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Hi, this is Dr. Roger Hall, and this is Rogers. 2 cents. In this video blog, I answer questions that people have written on cards, open them in front of you, and give you my 2 cents right off the cuff.

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All right, so here’s our question for today. I’d like Roger’s 2 cents on this question. As a leader, how do you manage those that you feel you can’t reach due to their lack of skill sets or motivation?

Those are two fundamentally different things. How do you reach people who lack, who have a lack of skillsets or a lack of motivation? If they lack motivation, it may be that they’re misplaced in their job. People experience motivation or intrinsic motivation or drive. I have a client who calls it go juice. They experience this when they’re doing work that they love. If they lack that motivation, help them find that in the workplace. It may be that there are people in your workplace who lack motivation for all kinds of work and they just want somebody to take care of them. Those are not likely people you’re going to be able to help long-term.

The second is how do you, how do you lead people with a lack of skill sets? Well, it presupposes that they’re learnable skills. So if I need to learn how to do long division, that’s a teachable skill. There are some skills that are much more difficult to teach that you just can’t send somebody to a training seminar that the training and that skillset may take a lot of investment by a person teaching someone. For example, emotionally intelligent skillsets. These are very difficult to teach, very difficult to learn. You’re certainly not going to learn them in a real way through a workshop or a training. You’ll understand the concepts, and I train on emotional intelligence, but I don’t expect anybody to fundamentally change because of that. I expect them to learn the concepts, learn some of their areas of deficit, and then go work with an individual as a coach or a mentor or somebody at work who will teach them those skill sets over the course of months and years.

And here’s the problem. If it’s a skill set, like an emotionally intelligent skillset, it’s awkward to tell somebody, boy, you’re really not very good with people. Well they probably know it. They probably had a series of bad interactions with people in their workplace or in their life. They know it. They may not like, but they’re also feeling pretty powerless to change. So if somebody has that gap in their skillset, it requires that they be open and willing to change. That they be teachable and not defensive, especially when it comes to social skills or social poise issues.

I have a rule that I don’t like to work with people who haven’t invited me in to work with them. And one of the first questions I ask is, are they teachable? Are they seeking to work with me and are they seeking to change? So are they seeking counsel, and do they accept correction? And if they don’t, if they’re seeking counsel, but won’t accept correction, if every time you tell them, “Here’s something you might want to try differently”, they say, “Ah, you’re wrong. My way works fine”, then don’t have anything to do with them. They don’t want to learn. If they want to learn, then you can help them learn these difficult skillsets. If they lack motivation, help them find some way to get motivated in their work place. Find something that’s intrinsically motivating, that they enjoy doing.

Successful people find intrinsic motivation in their tasks. Unsuccessful people, their work is sheer drudgery. And it’s sad for me to see that there’s so many people who dislike their work. So if you can help them find something in their work that they enjoy, you’re going to have a much better employee. If they can’t find anything in their workplace that they enjoy, then I’d encourage you to help them find a new place to work. Plenty of jobs out there. Help them find a place that they’ll love.

And that’s Roger’s 2 cents.