To motivate someone means to push them to do something, whereas inspiring someone means to pull them into something.
By this definition, motivating would be a lot easier. It would entail telling someone what to do and why they should do it.
Inspiring someone takes a lot more work. You would have to figure out what drives someone internally and pull that out of them to inspire action.
Why does it matter?
Facts don’t inspire people to action, but feelings do. Motivating people with information will only go so far, you have to engage people’s deeper motivations.
On teams, you want people to show up for work feeling like they belong. They need to feel like they matter. People like to know their team and leaders care about how they feel and think.
Leadership speaker Craig Roeschel says that when people are inspired, they are two thirds more productive.
How do you inspire people? I think it involves caring about them, finding out what matters to them and leading by example.
Instead of telling people what to do, engage and involve them in action.
The leadership speaker also suggests you write notes of appreciation, walk around and ask people how they are doing, do videos that share your vision or congratulate people for the work they do.
As funny motivational speakers, one of our favorite ( although overused) terms is, People, Don't Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care.