.

8 - Don't deal with employee conflicts -- ignore them and hope they can get along.

9 - Identify your favorite employees and treat them well. This is a great technique for letting people know that if they get on your good side, you'll do some favors for them and they'll get what they want. This creates an incentive for your employees to bend over backwards to be your pal.

If you recognized a manager by the techniques on this list, please make sure it is not you…


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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.