Motivational Skills For Leaders (With Tips To Improve)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Professionals working in leadership positions are responsible for establishing goals and inspiring their team members. Many employers hire candidates with the ability to motivate others and effectively lead a team. Learning about some essential motivational skills can benefit you in securing a leadership position. In this article, we provide examples of motivational skills for leaders, explain how to improve them and highlight ways to use them in the workplace.

What Are Motivational Skills For Leaders?

Motivational skills for leaders are the qualities that allow them to encourage and support their team members and improve performance and overall work environment at the organisation. Leaders can use such skills to promote confidence and commitment in the workplace. Motivational skills allow leaders to bring positivity and set clear goals for their team members. Motivated leaders can effectively communicate project requirements and make decisions for the team. Providing clear goals to your team members can help increase productivity to achieve success.

Read more: How To Become A Leader: A Guide (With Leadership Styles)

Examples Of Motivational Skills

Here are some examples of motivational skills that leaders working in various industries can use to empower their team:

Communication skills

Leaders can improve their communication skills to motivate their team members. Speaking clearly with confidence can instigate inspiration in others. Many leaders provide motivation by using their storytelling skills and giving famous examples. You can tell your team about your personal achievements and motivate them to achieve goals. Many employers hire leaders with good public speaking skills and active listening. Maintaining positive body language, such as eye contact and standing straight, can present you as a confident leader.

Ability to mentor

Professionals working in leadership positions often require mentorship skills to train or assist their team members. They lead their team members and mentor them in handling tasks. Many employers hire candidates with good mentorship skills so they can support the growth of their team. Leaders with mentorship skills also help in maintaining a constant learning environment in the workplace. Team members can also learn from leaders and progress their career paths.

Read more: Motivation Theories (Definition, Types And Examples)

Problem-solving skills

Leaders may require problem-solving skills to resolve any conflict and issues within the team. They interact with team members and understand their points of view. Problem-solving skills can allow them to bring the right solutions and motivate others to maintain a positive environment in the workplace. Leaders can also use their problem-solving skills to make decisions and develop creative solutions to meet team objectives. Leaders can find effective ways to reduce risks associated with a project and implement strategies.

Goal setting

Leaders often set a goal for their team and motivate them to achieve it. They may set specific goals for each project and assist team members in completing it within the deadline. Many leaders identify weaknesses in their team members and help them by setting personal performance goals. They track each project and encourage team members by celebrating goals. You can use various software and tools to track the progress of your team members. Rewarding the team after the end of successful completion of each goal can bring motivation to them.


Empathy helps leaders understand the situation and feelings of their team members. With empathy, you can create strong relationships with your team and motivate them to perform better. There are many ways to bring empathy to the workplace, such as having an informal conversation with your team during the office break. Leaders can also promote wellness activities to motivate their teams. Empathy can also present you as an approachable leader in the workplace.

Read more: Types Of Motivation For Career Advancement (With Examples)

How To Improve Motivational Skills

Here are some steps that leaders can follow their improve their motivational skills:

1. Identify your leadership style

Find how you respond to different situations and evaluate your working style as a leader. Instead of forcing team members to meet a certain goal, allow them to use their unique skill sets. Evaluating how you lead a team can help you identify any faults and correct them. You can participate in leadership quizzes and understand your leadership style. After evaluating your leadership style, relate it to the steps you take to motivate others. It can make your motivational strategies look genuine and natural. For example, friendly leaders can implement motivational strategies that present their outgoing nature.

2. Join leadership training and programmes

There are many leadership training and programmes that you can join and learn how a leader can motivate their team. You can also pursue some leadership certification courses. Joining leadership training can help you develop your personality and communication skills. Many institutes provide workshops where candidates can learn how to use their emotional intelligence and motivational skills to lead a team.

3. Keep a positive attitude

Leaders can successfully motivate their teams by keeping a positive attitude at the workplace. By doing so can allow team members to share their ideas and opinions with you effectively. Also, by keeping a positive attitude, you can add value to the company culture and motivate team members to collaborate with other professionals. Use positive words to inspire your team and provide them feedback to perform better.

Read more: What Is Self Motivation? And How To Use It To Meet Your Goals

Motivational Skills In The Workplace

Here are some examples of how leaders can use motivational skills in the workplace:

  • Encouraging team members: Leaders can encourage team members by asking their opinions regarding higher-level decisions. Appreciating hard-working members can also encourage the team to perform better.

  • Delegating tasks: Assign projects and tasks to team members according to their skills. You can also track the progress and performance of each team member.

  • Celebrating the success of a team: Many leaders celebrate the success of their teams and motivate members to address higher goals. You can also provide bonuses to the most hard-working professional and motivate others in the team.

  • Implementing team-building activities: Leaders often motivate their team members by providing them with team-building opportunities. Encourage them to join such events and programmes and improve their ability to collaborate.

How To Highlight Motivational Skills For Leaders

As many employers prefer hiring leaders with excellent motivational skills, candidates can benefit from learning how to highlight them correctly. You can highlight your motivational skills in your resume or during the job interview. The following ways can help you understand the ways to demonstrate your motivational skills to employers:

1. Motivational skills for a resume and cover letter

Create your resume in such a way that presents you as a suitable candidate for the leadership role. Highlight your ability to motivate others in the professional summary section. If you have experience working as a leader, include the number of years in your resume summary. You can also include a separate skills section focusing on all the qualities that are relevant to the role. Include motivational skills, such as goal setting, empathy, good communication and mentorship ability in the skills section. When creating your resume summary section, use some of the information in your cover letter.

The cover letter can expand on the most beneficial leadership skills you possess for additional context. Another way to highlight motivational skills in your resume is through your previous work experience. While writing the experience section, select specific skills you want to highlight and include examples that prove them. Here is an example of highlighting motivational skills in the work experience section:

"Motivated a team of five writers to use their creative thinking and write an engaging and selling ad for a soap company."

Read more: How To Write A Team Leader Resume Objective (With Examples)

2. Motivational skills for a job interview

Leaders can also highlight their motivational skills during the job interview. An interviewer may ask questions to evaluate if you are a perfect candidate for the leadership position. Answer such questions by giving examples from your previous job. In your answer, explain how you motivated team members and increased their productivity. Here is a good example of highlighting motivational skills through your interview answers:

"In my previous job, I worked as a project manager. My day-to-day responsibilities included project planning, mentoring and leading a team of 10 members. I led the team to attain the goals before the deadline. I implemented regular team-building exercises and strategies to motivate my team. To motivate them, I regularly communicated with them and provided necessary feedback in a positive way. Whenever a project was completed, I appreciated the hard work of my team and rewarded their excellence."

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