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Leadership and Motivation

Leadership and Motivation

Author: Sophia Tutorial

This lesson provides ways to keep a project team engaged and motivated.

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Developing Effective Teams

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What's Covered

In this lesson we'll cover leadership and motivation. Each project manager might have different styles by which they lead a project team and motivate team members to complete the work. This lesson will cover:

  1. Leadership
  2. Motivation


Some leadership styles are more effective in a team environment than others. Experienced project managers learn to vary their styles based on the situation or the group.

Keys to becoming a strong leader and motivating teams:

  • Create a safe environment. If team members don't feel comfortable communicating about issues with the project manager, there is a risk that too many problems will remain hidden until they become considerably worse.
  • Provide clear direction. Be sure that goals are understood and that the rewards for success and the consequences for failure associated with the goal are also understood.
  • Leverage team capabilities. Experienced team members can often complete work considerably faster and with better quality than less experienced members, so don't waste their talent. However, a good leader will also provide opportunities for less experienced team members to stretch their abilities.
  • Facilitate team meetings in an organized and constructive way. Well-run meetings that reach the goal of the agenda are the result of good planning and preparation by the project manager.
  • Approach problems as opportunities. Quite often, when teams rally to fix issues, this can bring the team closer together. During these times, try to remove as many roadblocks from the team as possible so the work will feel smooth and enjoyable.

Term to Know

    • Leadership Styles
    • Approaches used to effectively manage individuals and teams.


Part of the role of being a project manager is motivating team members. Often, this is the result of clear and appropriate communication methods.

Project managers should provide consistent reinforcement and encouragement to team members. When people are focused upon their work, they may not stop to recognize other's contribution. It's critical for the project manager to provide praise for a job well done.


The basis of motivation is encouragement. The project manager should find opportunities to provide compliments. Regular meetings are excellent times to recognize an individual’s work.

One-on-one meetings are perfect openings for more detailed feedback to a team member. Dropping by a team member’s office to commend performance can go a long way to provide motivation.

Project managers should also keep team members aware of issues that might impact their work. Especially if there are large changes to the project.

In fact, when project documents need modification, the project manager should make a list of elements that were changed. The project manager should plan times to discuss the change(s) with them.

Finally, the project manager should be open and honest with the team. The team needs to trust the project manager in order for the project manager to develop trust in the team.

Term to Know

    • Team Motivation
    • Actions that provide energy, focus, and engagement to project team members.


This tutorial discussed how leadership involves leveraging team capabilities and creating a safe environment for feedback. In order to keep a team motivated, a project manager must be open and honest to gain the trust of the team.

Good luck!

Source: This work is adapted by sophia author jeff carroll.

Terms to Know
Leadership Styles

Approaches used to effectively manage individuals and teams.

Team Motivation

Actions that provide energy, focus, and engagement to project team members.