• Dr. Rajesh Mohan Rai

Turn Frustration Into Motivation

Having to deal with frustration in a team is a normal part of leadership. Organisations are large, complex and involve people from different backgrounds, hence it is not surprising that people get frustrated from time to time for different reasons. Frustration doesn’t go away by itself and can get worse if not managed well. Frustrated team members rarely do their best work and frustration may be a sign that the team has a problem. The silver lining is frustration is an early warning signal.

As leaders, we are committed to our work and to our team, feelings of frustration may ignite sparks of creativity and motivation that help us come up with new ideas. When frustrated, the status quo is rejected, we look for newer ways of doing things.

As leaders, next time when you sense the frustration in the team, you may use the following ways to convert the team’s frustration into motivation.

Focus on the way forward:

Whenever the team members are feeling frustrated, it is important to move ahead and not allow the emotions to get in the way of generating new ideas. Focus on the path ahead. This approach allows the team to generate alternatives and the best one or a combination can be chosen as the way forward. In case the team is not getting the desired output, as a leader, you must ensure that the team is not stuck. They need to focus on the solution and not on the failure. When a gazelle is threatened by a lion, it focuses on its next step, not on the lion. If the focus remains on the lion, you will always feel threatened.

Modify the Strategy:

Constant frustration in the team could be a signal that you as a leader need to change the existing work ethics, the strategy, the communication with the team or even the hours you’re working. It is always better to modify the strategy if you are not reaching the desired goals. It sends the message to the team that the leader is interested in the team feeling wanted and stays motivated.

Think big, stay specific:

Human being is motivated by the most ambitious goals. Research as proven beyond doubt that extremely difficult, specific goals motivate us to work harder and smarter. With bigger goals in mind, it is equally important to remain optimistic. We are good at anticipating potential problems that we can fall into the trap of endlessly troubleshooting, Remind the team that there is no one perfect path. Just continuous steps.

The longer you don’t take cognizance of the frustration in the team, the more chance you have of destroying their motivation and ruining your own reputation as a leader.