6 Ways To Demotivate Your Team

Great leaders do something special. They know how to motivate their team and get them excited about what’s ahead.

Bad leaders, you can guess, do the opposite. Bad leaders know how to demotivate their team.

They’ll sap the energy from any project. They’ll make their team doubt their abilities. They’ll leave people frustrated.

Demotivation doesn’t serve your team well. Rather, demotivation brings your team down. Demotivation makes your team angry and frustrated. Demotivation will send your team looking for new opportunities.

But so many leaders do this. They fall into a pattern of negative leadership that harms their teams.

So, lets take a look at 6 ways to demotivate your team and learn from this negative leadership habit.

1. Talk negatively about your team: Want to demotivate your team faster than anything else? Talk about your team in negative terms. Let other people within your organization know that you’re disappointed with them.

This will only crush their motivation and make them look for a quick escape.

Skip the negative talk. Instead, look for things your team has done well and speak positively about those situations.

2. Set unrealistic expectations: We all have expectations for those we lead. We have to if we want to encourage the team to excel.

However, we can go overboard and set unrealistic expectations. Expectations that will crush team members and their motivation to get the work done.

Don’t do that. This is another way to make employees look for new employment.

Rather than setting unrealistic expectations, there’s a few things you can do. Know the scope of the project and what the timelines should look like. Respect your employees time and stop asking for so much overtime.

3. Promote from outside the company: You’ve got an excellent team on your hands but you need another player on the team. What do you do?

If you want to demotivate the team, you begin looking outside of the company for the new player. You run ads in the local paper or on monster.com. You let the world know you’re looking but not your company.

People are looking for a chance to shine and rise through the ranks. Are you giving people in your company a chance to move up? If not, you’re making a mistake and demotivating your team.

4. Fail to recognize great work: Your team wants to be there and they want to do great work. There’s probably a large majority who are doing great work.

The question is, are you recognizing the great work? Or is it business as usual and there’s no recognition?

Look for the great work that’s happening in your organization. Begin to bring awareness to it. Let your team know you’re proud of what they’re accomplishing.

5. Require success always: There are leaders out there who demand nothing but success. Failure is not tolerated.

Do you know what type of environment this kind of leader creates? One of fear. And fear doesn’t motivate, except negatively.

As you progress in leadership, you begin to realize success isn’t the point. The point is to continue to progress, build, and learn (on top of staying in business but I know that even with failure you can stay in business).

Don’t kill a team member over their failures. Help them learn from failure. Help them move on from failure. Help them see the next step after failure.

6. Ignore those you lead: People want to offer suggestions and see new initiatives take off. They want to help the company to succeed.

So, they’ll bring questions and suggestions to the table. Most of the time with a lot of enthusiasm.

But you can quickly demotivate these people.

Ignore their questions or suggestions. Don’t listen to any advice they might offer. Shut out any wisdom they might bring.

However, you can change this. You can begin to listen to your team. You can have an open door policy. You can take suggestions to heart.

Do this and they can go from demotivated to motivated rather quickly.

Question: What other ways have you seen leaders demotivate a team? Share a story or insight you have in the comment section below.

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