Every day the people around us face hurdles that drain their energy. Put it back! Empower, engage, execute… leaders fire off these words like they are the magic bullets of productivity, but they are just noise if people don’t have adequate energy to follow the course you’ve charted to profitability. Be the leader that people are glad to see coming; let your electronic and physical footprints leave a trail of encouragement and direction.
Collect Energizing Habits
See individuals as individuals
One interaction size rarely fits all; the same style rarely fits the same person every day! Read their facial expression, pull a chair into that cube and chat at their level, smile in the hallway or across the conference table, ensure digital responses are timely, make notes when others mention the names of special people in their lives or when they share challenges you should ask about later – and sometimes you may need to task it for follow-up like it’s important – because it may be!
Nothing new here…. Say thanks for any real effort you observe: express specifically what they did and why it was appreciated. Listen… then responding with your understanding of their words, their meaning, or their emotion can rekindle their energy! Give them the benefit of the doubt and assume goodwill when sharing corrective feedback; you’ll see the U-turn in their performance more quickly.
Respond with curiosity
Pause before draining their energy by firing the barrage of reasons their idea won’t work or immediately launching your cross-examination questions about what they did wrong. Sincerely solicit more: “I’m curious; do you think they’d …?” “I wonder how….” “Can you help me understand…?” “Will you tell me more about…?” You learn how they think, and your interest will stimulate their self-reflection.
Ask for input
Gathering other perspectives is wise, receive their perspectives as gifts. Don’t make people sorry they shared; they never will again. Ask often, and weigh your responses carefully. Energizing responses include giving them genuine thanks, expanding your gratitude into how their comments will help you, and asking questions that reflect your curiosity to learn more. Defending your actions or denying the validity of their observation backfires into draining their energy.
Flex your style
Don’t be plastic!! Respond to the style of the person you are working with: adapt your body language to reflect their comfort level; adapt your energy or interaction style to one that makes them relaxed and responsive; listen for their agenda and needs and leave your own on the back-burner for a bit. The direction can be shared after the energy is generated by genuinely connecting.
Make Habits Fit You and Your Culture
The more our behaviors are routine habits, the less of our own energy they require. So, don’t mimic what others do: get to know yourself and find your own most effective ways to fuel others. Energize both personal satisfaction and meaningful contributions. If you need a bit of coaching on self-awareness or on how to find that profitable balance, reach out, let’s talk!