CHAPTER 5

Communicating to Motivate

Once you have a solid understanding of motivation and the motivation process, you can begin to develop specific strategies to help employees to be motivated. A promising line of research based on Sullivan’s Motivating Language Theory1 gives concrete advice for strategic leader–follower communication. Sullivan’s original work asserted that a strategic leader with an expanded oral language repertoire would better engage, motivate, build commitment, and create a shared organizational vision with followers.2

Results from numerous studies have validated Sullivan’s assertions and show significant and positive relationships between leader motivating language (ML) and critical organizational outcomes such as employee ...

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