When we think of boundaries we think of rules, limits, consequences…
What about the people who hold us accountable for these boundaries? Managers? Teachers? Parents?
In some situations we need to be held accountable to do the right thing, we need boundaries… we also need the people who hold us to them…
But we all know that if we only ever lived within the boundaries, then we would never grow, never achieve something new, never move forward…
Was running the four minute mile, within expected boundaries before Roger Bannister’s heroics in 1954? How about sending a man to the moon before Apollo 11’s inspirational mission?
Pushing the boundaries is something different… and the people who help us do so are different too.
The teachers, the leaders, the parents that create an environment that motivates and inspires us to push more, to go beyond the call of duty… not because they tell us too, but because we want too.
How do we create environments that inspire and motivate our followers, those around us and ourselves to push beyond the barriers?
Inspiring those around us to be self-motivated is about empowerment – People who feel empowered, feel connected and will be self motivated.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
This isn’t the type of empowerment we see commonly in business today… you know the “just get it done” type of empowerment. You can’t just tell people they are empowered, they have to feel it… you have to feel it.
So how can you identify if your followers or you are truly empowered? If you want to improve your life, improve your questions.
Ask these 3 questions to find out if you or your followers are empowered to do the task the tasks ahead… if the reply for each question is “yes” then true empowerment is present!
- Can you do it?
Answering “yes” to this question identifies if you have had the required training and support. If you have the right tools, environment and working conditions… In simple terms it identifies the feeling of competence. If you feel competent, you will feel more motivated, will work better and be happier in your work!
As an added piece of advice – As a leader, if you can make your followers feel competent, via training, feedback and recognition they will automatically be more motivated, work better and be happier!
- Will it work?
Will the behaviour requested lead to the result desired? If “yes” is the answer, then you believe it is the right thing to do, which of course leads directly into engagement in the activity.
Asking this question also opens up the possibility of choice… Asking the opinion of the person who will complete the task, which is the best way to complete it builds trust, autonomy and respect.
If the answer is “no”, then there are 2 approaches… listen to their idea and run with it or educate on why the original way is correct.
Remember you (or your followers) have to agree it will work, not be forced into saying it will work… so if taking the education route, make sure it is education and not dictatorship!
- Is it worth it?
This question is directly linked to motivation… Are the behaviours required and the task in hand worth the result it will get? Answer “yes” and you know the task will be tackled with enthusiasm and energy… answer “no” and you know motivation levels will be significantly lower.
Ask these questions every time and once there is a “yes” for each… then you will know that you or your followers will feel empowered, will grow and develop… that you have overcome boundaries and can create something new, something exciting, something creative….
You can create the future.