I wonder if you, or your employees, ever leave work feeling drained of energy and enthusiasm, exhausted by your day and the interactions you’ve had with others.
Unfortunately, this is more often the case than not! No one starts their work day saying “I am going to behave and act in ways that exhaust my energy and the energy of the people around me.” It sounds absurd doesn’t it? And yet, that is the net effect of what happens day-in and day-out of offices everywhere.
So what’s the deal?
There’s actually an “energy crisis” in Corporate America and it’s adversely affecting the culture, relationships and results in companies everywhere. According to the State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders,"(Gallup, 2013), 70% of workers are disengaged; I assert that a part of this disengagement is directly related to the lack of “energy” that exists among employees.
Studies done by The Energy Project shows that workers today are exhausted, emotionally depleted, unfocused, and lacking purpose. It is no surprise they are disengaged and drained of energy when:
· 59% don’t regularly get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and/or often wake up feeling tired,
· 69% have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time and are easily distracted during the day, especially by email, and
· 58% say there are significant gaps between what they say is important in their life and how they actually live.
So what is energy? Is it just some “woo-woo” term that comes out of the “new age” and “personal development movement” that has no bearing on your company?
Or is it something that needs to be acknowledged in order to be in integrity with the execution of your mission and values of your organization?
According to online sources, energy is: “the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.” With this definition, “energy” is a vital resource that is critical to both the engagement of employees and the success of your company.
Expanding the definition, these additional synonyms for energy give an experience of what “positive” energy means. Read on and connect with the impact these words have on you:
vitality, vigor, life, liveliness, animation, vivacity, spirit, spiritedness, verve, enthusiasm, zest, vibrancy, spark, sparkle, effervescence, ebullience, exuberance, buoyancy, sprightliness;
strength, stamina, forcefulness, power, dynamism, drive; fire, passion, ardor, zeal;
zing, pep, pizzazz, punch, bounce, oomph, moxie, mojo, go, get-up-and-go, vim and vigor, feistiness;
As I read through this list, I find myself taking a big, deep breath, a huge “sigh” of relief as I open up, sitting more upright in my chair as opposed to the previous slouch. I notice that my heart begins beating faster with excitement, as I imagine what my day will be like if “this” experience was present throughout my day. The story I make up about this is that others would be drawn to me, I would be more joyful and the quality of my life and my impact, would improve in both my relationships and my results.
What about you? What do you notice for yourself?
The words above used to describe “energy” are actually what contribute to what I refer to as an “Above-the-Line” culture. This is a culture whereby thoughts are positively directed, possibilities and creativity are present, and collaboration is happening and peak experiences lead to peak performance.
So how do you create an “above-the-line” culture? It starts by changing your thought patterns from things like fear, scarcity and overdoing to trust, abundance and effortlessness. The quickest way to “shift” the energy from being drained and negative is to pause and focus on “Gratitude”. Answering the simple question, “What am I grateful for?” will take you “above-the-line” and improve your energy immediately. I invite you to try this right now.
The more important question is what’s needed to create and sustain an “above-the-line” culture for yourself and for your company? It begins first with an awareness of “self” as a leader.
As you go through your day today, pay attention to your energy. When are you alive and energized? What are you thinking? What are you doing? What’s the impact internally and around you? The goal is to do more of what brings vitality to your day.
On the flip side, when you find yourself drained, take a pause from what you doing and consider in that moment what you are grateful for. And then, choose an action that will refresh and renew your energy. Some examples are to drink a glass of water, change positions by standing up if you’re sitting, or sit if you’re standing and/or go outside and take a big, deep breath of fresh air. These perceived “simple”, yet often difficult next steps when you are stuck in drained energy, will make a profound difference in how you think, feel and act, positively improving your impact and your results.
If you are interested in learning more about an Above-the-Line culture, be sure to visit www.excellpugetsound.com. Our Seattle and SouthSound groups are offering CEO Tools Workshops on the topic in April.
Shannon Bruce, CPCC, PCC, Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of StoryBridge™, Inc. specializes in transforming teams through conscious culture change. Using her diverse business experience and coaching expertise, she engages Leaders, Executives and Teams to create positivity in the workplace using Get Clarity™ SHIFT to Positive Thinking to increase employee engagement, to improve vitality and well-being among leaders and teams, and to develop a culture of collaboration to improve business metrics, and top- and bottom-line results. Shannon is committed to equipping leaders and teams with the “how-to’s” of healthy interaction among co-workers in the workplace and facilitating crucial conversations in a solution based, positive way that results in both peak experiences and high performance.