Motivating Language

Motivating Language

by Jacqueline Mayfield & Milton Mayfield

Leader communication is too important to be left to chance. Motivating Language provides a framework to quickly understand all leader-to-follower work communications. By breaking communication down into three basic categories – Hands, Heart and Spirit – Motivating Language offer an easy reference for evaluating, understanding, and improving leader communication.

Created by:
Jacqueline Mayfield
Jacqueline Mayfield
Milton Mayfield
Milton Mayfield

Developed and refined throughout the world for over thirty years

This assessment is based on the work by Jacqueline Mayfield & Milton Mayfield at Texas A&M University, The model has been validated across many types of employees and in most all industries.

Increase Organizational Performance

Studies show that a 10% increase in motivating language use is correlated with a reduction of reduce absenteeism by 5 percentage points, boost retention by 5 percentage points, enhance commitment by 7 percentage points, increase innovation by 5 percentage points and significantly enrich other meaningful workplace outcomes as well.

Improve Employee Engagement

Research has shown that increasing motivating language use by 10 percentage points can increase job satisfaction, grow followers’ perception of creative support, and increase self-efficacy and esteem all by 8 percentage points.

Three Dimensions to Deliver Value

Motivating Language defines three dimensions to form a comprehensive perspective of leadership communication: Hands (sending messages that clarify what needs to be done and how achieving these goals will be rewarded), Heart (acknowledging and embracing workplace emotions), and Spirit (inclusion of all members and linking their values with a higher organizational purpose).

A validated tool for measuring a leader’s
Motivating Language strength

The scale has high reliability and validity and is simple to administer. Researchers and trainers have used it around the world, and the scale has stood the test of time for over twenty-five years. The scale can gauge a leader’s motivating language skills with a single follower, with a team, with a division or even as part of an organizational wide leader communication audit.

Once you have given the scale to identify areas for growth, you can create tailored training and development programs to address weaker skills and to optimize stronger ones. You can also apply the scale and training/development outcomes to measure improvements over time – especially if you introduce motivating language interventions to achieve a specific goal such as transitioning followers during organizational change.

“Beyond simple coordination, good communication fosters a sense of community and purpose between organizational members. This communication architecture promotes desirable results: for the organization and people in the organization.”

Jacqueline Mayfield & Milton Mayfield

Sample Survey Items

Gives me good definitions of what I must do in order to receive rewards.
Gives me useful information that I couldn't get through official channels.
Gives me praise for my good work.
Offers me advice about how to behave at the organization's social gatherings.
Shows trust in me.
Provides me with helpful information about forthcoming changes affecting my work.
Shows me encouragement for my work efforts.
Offers me helpful directions on how to do my job.
Tells me stories about people who have been rewarded by this organization.

Sample Survey Items

Gives me good definitions of what I must do in order to receive rewards.

Gives me useful information that I couldn't get through official channels.

Gives me praise for my good work.
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Top Features

Take a data-driven approach to improve leadership communications across your organization - a critical element of organizational performance.

Backed by validated research and tested for more than 25 years across multiple industries; Motivating Language provides insights you can trust.

Gain insights expeditiously - perform analysis at the team, program and organizational levels.

Benchmark Motivating Language across your teams and organization to assess how you are doing over time – and against other organizations in your industry.

Take a data-driven approach to improve leadership communications across your organization - a critical element of organizational performance.

Backed by validated research and tested for more than 25 years across multiple industries; Motivating Language provides insights you can trust.

Gain insights expeditiously - perform analysis at the team, program and organizational levels.

Benchmark Motivating Language across your teams and organization to assess how you are doing over time – and against other organizations in your industry.

Jacqueline Mayfield

Jacqueline Mayfield

Milton Mayfield

Milton Mayfield

Jacqueline Mayfield

Jaqueline Mayfield - I spent almost ten years in the private sector before making a career change to academia. Now, I really enjoy teaching and research, plus integrating the two areas into practice. I have also done considerable organizational consulting and training. My co-authored book, “Motivating Language Theory,” was published by Palgrave-Springer last year, and I am working on a second one. I am also co-editor of the “International Journal of Business Communication.”

Milton Mayfield

Dr. Milton R. Mayfield is a Professor of Management in the A.R. Sanchez Jr. School of Business at Texas A&M International University. Authored over 80 publications in a book, journals, conferences and book chapters about such areas as leadership communication, creativity and international management. These publications have appeared in such outlets as the “International Journal of Business Communication,” “Academy of Management Learning and Education,” “Academy of Management Discoveries” and “Human Resource Management.”

Try it out now!

Fuel data-driven continuous improvement efforts at the team, program and organizational levels through uncommon insights and actionable feedback.