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Companies often learn early on that they’ll need to choose which kind of management style they’ll need to go with when handling employees. Some businesses go with the tough love approach, while others prefer a softer, nurturing style of management. Psychologists recommend using a combination of both for the best results. How will managers know when it’s the right time to switch styles?

Don’t Switch, Mix

The first thing that managers need to know is that using a combination of both hard and soft management doesn’t require them to do any kind of switching at all. It may be difficult to believe, but it is possible to combine these seemingly opposing styles and create a friendly environment that also holds people accountable for their responsibilities.

The best way to illustrate the point of how this can be done is through the application of criticism. There are ways for managers to criticize their employees without pushing them away, but what most people don’t recognize is that the path to constructive criticism begins with proper praise. Building employees up is good when they did something right, managers just need to watch the kinds of words they use.

motivational speaker

Change Management Speaker

Talent Versus Skill

Astute managers never say words like talent, or natural when praising their employees. Equating the quality of a person’s work with their inherent ability rather than their hard work makes an employee vulnerable to self-doubt when they run into adversity. Here’s how it works: if an employee is successful because of talent, then they will think a task is not right for them every time they fail.

This severely cuts the confidence they have in their work, making them sensitive to even the softest of criticisms. The best employees aren’t necessarily the smartest of the bunch, but the ones with the most confidence when performing their tasks. Building that confidence takes more than just nurturing or pressure to achieve, it’s knowing the timing of when to hold back on both praise and criticism.

There are more techniques companies can use to help them build positive relationships with their employees. If you want to learn more or take advantage of such techniques, contact us today. We love talking to people in general, just as long as we know we’re helping them become better.

Whether we like to admit it or not, money is one of the reasons we come to work. We get compensation for the work we do. “I’m only doing this for the money” is a phrase I hear many unmotivated, uninspired employees say.

Money, however, can only go so far in motivating people to come to the office, work, and be happy with what they’re doing. Yes, employees need fair compensation to avoid creating any unneeded contention about not being valued, but overpaying does have its pitfalls. It does little to motivate people to work hard in achieving company goals.

Sometimes, money just isn’t enough. When that happens, here are a few alternatives to keep everyone engaged and interested when pay does not motivate.!Montgomery.photo for event materials1

Words of Appreciation

Appreciation is one of the greatest motivators. In my years of experience working with hundreds of companies, I know that a few kind words go a long way. Simply showing appreciation for an employee’s hard work, initiative, enthusiasm, or work ethic incites more of that positive behavior.

I’m not saying managers and business owners don’t appreciate their employees enough; it’s that the management often forgets to express that appreciation. A simple, heartfelt “thank you for your hard work” can do wonders in motivating people.

Meaningful Reward

When it comes to rewards, a well-thought-out gift is always better than a random one. Rewarding employees for a job well done through a gift that’s deeply personal and meaningful shows them you care. You put in the effort to get to know them and you cared enough to know their favorite something. That is more valuable in motivating them than a measly raise.

Free Reign

Managers and owners who are controlling often make employees less productive. You’d be grooming them in a way that makes them afraid to move forward without constant approval.

One way to boost motivation here is to let go. You’d be surprised to see people working harder when you let them work on their own terms. Don’t throw out office and company guidelines, but know that it’s okay to be lenient from time to time.

Lending an Ear

One great compliment I can always instantly give is lending an open ear to the people around. When was the last time you really listened to your staff? Sure, you had a meeting this morning but was it really a collaborative meeting, or one where people just sat around the table and listened as you barked orders?

Listening to the ideas of other and implementing when appropriate is a big step in empowering employees.

Money may make the world go round, but there’s a lot more to happiness and motivation than green paper. If you’re having trouble with company morale, productivity, or any related issue, I’m the guy to call. My name is Brad Montgomery and I’d be happy to lend a helping hand. Connect with us today and know more about the power of motivation.

Behind the success of every company are people who are not just talented and experienced, but also happy.

Have you ever wondered why your employees are no longer performing as well as they did? You feel they have the technical skills and years of background to excel in your field, but why do they still fall short?

