Motivation plays a big part in my life and career. I have to motivate myself, motivate my clients and also help them develop the skills they need to self-motivate. That’s a lot of motivation and it doesn’t always come easy.

If you want to keep people motivated, engaged and working to their full potential; you have to keep them in a positive or ‘toward’ emotional state. As a coach and mentor I always strive to keep my clients focused on the positive. This helps create the best possible environment for growth, learning, thinking and communication.

Here are five tips to help keep those around you motivated and in a positive, productive and collaborative state.

1. Bolster Status

No one likes having their status challenged. Our brains are constantly evaluating where we are in the pecking orders of life, work, family and even friendships. It’s chemical too, an evolutionary hangover. When we feel an increase in status our brain releases dopamine, and that feels great. When challenged, our brain releases the stress hormone cortisol, and that feels bad. A challenged or threatened person is no longer learning or collaborating at his or her optimal level.

Preserve and bolster status to keep motivation high; ask permission, honor feelings and focus on positive agendas.

2. Create Certainty

To the brain, uncertainty is like an error message. Imagine an email from your boss; “I need to talk to you.” You need to talk to me about what? Am I fired? Did I lose our biggest client? The brain hates unanswered questions. “I need to talk to you about the office party. 11am in my office.” Better, right?

For many people, not knowing can send them into a tailspin; they create multiple scenarios and use a lot of unnecessary energy. Motivate by creating certainty; break things down, be specific, set expectations, encourage dialogue.

3. Provide Choice

No one likes being told what to do and no one likes to feel like they’re without options or choice. For example; when a store has a no questions asked refund, return or replacement policy we feel good because we have options and we feel secure because we have choice.

Allow self-directed thinking and learning, encourage autonomy, ask for input and alternate solutions, provide options.

4. Be Relatable

It feels good to connect with people. Connecting and relating with someone allows trust to grow and bonds to strengthen. If you trust and relate to someone you are much more likely to show up and do your best work. You feel safe and unthreatened.

Become a relatable leader; build trust, be accessible, be relatable, encourage and foster connection.

5. Be Fair

We all know how it feels to be treated unfairly; it sucks, it’s hard to shake off and it wastes time and energy. Treating or being treated fairly builds connection and trust, we feel more open and more receptive.

Keep things fair; invite ideas and input, define clear expectations, consider how you’d like to be treated, ask others; ‘What do you think is fair?”

– Jamie Galloway

Jamie Galloway is a performance and leadership coach based in New York City. Jamie empowers executives, entrepreneurs and individuals to make the transformational changes necessary to reach their full potential in their careers, lives and health.