by By Sarah J.F. Braley | October 01, 2009

1009SCBY windupIt's hard for a manager to get the best out of her staff when she herself is having trouble staying gung-ho on the job. Amy Vanderbilt, Ph.D. (, who speaks on management trends, offers these tips to help get everyone's mojo back.

Identify your own issues.
Nothing moves through a team faster than attitude, meaning your lack of motivation might be the root of the team's problem. If at all possible, feed your own fires first.

Show your colors. You, the manager, need to fess up to your own role in impairing morale. Let your team see you as human, and the healing will begin. The fact that you care will bolster their motivation -- and that, in turn, will bolster yours.

Sit them down.
If you have found your own motivation but your team is not feeling it, outside forces might be to blame. Speak to each staff member individually to find out their stories, but be prepared to hear things you might not want to hear.

Ask for ideas.
Get your team engaged in the process by asking what they would do to bolster motivation. Then let the team decide, with your guidance, how to relight their own flames.