Happiness is the key, and the problem is most companies underrate it.

Science tells you that smiling is highly connected to producing. Tons of research have shed light on the connection between happiness and success—improves productivity by 31%, task accuracy by 19%, and sales by 37.

If you don’t pay enough attention to the level of engagement or contentment your employees have at work, chances are your top talents would exit the door and take with them the endless possibilities they could bring to your organization.motivational-speaker-1

Don’t let negativity hurt your business; bring out their full potential through proper motivation. These few tips will get you started and eventually turn the tide for your best interests:

Workout for the Mind

Rewire the brain to be optimistic at work. Good things and bad things happen to everyone every day, but they can develop a positive attitude if they focus on the upside.

Ask them to write down the things they love about what they do. Discuss the positive things your team has accomplished in the past 24 hours every morning. Feel free to tailor these exercises according to the nature of your business. The point is, you have to train them to look at the bright side. And it takes about 21 days to develop these constructive habits.

Sense of Ownership

Most people don’t want to fail if they know the work is theirs, right?

Make your employees own their work. Tell them they’re responsible with what they do, as if their name is tagged on to the product. The logic is they earn the reward when the customer is satisfied and are accountable otherwise.

Giving, Not Receiving

Peer support is paramount, but the real question is who’s giving and who’s receiving. A CNN article explains that those employees high on provision of support are more engaged at work tenfold and have a 40% greater chance of getting promoted in four years.

Happiness is a decision. Your employees can choose to be happy if they want to, but they might not like the status quo that’s why they choose not to.

Let Brad Montgomery plant the seed and help you grow the culture of positivity in your office. Contact us today and have one of the best motivational speakers on board.

Motivational speakers make a living out of encouraging people to do the things they have always wanted to do to become successful. Even with all the confidence and energy in the world, motivational speakers are still human and need a pick-me-up once in a while. What do motivational speakers do when they need motivation?

One of the most important keys to becoming successful is to keep a reminder of your goals. People often lose the will to pursue their dreams when they forget what they are working for in the first place. The ones who give up on their goals do not really lose the passion they once had; they are just not looking in the right direction.Distech.whatMakesHappy

Better than Cat Posters

Goal reminders can come in different forms; it depends on what speaks to the person the most. Some try a motivation board, where people cut out pictures representing their goals and stick it on an attention grabbing section of a wall. These boards are different from generic posters, because there are specific items there that people can latch onto.

The Happy Bucket List

A similar technique is the motivation list. This strategy is a bit more specific, as it needs to outline observable results before anything can get crossed off the list. The list works best for people who like itemizing their priorities and accomplishing tasks one at a time.

A person needs to include how they plan to achieve that goal with sub-points; the more specific the better.

Motivate Yourself, Literally

One tactic that is growing in popularity because of its powerful effect is the video reminder. People record themselves before they begin their foray into the world, stating the reasons they want to do what they want to do, and then keep it safe. Every time they feel discouraged, they can look at the video and feel the optimism they once had surge through them again.

There are many ways for people to motivate themselves and keep doing what they’re doing; they just need a little re-focusing. That is not an easy task to do alone, however, so contact us today if you want to know more about how you can recapture the passion that helped you get this far.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Interactivity is a HUGE deal in the meeting and convention industry.  You NEED to ask your Motivational-audiencepotential business or motivational speaker, “What do you do to engage with my audience?”

Here’s the deal:  audiences are too savvy and experienced to be TALKED AT for even 45 minutes.  If you’re going an hour or more with just a talking head you’re losing a bunch of your audiences.  They just can learn for that long sitting and listening.  They have to be involved.

I have a bunch of more energetic techniques to get them up, moving, laughing, and most importantly learning.  But I also have a few more mellow ways for them to engage.

The keys are:

• Talking Heads are useful, but you have to limit that technique.

• They want to be involved and engaged

• They want me to tie in the interactivity with my message.  They don’t want to waste their time.

• The interactivity has to be fresh and fun, as well as meaningful.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/CrQvYFygSuQ”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here’s a video of a couple of things I’ve been doing recently on stage to further engage my audiences.  Check it out!

