Motivation: How to Increase Project Team Performance (Peterson, 2007)

Motivational mistakes and how to overcome them

Peterson, Tonya M.: Motivation – How to Increase Project Team Performance; in: Project Management Journal, Vol. 38 (2007), No. 4, pp. 60-69.

Peterson explores the big DON’Ts of team motivation. Motivation she argues is best explained by five theories (1) Theory X, (2) Theory Y, (3) Herzberg’s KITA, (4) McClelland’s need for achievement, and (5) MBTI. Peterson then continues to outline the 8 DON’Ts of team motivation and what can be done to correct them

  • Whatever motivates me, will motivate others
  • People are primarily motivated by money
  • Team members love to receive formal awards
  • Give them a rally slogan
  • The best leader is a strong cheerleader
  • These people are professionals, they don’t need motivation
  • I’ll motivate them when there is a problem
  • I’ll treat everyone the same – people like that and it will motivate them

The remedies to all these points boil down to a couple of points

  • Do not withdraw from the team, involve yourself, guide, support the team
  • Acknowledge that people are different (from you and each other)
  • Leadership is about mentoring and individual problem solving

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