How Do I Get Motivated When My Team Aren't?

How Do I Get Motivated When My Team Aren’t?

Here’s a question that I have been asked many times over the years, “How can I get motivated when my team aren’t?”

Whether it is due to team members changing, a new manager, or just a change in personal circumstances, many salespeople, at some point in their career, end up working in a team where others are not as motivated as they are. If you cannot deal with this, it can drag you down too.


Changes in business teams and operations can be one of the most destabilising and worrying things. These kinds of frustrations are understandable. Most salespeople from time to time experience external conditions that are not conducive or motivational for them. Without sounding trite, it is important that we recognise this for what it is… something that can effect motivation but that does not have to.

Motivation, whilst easily influenced externally, is an internal phenomenon. Only you can “do” motivation and only you can “do” demotivation…

First the good news!

There are two steps in any intervention – the first is recognition of the need to change, and the second is the desire to change. You have both by virtue of the fact that you are here and asking this question.

Now the not so good news – recognition and desire are not enough, you also need a strategy, to believe that it will succeed and to feel that the reward you will get is worth the effort.

Many experts believe that you become most like the people that you spend the most time with. For the most part, I tend to agree. When we are surrounded by demotivated, reactive sales whingers, whiners and losers, it is easy to get dragged into the soup. It’s thick, it’s warm and it can be inviting to take a swim. Misery likes company and it will bide its time waiting for the darkest moment in your darkest day before leaping on you and dragging you down to the depths. Before you know where you are, you will be outside smoking a cigarette and rubbishing your company, your products and your market. Next step, going home early, coming in late, going through the motions, and looking at P45.

You need to take action right away!

You need to create some space between you and the rest of the team. You don’t have to shun them totally but why not change your break times a little and break the pattern of negativity? Don’t get involved in destructive conversations. Refuse to participate in woe is me love-ins. Take some time to remind yourself why you do what you do and what’s in it for you. Look around your office and realise that most of your colleagues long ago gave up on any meaningful goals or dreams. Realise that most people are average at best and that is not your plan for your sales, your career and your life.

Remind yourself of your dreams and goals. Set some bigger ones. Set some bigger ones still. Then, set some even bigger ones. Create activity targets and reward yourself when you smash them. Find yourself a support team – real or virtual. Subscribe to positive sales and motivational newsletters (like mine). Check out my other blogs and videos. Read books. Do courses. Attend a seminar. If all else fails and they keep stealing your oxygen and trying to drown you, consider your long-term goals and whether you need to change something more significant to achieve them.

Bottom line, brutal honest truth… your motivation is down to you, your actions are down to you, your results are down to you. If you’re not happy with where you are and what you are getting in your business and your life, do something about it. Now!

Gavin Ingham

Gavin is a speaker and author of “Motivate People” and “Objections! Objections! Objections!” Gavin has given over 1000 paid talks to over 100,000 delegates, spoken in nearly every county in England, all over Europe and in the US and Africa. With talks from small SMEs to the likes of Jaguar, UBS, The Royal Bank of Canada, Microsoft and Renault Trucks, he knows what it takes to motivate and inspire audiences to change and adapt to today’s competitive markets.

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