Brad Montgomery is a motivational speaker and business presenter who helps connect people to each other, their passion, and their purpose.  He makes people WANT to be awesome at work.  Learn more about this very funny speaker at https://www.bradmontgomery.com    Call today for a free consultation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

I recently did some work with a wonderful government audience in California.  They had me do my all day happiness at work seminar called Laugh-O-Nomics™.  We did everything from motivation, to collaboration, to team building and facilitation.  I was there a full day, but it felt like about 90 minutes … It was fun.

Check out this testimonial.

 

Looking for a happiness motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Team Building Speaker, Humorist, Seminar Leader

For you folks who prefer to read, here’s the transcript to the video:

Sandia National Labs Testimonials

So to anybody that might be looking for a motivational speaker to come out to your event we would highly recommend Brad. He did a fantastic job and I feel like we all left with the feeling that happiness is an attitude and that you choose happiness and I would highly recommend him for any job that you might have.

Brad is a Funny Motivational Speaker

Brad was not only funny and entertaining, he had strong motivational skills. He made sure to speak to people asking what they wanted, what their organization was about, what was important to them. He also turned around and was very interactive with the crowd. Was he dirty? No, he really tried to stay away from that even though he wanted to. He wanted to ****. No, kidding, kidding. He actually paid strong attention to what we needed as an organization.

I think he really helped us understand that we have the choice of whether we want to be happy or not and we need to really focus on taking that happiness with us at home and at work and that it’s possible to actually enjoy your job and be happy at work.

So, it was an event that we were hosting to hopefully boost the morale and reinvigorate our group of professionals to get them re-motivated and enthusiastic about their jobs. There was a lot of laughter, everybody was having a good time; got a lot of positive feedback. People seemed to be really enjoying themselves and also had them thinking and so Brad, one of the things that Brad helped with was we had to create the balloon animals, where the, or the balloon statue, where we all had to interact with each other and work together to create something within a matter of a few minutes and it worked out really well. As a team, it promoted teamwork and there was a lot of laughter. Everybody was having a good time. It was really engaging. I think that was one of the best parts about it, other than the things we will take home with us.

Meeting Planners Have a Lot at Risk and Speakers Need to Understand It

I recently was a motivational speaker for a audience of 500 Foster Case Workers in Austin, Texas and my client came up to me afterwards and told me that one of his many jobs was to manage risk and now that the program was over he was able to be honest with me.  I started to get a little lump in my throat, but happily, this is when my client put on a huge smile and told me “Brad, it went great!”, so I was happy and I was relived but this is where the lesson started.

My client told me what I already know but is an excellent reminder for me and anybody who is either booking a motivational speaker or plans to be a motivational speaker.  He told me how important this event was to him.  He told me that he was bringing in 500 people away from their jobs for a 2 ½ hour event plus their travel time, so for many of them, this was going to be most of their day and that the opportunity cost was outrageously expensive.  He also told me that he was already thinking ahead towards next year’s event and that he worked hard to fill that room with 500 people who were very busy already and if this event was a turkey, he would have a next to impossible time getting equal numbers, much less greater numbers, next year.

So, what’s the point?  The point is that as meeting planners and as speakers and as general members of the meeting and convention industry, we need to understand that when we’re negotiating motivational speaker’s fees, it’s more than the money.

Pick a speaker that will guarantee a return on your investment

My client invested quite a bit of money in me.  He’s brought me in for one event and we’re duplicating the event next week in a different city in Texas.  So, his investment is pretty great, but he is looking at the big picture.  He sees that his investment in the speaker really is just a tiny piece in the puzzle and that when you add it up to all of the other things he needs to accomplish, he’s putting way more on the line.  He is risking way more on the line than just the investment in his professional speaking.  By the way, his attitude reflected this.  Some of my clients are freaking out about expenses and this and that and technology this or whatever, not this man.  He understood those tiny investments were absolute drops in the bucket.

