8 Common Habits of Motivational Leaders in the Workplace

Updated 20 December 2022

A motivational leader is usually a decision-maker who sets goals and targets for a team, encourages positivity and provides empowerment in the workplace. Motivational leaders often practice habits that help them lead and motivate their teams effectively. Understanding some behaviours of a motivational leader can help you improve your leadership qualities. In this article, we discuss the common motivational leader habits and explain how they can help promote healthy and productive work environments.

8 common habits of motivational leaders

Below you can find eight common habits of motivational leaders, along with examples of these habits in the workplace:

1. Communicating frequently

By regularly communicating with your team members, you can understand and identify some potential issues in the workplace. You may also gain valuable feedback that improves the work environment. Acting on this feedback is a great way to show your team that you consider their suggestions and ideas. Team members often gain motivation for their duties if they feel their input is valuable.

Example: A team leader organises a meeting every morning during which the team discuss their tasks for the day. The leader encourages team members to talk freely about the work processes. One of the team members addresses their tasks for the day and explains how the process can benefit from a specific piece of machinery. The leader considers the suggestion and later purchases the equipment. As a result, the productivity of that team member increases and the rest of the team feel more comfortable providing feedback in the future.

Related: The Main Components of the Communication Process

2. Providing a purpose

One of the most effective ways to motivate a team is giving them a reason to work hard. When a team has a clear goal and target to achieve, they often become more motivated to work productively. Team members may also gain motivation from understanding the importance of their role. By providing your team members with a purpose, they may feel inspired to complete their duties.

Example: A metal fabrication business produces assembly pieces for the aviation industry. The production manager notices a decline in motivation and discovers the employees are lacking purpose in their roles. The manager takes the team to a local air show where planes fitted with the business' products perform. Seeing the planes perform aerobatics fills the team with pride because the performance results from their labour. Motivation in the workplace increases because the team members feel important in their positions.

Related: How to Set Achievable Business Goals at Work

3. Identifying and resolving issues

Identifying workplace issues and planning a solution can help you gain the trust of your team members. As a motivational leader, your team may trust you to resolve potential issues. By communicating with your team members and monitoring known concerns, you can prevent and resolve workplace problems. By resolving an issue quickly, you may be able to minimise the impact it has on your team's productivity.

Example: Several team members notify their office manager of a network problem. The members state they are having trouble accessing the business's network. With this information, the office manager investigates the issue and contacts IT support. The manager resolves the network issue and the team members return to their duties. Because the manager resolved the issue quickly and efficiently, the team trusts them to be an effective leader.

4. Remaining optimistic

As a motivational leader, your behaviour and levels of positivity often influence your team members. By remaining optimistic when completing challenging tasks, you can help promote positivity in the workplace. When team members see you working hard while maintaining optimism, they may gain inspiration to improve their productivity.

Example: A construction team building a large residential home receives instructions that they may have to work several days into a holiday. Most team members started feeling unmotivated to continue working hard. The site supervisor arrives on-site with a positive attitude and is optimistic that the team can finish the job before the holiday. The construction team start feeling motivated again and completes the project on time.

5. Offering incentives

Providing an incentive to team members is often a popular leadership style that promotes motivation and productivity. In the workplace, an incentive is essentially a reward for completing a goal or reaching a target. If you're a motivational leader who leads a large team, you can consider providing an incentive to the entire team, rather than individuals.

Example: In an attempt to boost morale and improve productivity, a project manager decides to encourage employees to reach their monthly targets. The manager states that if the team reaches a specific goal, each member shall receive a 5% bonus on their wage. Motivated by the potential financial gains, the employees started working hard to ensure they reach their work goals.

6. Displaying honesty

Team members generally respect and admire their leaders if they're honest and take responsibility for their actions. As a motivational leader, it's often crucial for your team members to trust you. If your team respects and trusts you, they may increase their communication with you and the team. This usually forms strong team relationships within the workplace.

Example: A restaurant manager discovers the ingredients ordered by someone are incorrect. The manager gathers the team and points out the mistake. Upon further investigation of the error, the manager realises they made the incorrect order themselves. The restaurant manager apologises and explains who was at fault. The team respects the manager's decision to be truthful and feel encouraged to be honest themselves. This promoted a positive workplace culture and improved teamwork among employees.

7. Appreciating others

An effective habit to develop as a motivational leader can be to complement and reward your team members. By showing appreciation to your team, they may feel that their hard work receives the recognition it deserves. This may lead to improved productivity, because team members may feel valued and willing to work hard. To be an effective motivational leader, it can also be important to know when to show your appreciation.

Example: A sales manager in a retail store notices that their employee has reached their sales target and continues to make sales. Because the employee is working hard and fulfilling their tasks, the sales manager decides to thank the employee for their efforts and provides them with a bonus to their wage. The employee feels valued by the retail business and continues to work diligently, knowing their hard work may receive recognition.

8. Leading by example

As a motivational leader, your team members may look to you as an example of how they can conduct themselves. If you have a positive attitude and display high motivation, you can often inspire your team to feel the same. When you lead by example, it's usually best to conduct yourself using the same values and guidelines that you expect your team members to follow.

Example: A furniture-making team is under pressure to finish a project before its deadline. The team may have to sacrifice their weekend to complete the project within a given time. The team leader decides to arrive at work two hours early each morning, so their team can have the weekend off. The team learns about their leader's dedication and decides to also start work early. The productivity improves and the team completes the project before the weekend.

Related: How to Find The Motivation To Work Hard

Key skills of a motivational leader

Several skills can help form effective leaders. Most of the skills that benefit a motivational leadership style are usually interpersonal skills. Below you can find some skills that a leader may utilise when motivating their team:


Leaders who motivate often benefit from having good teamwork skills. Their ability to interact with team members and identify the team's strengths and weaknesses is crucial for their leadership style. Through effective management of teams, motivational leaders can improve efficiency. To improve your teamwork skills, it may be helpful to gain experience in a role where you may be responsible for a team of employees.


Integrity can help motivational leaders remain honest with their team members. A motivational leader often requires the respect of their team to lead effectively. Having integrity can allow a leader to admit when they need help or if they've made a mistake. If you wish to improve your integrity, you may practise honest habits, such as telling the truth and trying to lead by example.

Related: What is Integrity? (Definition and Examples)


Communication may be one of the most crucial skills of a motivational leader. Leaders can constantly communicate work priorities with their team to keep workplace motivation. Being able to communicate effectively can also allow leaders to form strong relationships with the team. To improve your communication, you can try practising habits such as speaking with clarity and listening to others. Advancing some of your other skills, such as teamwork, can also be a good way of improving your communication.

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