LET me ask you a quick question: do you have any children? I don't have any children, but I appreciate the challenges that parents face and I am most reluctant to tell anyone how to bring up their children.

Whether you do or do not have children, I am certain you appreciate the importance of raising them to be happy and successful.

To do that, you would have to take a great deal of interest in them and what they are doing. You have to show you care about them and give them lots of your time and attention.

Children show us from an early age that they want lots of attention. We become aware of this by the way they physically and emotionally reach out to us.

If we fail to provide the level of attention or acknowledgement they need, then they will almost certainly let us know - usually by behaving badly.

Attention, please

Some parents have difficulty in giving time and attention and often bribe or pay their children to be successful with offers of gifts or money. For example, "Pass your exams and I'll buy you a new bicycle!"

However, children want your presence - not just presents - more than anything.

Not a lot changes when we become adults. We still crave attention and acknowledgement from other people. We look for it from our partners, friends, children, parents and, very importantly - our boss at work!

Successful motivational managers realise this and provide their staff with a lot of attention and acknowledgement.

* They spend quality time with every member of their staff, giving feedback on job performance; whether it is good or bad.

* They listen to problems, both business and personal, show interest and help their staff members find solutions.

* They show that they trust and believe in their staff by empowering them to make decisions and be responsible for their actions.

Successful motivational managers do not bribe or pay their staff to be successful. Incentives, bonuses and prizes are all acceptable; however, they will never replace attention and acknowledgement.

Here is some food for thought. Take a minute and think about someone in your life whom you did your best for. Perhaps it was a parent, a teacher or a manager. What was it about them that made you want to do your best? Was it their presence or presents?