So, next time you are looking to hire a motivational speaker and are interested about how to save money on speaker’s fees, I want you to remember all of the other things you’re investing into your meeting or conference.  It’s a huge opportunity cost for all of your people, huge meal cost for all of your people (in this case, my client bought a fancy lunch at the Austin Texas Omni Hotel, lunch for 500 people, I have no idea what the bill is but it was huge) but also the opportunity cost and the investment of momentum.

Next time you’re thinking about booking a speaker I want you to think about how much it will cost you to get the next level down speaker and how much you would save and then compare that savings to the cost of not having an absolute perfect conference.  Speaker’s fees generally reflect the level of guarantee you can expect.

So, can you save my money by booking a cheaper speaker?  Yes.  Can sometimes entry level speakers do a great job?  Yes.  Have you invested enough in your particular convention or meeting that you cannot afford anything but the very best?  If that’s the case, give us a call.  If you’re interested in booking a motivational speaker who has a high level of guarantee of success…my programs are fully guaranteed…I hope you’ll contact me here.

~Brad Montgomery~
Motivational Speaker, Texas Speaker, Guaranteed Professional Speaker

I just got back from Texas where I was the motivational speaker for a group of social workers for the Child Protection Services.  These are the good people who look out for kids who need it most:  kids in physical danger.  They oversee way too many cases of abused and neglected kids, and do their best to get them into safe situations.

This group was especially fun for me because right now I’m a foster parent.  I’m one of the families these people — ok, actually their peers in Colorado — work with on a day to day basis.

Check out this video I made about them:

My familiarity — in such an intimate way — with foster care made this event special for two reasons.  First, the audience knew I wasn’t bluffing when I said, “I understand.”   Audiences crave authenticity in their motivational speakers, and because I have two foster kids myself, it was easy for me to be direct and honest.   Second, because of my familiarity with “The System” it made for some REALLY funny jokes.  I could joke in VERY specific ways about their jobs, their stresses, and their joys.

Thanks Texas Foster Care System (Children and Family Services!)  It was my absolute pleasure.

Mobile Post: Posted on-the-go by Brad Montgomery from his iPhone.

==

For those who prefer to read, here is a transcript of the video:

This is Brad Montgomery from BradMontgomery.com.  What a really cool afternoon we had.  So I’m still in Texas, but today we worked for Child Protective Service of Texas.

This is a government agency entrusted with dealing with kids who need help, kiddos in foster care and protecting kids who are in danger. I love doing this for a million reasons, but one of the things I love most is, some of you might know, I’m a foster dad right now.  We’ve got two little foster girls and it’s a lot of work.

One of the things we’ve learned is the social workers involved, the peers of the people I just spoke with, are really, really hardworking people working in a system that doesn’t get enough support, is under-funded, is under-trained, and if it wasn’t for these people, these kids would be suffering.  So it was my delight, I was totally flattered to deliver not just a motivational speech, which we did, and not just an inspirational speech, which we did, but also a message of appreciation because these social workers work hard and rarely get a thank you.  So we made them laugh and we made them laugh hard and we did all the things we were supposed to do as a motivational speaker, but the best part for me was as a foster dad, is to be able to look them in the eye and say it and mean it; thanks for all you do for foster children as Child Protection Service social workers.

So we were in Wichita Falls, Texas for about 160 people, absolute total blast.  Folks, keep up the good work, you’re doing amazing things.  It’s a pleasure to be your motivational speaker, and keep your eyes out for those kiddos; they need your help and you’re making a difference.  Thanks!

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I was recently working as an Emcee for a huge technology conference in Texas. They wanted me to be both a motivational speaker and a master of ceremonies. It was a fun date, it was (happily) well received.

(By the way, check out my current avatar on the right. Yes, it’s a lumpy guy w/ fireman pants.  My pals in Second Life think I’m a total dork… which is fine by me as long as they laugh.   This screen shot is a shot of me looking in at my books in the virtual bookstore of my pals over Synapse3di.)

Check out this 40 second video so you can get a feel for what I did:

One of my favorite parts was when I was tasked introduce some of the new ways this organization’s resources available via Second Life. I’m deeply involved in the business use of Second Life, and have spent a bunch of time figuring a way to deliver my motivational speeches via Second Life. So…. well… I knew a bunch about the concept. (Translation: I knew how to make it fun.)

