Are You An Energy Giver or Taker?
Have you ever worked alongside someone who was a drainer of your energy? You know the sort – the people who are constantly negative, focused on what could go wrong and spend most of the day gossiping about other people… even if they don’t know them.
Unfortunately, some organisations seem to be filled with these people where the culture has become infested with a dark, heavy energy that drains the fun and joy away and negatively impacts productivity, creativity and results. Even more disturbing is how contagious a negative energy can be… spreading like wildfire through a team and even the entire organisation.
So the real question here is – are you an energy giver or taker?
Every day you get to choose who you are when you turn up at work. You get to choose if you are seen to bring lightness, joy and possibility to the team or if you bring with you a heavy cloud filled with negativity and doom. It’s you choice. You decide.
And the higher up you go and the more people you lead or influence on a daily basis, the more important it is to manage your energy and attitude.
Leadership success is increasingly dependent on how you interact with others – the ways in which you engage, support, and connect. People want to work with good, likeable people. We like to spend time with people who we trust, who we believe to be authentic and people who bring joy to our time at work.
We want to be immersed in projects with people who enjoy the challenge, want the types of outcomes we want and like to get the job done while also enjoying a little fun along the way. We like to be around people who bring solutions to the table rather than becoming bogged down in the inertia of focusing in on the problems.
So I think it is clear that few people would want to intentionally be an energy taker.
From time to time we all veer off course … and head down the track towards the realm of the energy vampire (Yep, including me. Not one of my proudest moments!) … but it is up to each of us to course correct. Our work satisfaction, fulfilment and career progression depends on it.
So here are 5 simple questions to ask yourself to assess the energy you bring to the team.
1. Is your glass half full? Do you generally move past the drama of a situation and see the opportunities that present even when it seems like everything is going against you? Do you instinctively look for the positives and learning from a situation rather than dwell on what went wrong and looking to “blame” and explain.
2. Are you a problem solver? Organisations are hungry for problem solvers! Many teams become paralysed by a tendency to “admire” their problems rather than getting into action and creative solution mode. You will become enormously valuable to any team if you become the go-to girl for finding and implementing innovative solutions that work.
3. Do people respond positively when your name pops up on caller ID? This is an interesting concept to think about. Do people grimace, hit the reject button or answer the phone with a sinking feeling of dread…. Or do they run to answer the call, no matter what, with a bright and breezy hello? Be honest. Which is it? Which do you want it to be?
4. Is your bubble one of lightness and joy? Imagine for a moment that you have a bubble of energy surrounding you. (I know this might be getting a little woo woo for some but stick with me here.)
How would other people describe the energy in your bubble? Would it be light, playful, caring, possibility focused, interested, curious, courageous, loving or bold? Or would it be heavy, dark, aggressive, angry, bored, indifferent, flat or unkind.
I believe that we all carry with us a bubble or an aura that rubs up against and leaves an impression or even impacts everyone we meet. Make sure your’s is what you want it to be.
5. Do you smile a lot? I know that this might sound strange … but do you smile a lot while at work? If you are not in a place where you can smile a lot… then you are probably in the wrong place. Further more, you are quite possibly an energy taker and you are probably not the person that everyone wants on the team. Harsh … but true!
It might just be time to move on.
How did you rate? Are you and energy taker or giver?