How To Kill Enthusiasm For A Project

Launching a new project is always exciting. The company is moving and shaking. Great growth is expected.

Things are looking good. The team is motivated. They’re ready to take on the project and succeed.

There’s only one problem. You’ve done an action that kills enthusiasm more than anything.


I’ve done it. Time and time again. I’m pretty sure you’ve done it as well.

With the busyness of our days, it’s easy to let this one slide in.

The Enthusiasm Killer

The enthusiasm killer is a sly devil. He slides in slowly and quietly. Before you know it, he’s killed the motivation that was building.

The killer is A Lack Of Communication.

It may start as missing a deadline and not communicating it to the team. Or meetings that are never held.

Slowly, over time, these build up into a telling message. The project isn’t important. Or, worse yet, that your employee isn’t valuable.

Why A Lack Of Communication Kills Enthusiasm

“Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.”
— Aaron Goldman

As communication in your organization suffers, you will feel a backlash.

Team members will begin to feel they aren’t valued. Why should they? You’re not responding to requests and continue to put off communicating with them.

You’d feel you weren’t valued if you were treated in the same manner.

A lack of communication also makes team members feel like something else is going on. Rumors begin to float through the company.

  • Is the project dying?
  • Are they replacing me?
  • Is the company in trouble?
  • Who’s next to get the ax?

With questions like this floating around, can you blame them when their motivation flounders?

I know I can’t.

How To Bring Back The Enthusiasm

“In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. It is good business to have an employee feel part of the entire effort . . . ; I motivate people, I hope, by example—and perhaps by excitement, by having provocative ideas to make others feel involved.”
— Rupert Murdoch

Bringing back enthusiasm is a lot harder once it’s been lost. But you can do it!

It’ll take a lot of hard work.

  • Own up to your lack of communication: Let the team know that you’ve screwed up. By acknowledging it, you’re letting them know that you’ve noticed a major issue and you’re willing to take the blame for it. You’re also working to correct the issue.
  • Begin communicating clearly: After owning up to the lack of communication, you must take action. Start communicating clearly. Sit down with your team and lay out the groundwork for future communication. Keep them in the loop.
  • Respond in a reasonable time frame: If a team member shoots you an email, respond in a reasonable amount of time. If the response will take long, give them a quick response letting them know you received their request. Whatever you do, don’t leave them in the dark!

Your team is looking to you to communicate. To share the vision. To respond to requests. To lead!

Pursue a clear line of communication with your team. They’ll be thankful for it.

You’ll also have slain one of the biggest killers of enthusiasm in your company.

“Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people.”
— Lee Iacocca

Question: How would a clear line of communication affect the feelings you have of your company? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • As a communication instructor I wholehertedly agree that a lack of communication among team players will quickly lead to a loss of motivation.  I think many personal relationships and marriages end for this reason, too.

    • Very true Dan. Communications are vital in all areas of our lives. Many times people say marriages fail due to money issues and the like. I think the money issues tend to be an issue of a lack of communication in the end. What do you think?

      • In some cases, yes, but sometimes a partner is just negligent with money.

        • I know it’s not in all cases but I think it’s in more than people would like to admit.

  • Funny.  We were just talking about this as a group of managers.  Our team needs to know that we are responding to their voiced ideas and concerns.  Sometimes we may respond in action, but our team needs to hear verbally that we are responding.  Communicating in department meetings and through appropriate interoffice notifications is so important for teams to recognize that they are being heard.

    • Guess great minds do think alike Jon! I like your strategy of actually communicating to the team what’s happening. It’s growing ever more important that we’re talking about our actions as well.

  • I have seen the fail to communicate the vision, goals, and projects negatively effect volunteer church leaders(Me being one of them). When communication fails it seems like everything that could go wrong does.

    Great solutions to this problem.  

    • Right on Dan. Communication is a glue that can hold things together. Without it, things begin to fall apart.

  • DS

    I think a clear and consistent message is a must.  It allows all the leaders to state the same thing, and allows all the participants/followers to hear the same message over and over again from a variety of people.

    Being able to acknowledge short-comings in communication is huge, and can help rebuild lost credibility. 

    • How would you encourage the clear and consistent message? What would be required to do this?

      • DS

        Create, depending on the project scope/size, a list of main talking points.  Educate and inform key stakeholders and influencers.  Gain their buy-in by addressing their concerns and receiving their feedback extremely early in the process.  Refresh the program or re-evaluate the programs’ goals based upon their feedback (does it apply?).  Refine and distill the message similar in fashion to the way you may shape your thoughts for a blog post: key messages, key points, easy to understand, easy to communicate.  Then keep on reminding and re-communicating the vision and plan.  While  you’re doing that, still engage the key stakeholders and influencers.  They’ll give you feedback, and you will be able to continue educating and informing them about the program.  Don’t just assume people know, or for that matter remember – chances are they have a thousand other things they’re juggling in addition to what you’re now trying to achieve.

        •  Great advice DS. I think getting the message to and the buy-in from the key influencers is key. The mixed messages given by those on top get confusing but creating a plan that carries a consist message would help bring the message together.

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