C-Suite Network™

How Leaders Can Tap Into Team’s Internal Motivations

You may have heard the phrase, “Logic makes you think; emotion makes you act.”  As I often do, I thought about the truth of this certain statement in the context of improving leadership skills.

You may be protesting at your computer: But there’s no place for emotion in business! Oh contraire, mon ami!

Hey executive leaders, a big part of what you do is influencing people to perform and produce; to get the job done with and through others. Since you can’t actually motivate people on your own – all people are already motivated for their own reasons – what you can do is tap into their internal motivations. How do you do that?

Imagine your main goal is for your team to work safely and have zero accidents or injuries. You can lecture, preach, and admonish them to work safely until your face turns an unhealthy shade of blue. Or you could tap into their internal motivations. For example, if you’re talking to a family man you could remind him of why he wants to work safely – namely so he can get back home to his family, new baby, etc.

As with anything that produces great results, tapping into emotions and internal motivations of your team members will take a tad more effort on your part. Isn’t that why they pay you the medium-sized bucks? You will have to get to know them and figure out what is important to each individual. If getting to know your team members sounds painful and boring, try a few of these “Southern” questions to ask to keep conversation light and airy. Just by this practice alone you will subsequently increase employee engagement!

As an executive leader, what is your goal? Do you want your tribe to just think about doing something, or do you want them to take action? If taking action, changes in behavior, increased performance and productivity are your goals, I suggest you tap into your team members’ emotions.


  • How do you influence people to perform and produce?
  • What technique works for you in getting employees to take action?
  • Please leave a comment below and share your insights with the community.


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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems


Jennifer Ledet

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