This weekend I was at a restaurant I go to from time to time, and it has a mellow vibe, but I don’t mind this because it is predictably this way. However, the other night, it had a completely different vibe. A lively one that was charged with positive and contagious energy. One of the manager’s commented on how they had never experienced this level of energy before…and they really liked it! I did too. The difference between this night and the others was that the clientele was entirely different than their typical patrons, as there was a private party who rented out the restaurant.
I was happy that the manager noticed the shift in the vibe of their restaurant, and I give them props for realizing that by changing up their clientele mix, they would have both a more profitable restaurant, and one that which was more appealing too. The owner of the restaurant was reluctant to market their location differently, so the safe way to do this was to offer an evening to a clientele market they had not done so before. Sure, it was a risk, but one which paid off both monetarily, and from a potential shift in branding strategy.
In terms of thinking about how your energy, or the people you are personally or professionally associated with isn’t something you give much thought. At least not until the energy type swings dramatically differently. In the case of the restaurant, the energy shift was positive, but this type of shift can also be impacted by as few as one or two people. Perhaps you have experienced this? Or it’s possible you contributed to this shift? If you were contributing to the energy shift, were you aware of this?
Having an awareness of your own energy level contribution is important, and many people are not tuned into the impact they are having. Granted, some people would be classified as neutral in terms of their energy output or impact level, but it’s the other ends of this which I am referring to. For me personally, I know my energy level is on the positive side, and that it can be highly charged. So, I need to be mindful and apply my emotional intelligence to the circumstances of the scenario I am in, so that I can provide the right level of energy. However, I can tell you that I have had lots of fun with being able to contribute my positive energy level when required. Although sometimes it can feel like an obligation, but I try not to think of it this way. Instead, I think of it more of sharing my gift or talent in this area.
When I am first meeting someone, one of the first things I sense is whether their energy level is similar of different than mine. When it is different, I will adjust mine so that it is not as dramatically different from the other person. Doing this allows me to keep in mind that I need to maintain my authenticity and not fully compromise who I am. In other words, I’ll tap into my awareness level of both who I am interacting with, and the circumstances of the interaction. Can this be taught? To a degree I believe it can, but the person who wants to improve either their energy level, or self-awareness are going to have to want to do this. If they have any hesitation in modifying either of these areas, it is going to be quite difficult to have them modify their behavior.
If you are in a leadership position, sports coach or someone who wants to ensure your energy level is working in your favor, below are some suggestions I can offer to help you attempt, and perhaps master this with enough practice and focus.
· Consider a recent interaction you had with an individual. Were you aware, or are you now aware of how you were perceived by this person from an energy level perspective?
· Have you noticed whether after interacting with others they appear to be in a better frame of mind, or have a more positive attitude?
· Going into an encounter with either a person or a group, think ahead how you want to come across. Do you want to appear to be confident, poised, articulate, intelligent, friendly, approachable or some other positive description? Perhaps all of these and more. You can achieve this by telling yourself ahead of time, or even during the conversation that you are all of these things. Essentially, focus on talking nicely to yourself, and being mindfully and positively supportive.
· If your energy level is low going into a scenario, consider either finding a way to pause your initial approach, either physically or mentally, and then proceeding when your mindset is in the manner you want it to be.
· If you are a leader or sports coach, ask your trusted advisor to offer you feedback on how they have seen you interact with those you are leading. Be prepared for them to offer you feedback which may not favorable, but it should be constructive. More importantly, please appreciate the fact they are taking a risk in offering it to you, and that your initial reaction might be to act defensively. Attempt to fully listen to what they have so say, as this will offer you the best opportunity to improve your leadership energy level.
· The performance levels of teams can be dramatically impacted by low or negative energy. Be aware of if this is occurring, heading in that direction, and have a plan to change the energy level in your team’s favor.
· Having a neutral energy level is perfectly acceptable.
· If your energy level tends to lean towards being negative, commit to understanding what the contributing factors are to having it be this way. Then when you are ready to do so, work towards shifting towards having a neutral energy level as your goal, as having a positive one might be both difficult to achieve and maintain without a fierce commitment to altering your more natural energy state.
Have some fun with appreciating the energy level you have, how it impacts others and whether you can leverage your energy in your favor, instead of it detracting from who you are.
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