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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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The Biz Question

How do you keep motivated and up when the group you're supposed to be supporting is filled with excuses?

Christine G

Answer from our Guest Expert Allison Gaea Jucha of Yes!Coaching

Christine, you don't have to.

Surprised? What makes you think you're responsible for the motivations of others? You're not. And you don't have to like it when people you're counting on are not doing what needs to be done.

However, you can listen to them without judgment. You can help them identify the problems and roadblocks they insist they're experiencing. And you can help them find reasons to commit to the success of whatever projects you share with them. And you can even tell them the buck stops here; that whether they like it or not, they need to get the agreed upon work done! No excuses!

If they're making excuses, it may be because they expect you to pick up the pieces for them. Don't. But you can help out with the prep work.

  • Ask them what they need to complete the task.
  • Ask them what they can do to remove the obstacles they face.

Once you know what they need to get things cooking, give or get them the permission they need to start. Good chefs know having all the necessary ingredients and utensils at hand will help ensure a successful outcome -- and cut down on the "The dog ate my homework" excuses.

But don't let yourself be tricked into believing that managing means being responsible for someone else. Yes, you may be responsible for the work and the deadline, but not for the people.

And you don't have to be motivated when you're not feeling that way.

Christine, sometimes we really help others most when we sets clearer limits for them -- and higher standards for ourselves.

Thanks for the great question. I think a lot of us have been there!

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