The Ability To Inspire People Towards a Common Goal

by  Georgina Stewart  |  Leadership Development

A successful and productive team works together to achieve the same goal; this is also often the reason as to why the team is successful – because each individual is working towards achieving the same target. However, as a leader how do you ensure that each and every member of your team will work towards the same goal as all the others and that this goal is the correct goal?
There are many ways in which you can inspire people – but here are a few ways in which you can influence others into supporting a common goal.

Team Spirit
One of the best ways in which you can encourage others to work towards the same goal is to achieve a team spirit; a team spirit is an atmosphere in which each individual works as part of a team.
Many things can stand in the way of creating a team spirit such as individuals that do not agree or get along, failures that have already occurred and individuals that do not necessarily dislike each other but do not get along as they do not know or trust each other.

Persistence and Persuasion
An excellent method of convincing people that they should work together to achieve the same goal is by convincing them that they will all receive a reward from doing so; whether this be pride in their achievement or a physical reward.
If you aren’t willing to give a physical reward to the individuals if they complete the goal, you have to encourage them to work together by influencing them and leading them to believe that they will be rewarded psychologically, emotionally or through the praise of others for what they have achieved together.

Team Building Activities
One way of encouraging each individual to work towards the same goal is to put them through team building exercises; this will allow the individuals to get to know each other much better and will begin to grow closer as they complete activities that require them to work together as a team rather than apart as individuals.
Whilst this is an excellent method of bringing people together, it’s also a good opportunity for you to discover the individual skills within your team.

Social Interaction
Taking your team out for a meal or a drink is another way in which you can encourage them to become closer; many people relax more as they chat over food or a drink and so they will open up to each other and begin to get along.
By encouraging the individuals to be sociable you can also deal with any rivalry within your team and put an end to it before it becomes too serious.

Individual Attitudes
Many teams have their own motto; a saying that they practice before going into a battle, a sporting event or before trying to win over the other side in a meeting.
This rule should be the same for all teams; if you want to encourage everyone within your team to work towards a common goal you need to ensure that their attitudes are as one in relation to the company; this is where the team motto comes in.

If you instil a team motto the people involved are much more likely to work together as the motto will be something that they share with each other and only each other; it’s something they have together but not others.
Depending on the team motto that you create you can also influence your team due to the fact that they may be able to relate to this motto or believe in it – to make this happen you have to select a motto that is significant, something that will be remembered such as the famous “All for one and one for all”.

There are a number of other methods of bringing people together; but the method that you choose must depend upon the individuals within your team and what will suit them best and work in their best interests.
If you feel that there are still issues that need to be addressed within your team in order for them to work towards achieving the same goal it is important that you address this issue early on before it poses a significant problem.

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What People Are Saying

Richard Parslow  |  25 May 2014  |  Reply

Splendid article. See also Simon Sinek’s TED Talk ‘Start With Why’: As Sinek says, people will engage with and commit to goals (the Why); whereas they have to be persuaded (and bribed) to do work (the What) – especially when they see it as being imposed on them from above.

Defining and agreeing worthwhile goals is essential. Goals provide the crucial context: they explain the *Why*. They must also be shared with everyone involved: goal alignment ensures genuine buy-in, emotional as well as cognitive.

Clear, well expressed inspirational goals also help to define *What* we need to do to achieve them and *How* we are going to do it. High-level business goals determine the appropriate subgoals in every area and a visual representation makes it easier to agree the priorities and relevant resource allocation. The goal structure forms the foundation for the specific project plans to achieve those goals (with roles and responsibilities, timescales, etc).

For a visual display of goals and priorities, project plans and progress use Goalscape ( See also Marcus Baur’s article ‘Why the Visual Overview is Vital’: and double Olympic Gold Medal coach Emmett Lazich’s example from top level sport here:”

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