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 teams 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.
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.
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 yours 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!
If you ever feel overwhelmed by your surroundings and busy schedule and need a way of re-charging your battery to continue with your day, there are many ways of incorporating energy givers into your routine. On the other hand, there are also multiple energy takers people unconsciously experience in their daily lives without realizing the effect. If people work to notice these energy takers, then people have the power to eliminate them from their lives.
Below is a list of energy givers and takers to note:
- Giving compliments to people
- Outdoor time for at least 30 minutes a day
- Watching your favourite TV show
- Drinking tea (or coffee)
- Petting animals (if allergies permit!)
- Spas, Face masks
- Wearing an outfit that makes you feel confident
- Waking up early for sunrise or late for sunset
- Eating your guilty-pleasure snack
- Turning the lights off and watching a movie
- Walks for fresh air
- Grabbing a coffee at a café even if you own a coffee maker
- Writing a card for someone
- Listening to an old song
- Fuzzy blankets
- Picking out your outfit the night before
- Complimenting yourself in the mirror once a day
- Taking care of plants
- Eating a home-cooked meal
- Spending time with people who put you down
- Spending too much time on social media
- Excessive screen time
- Comparing yourself to others
- Speaking negatively on repeat
- Not eating enough food or drinking enough water
- Neglecting self-care
- Not sleeping enough
- Sitting in one spot for too long
- Not changing scenery/environment
- Trying to please everyone
- Overworking yourself
- Wearing uncomfortable clothes
- Not seeing enough sunlight
- Not setting a routine
- Not setting aside me-time
- Eating unhealthy study snacks only or too many sugary energy drinks
- Rushing to get ready instead of giving yourself time
Now that you have a list of general energy givers versus takers, feel free to combine your favourite ones into a list of your own. Experiment with new activities that you learn from slowly adopting the above energy givers. As for energy takers, be mindful that not everyone feels drained from the same negative stimuli (the same goes for positive), so feel free to make a list that better pertains to your needs and reflects the activities that bring down your mood.