It was a total hoot. Thanks ISTE for inviting me.

Are you looking for a motivational speaker, humorist or humor in the workplace expert to speak for your organization, and you want to hold your event in Second Life? I’d love to be your guy. Contact me here.

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Brad Montgomery
Second Life Speaker, Motivational Speaker, Lumpy Guy with FireMan Pants

If you think levity and lightheartedness are important to corporate America, join the crowd.  In particular, join the folks at Microsoft Finance North America. 

I worked with this group recently in Seattle, Washington and, like most of my favorite clients, I learned at least as much from them as they learned from me.

(Read the related blog entry about my trip to Microsoft)

I was totally impressed with this organization. (If you read my blog you know that I rarely say that.)

Why?

•  I was impressed with the transparency of the organization.  I was impressed how everything was “on the table” …. I heard candid discussions on the recent (and odd) TV commercials, the aborted attempt to buy Yahoo, the fact that Vista’s popularity is lower than they’d like.   Contrast this openness with many of my other (unnamed!) clients who spend more time instructing me about what I cannot talk about than what their folks need to hear.   [For example, I once worked for a client who had JUST gone through a huge set of layoffs.  They forbade me to discuss the layoffs … as though their folks might forget that 50% of their friends were no longer there and they themselves were worried about their job security.  Oye!]

• I was impressed by the people.  They are good people who love their families, work exceptionally hard, and are very loyal to each other and their company.

• This group was fun loving.   They like each other, and it showed.  They were easy to make laugh.  Ready with fun anecdotes and conversation.  They were a far cry from what any of us might expect from folks who work in the high tech industry for a finance department.   Many times I’ve worked at corporate meetings where people are forced to socialize with each other. It’s clear that they don’t want to be socializing… but they have to be there so they are.  Not so at Microsoft.  Their obvious enjoyment in each other was fun to watch.

• They were eager to ramp up the fun.  They were ready to share best humor practices with each other and with me. I often have to work hard to break the ice with a new corporate group.  Not this one:  MFNA was ready to laugh from minute one.

• During my program, I joked about clown noses, and taught a few funny ways to use them at work to handle stress.  We arranged to make sure everybody had a nose to take with them.  As you can see from these photos, they didn’t go to waste.

Near the end of our time together we split into groups and brainstormed ideas about safeways to create more levity and humor at Microsoft.  [We spend so much of our time at work, it makes sense to create fun. How can we do it?]  We heard a bunch of great ideas…but check out one group’s very specific ideas about how to increase the levity at the office.

1.       Friday Jokes

2.       Laugh at every meeting

3.       Happy Button

4.       Monday stories of weekend adventures

5.       Share embarrassing stories

6.       Dance in the focus rooms

7.       Dance every time you hear or see a “GO DO”

8.       Baby picture ID badges

9.       Word Bingo _  Drowning the puppies – (who ever imagined  we would here these words together!)

10.   Hawaiian shirt day

11.   Match the story to the person

12.   e-flowers/emoticons

But what was my favorite part?  It came 10 days after I left Seattle when I heard that CFO John Rex bought a Nerf Gun to attack his team.  (And, as a follow up, his awesome assistant, Amelia, bought guns for the rest of the team so they could create a defensive strategy.)    ”Hey everybody!  Let’s buy Nerf Guns!

Humor, levity and lightheartedness help us with morale, creativity, energy, communication, and — in the end — productivity.  It was unbelievably cool to share this message with Microsoft Finance.  But it was even cooler to see that they “got it.”

Thanks So Much, MFNA!

Brad Montgomery
Microsoft Fan, Washington Motivational Speaker, Nerf Enthusiast

PS.  Microsoft gets so much bad press.  I suppose it is impossible not to have some detractors if you’re that big, and that omni-present.  [After all, how many companies have actually changed the entire world besides Microsoft?]  It’s impressive.   When you’re there in person, working with the individuals who make up a part of this massive organization, it’s hard not to leave impressed.

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