• Dr. Fillman

Leading People To Their Best Selves




How to inspire and motivate? Every employer, every parent, every teacher faces this daunting, frequently scary challenge. But, I’m going to suggest it’s way easier than you imagine. How passionate and excited are you about what you are teaching and communicating? Can you let it show? Or are you afraid your passion and enthusiasm makes you feel vulnerable or look weak? Does looking the expert matter too much? Is it okay to ask for collaborators, not just in joining the project, but also joining in the excitement of it?


If we lead with fear that we are going to lose our authority and so tamp down our zest for the project we are presenting, we inadvertently communicate low expectations, lack of respect and a devaluing of our learners or workers. We then sadly fall back on creation of an overly rigid structure that takes every ounce of life and energy away from the process. And, to our amazement, we have completely sucked the fun out of what should be rewarding work.


Does creating structure have to result in a harsh rigid environment or can we create a structure that is generative, creative and fun? Our excitement and enthusiasm reaches out to our employees, coworkers and charges and asks for collaboration. It is motivating by itself - this very process communicates respect, delight and value in our followers, and our structure becomes generative with high expectations for their participation and abilities. This is called “generative” structure vs “rigid” structure. It then becomes easy to be a leader who is merely brave enough to show his or her passion and enthusiasm over insecurities about being taken seriously. And, who knows? The time clock or bell could become not an enforcement tool, but a regretful damper on a fun workday.

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©2017 Joy A Fillman Ph.D. • Psychology Services & Consultations Novato & Petaluma CA

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