Advice on Motivating Others from St. Louis Women Leaders

From creating new opportunities to offering professional recognition, effective motivation looks different to different people. The following women leaders in the St. Louis region understand the impact motivation has on workplace performance and shared their personal approaches to inspiring colleagues.

“I motivate others by highlighting their accomplishments one-on-one and in front of others periodically as we move through large projects and day-to-day tasks. I focus on the team aspects of projects and daily tasks and remind them that each of us, and our colleagues, are relying on one another to achieve our objectives. In particular, I try to put into perspective the role that we are filling vis-à-vis the larger organization so that each team member can appreciate the importance of his or her individual role and the role of the team to the success of the company.”
Ellen Theroff, The Laclede Group, Inc.

“I motivate others by working with them to define what success will look like. The big ‘why’ is why do any of us get motivated to do discretionary work and meet challenges head on? If the ‘why’ is important enough, we can move mountains.”
Penny Pennington, Edward Jones

“I try to find out what motivates them- words of praise, recognition in front of others or personal cheerleading; receiving perks (time, money, more trust or great professional opportunities). I listen and ask them what motivates them and try to make processes and goals harmonize with that.”
Susan Mangels, Independent Institute

“My favorite way to motivate others is simply to offer opportunity and challenge. Most people rise to the occasion when given enough preparation and opportunity. People who work with me know that I am a hands-off manager. I trust and empower people to excel. People also know that I will be there when something goes wrong without blame. We all learn more when we make mistakes in an environment without blame or shame.”
Anna Doyle, Sense Corp

“I have a lot of passion and enthusiasm, which is contagious. I make work fun for myself and others every day. Winning as a team, recognizing staff, caring enough to coach, inspiring others to be great and letting them know they are important and that their thoughts and ideas count are ways I motivate. I embrace being fearless, and am not afraid to fail or mess up in front of my peers when I am leading by example. In fact, I think it is hilarious when I mess up. This quality helps me to appeal real to my colleagues and instantly puts them at ease to try new things themselves.”
Jackie Snyder, Regions Bank

“I think most people are self-motivated to do great work and my job is to help them succeed. That might involve brainstorming creative solutions to problems or it may mean staying out of their way. I think setting high expectations, creating an environment of respect and asking people to do no more than I do myself help people recognize the importance and impact of the work they do.”
Lynn Wittels, Jewish Community Center

“Listen, learn and stop any negativity. There is nothing more rewarding than assisting someone to find their greater truth. We all have unlimited potential and a purpose in life but unfortunately not all of us start with the same means or confidence to know this truth. For many, accepting the status quo is a greater failure of life. So empowering others to find their voice and greater truth is a purpose I embrace. We all have a purpose.”
Tammy Burton, PricewaterhouseCoopers

“I motivate by being a change agent and ensuring that others see the value in their work or goals while staying focused on short-term milestones to achieve overall goals.”
Kim Brandon, Save-A-Lot

“Encourage them to find and focus on their strengths then utilize them to fulfill their passion. Following up is important as well – if you truly want to motivate someone you need to follow up to see how they are doing (help them with their challenges). See if there is anything you can do to help them get to the next phase or level.”
Marty Hereford, Armstrong Teasdale LLP

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