Motivating others

General Description of the Module:

An important part of being a leader is helping others to reach their full potential. When working in a team, motivating your team members can also help you to reach your common goals and overcome setbacks. In this module you will have an opportunity to engage in a few activities where you will practice motivating others around you.

Activity: Motivating myself and others

Specific Objectives:

  • To examine the importance of motivation.
  • To determine what motivates you best.
  • To determine the most effective ways to motivate others.

Duration: 40-45 minutes

Resources: Large piece of paper/board, pens, paper, Motivating Others Activity Sheet.

Description of the activity:

  1. What is motivation?
    In a group, try to define the concept of motivation. Take multiple suggestions from your group members and write them all on the board. Then try to combine the suggestions into a single definition of the concept. If you are having a hard time creating the definition, try using the internet for suggestions.
  2. Self-motivation
    A great place to start learning about motivation is to begin by understanding your own motivations. So what motivates you? In this individual activity you will explore your own motivation.
    Get a pen/pencil and a blank piece of paper. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes. When you start the timer, use the paper to make notes while you brainstorm about the things that motivate you in one particular area (for example, studying). It may be helpful to think about these questions:
    • What types of activities motivate you?
    • How does your environment and/or people around affect your motivation?
    • What makes achieving your goals in this area enjoyable or exciting?
    Once you understand what motivates you, you can get a better insight into what motivates other people as well. Of course, every person and their motivation are different, but we share many similarities too. Try sharing your answers in pairs and see whether you can find any that are similar.
  3. Motivating others
    In pairs, or individually, complete the Motivating Others Activity Sheet. If you are working in pairs, after completing the activity, join with another pair and share your answers.

After the activity:

After completing the activity, take some time to reflect on your experience. Think about or write down answers to these reflection points:

  • Did I learn something new? If yes, what?
  • What skills did I improve?
  • How could I apply those skills or knowledge in my life? (Think of a few examples)

Suggestion and tips for facilitation:

Please feel free to adapt the scenario or activity to suit your student’s age and learning styles.

This module is related to the Goal setting and Contstructive feedback modules. For more information and resources on motivating others, see the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio. This resource helps individuals, teams and organisations that work with young people around Europe to understand their competence and to develop it more effectively.

Motivating others activity sheet

For each scenario, think of one way to motivate someone described in the situation:

  1. You are a physics teacher at your school. Peter is struggling in physics and comes to your tutoring sessions twice a week. However, he has a poor attitude about the class and does not exert much effort to learn the subject matter. What can you do to help Peter change his attitude about physics?
  2. You are president of the junior class. Your class is in charge of raising the money to fund the campaign about human rights that pupils in your school are organizing, and the principle way that you raise funds is through a snack bar at your school. You are having problems getting your classmates to volunteer to run the snack bar. What can you do to increase interest in the snack bar?
  3. You and your classmates are organizing a charity event at your school to support disadvantaged people in your community for the Easter holiday. You are trying to get as much teacher participation in your project as possible. How will you get your teachers to help with the canned food drive?
  4. You are a senior and you are preparing to go to university next year. You have already taken the entrance exams once, but you did not do well enough to get into the one school that you really want to attend. You have one more chance to take the exams, improve your score and get into your favorite university, but you are so frustrated that it is hard to study for the test. What will you do to motivate yourself to study every day?