“Energy” is a “property of physical objects, transferable among them via fundamental interactions”
“Energy” is “the ability to do work”
“Energetics” – “energetics is concerned with seeking principles that accurately describe the useful and non-useful tendencies of energy flows”
Our personal energy is the energy we have within ourselves to do well, all the things we need to do or want to do.
Energy is a finite resource in physics, and this is true overall. But as individuals, we control the amount of personal energy we have; and our lifestyles and attitudes dictate that to a large extent.
Some people have extreme amounts of energy in comparison to others, usually, if not always, that can be tracked to lifestyle choices, and only in a few cases comparatively, to highly disciplined attitudes or the pursuit of a personal passion.
Energy in humans comes from 4 main areas:
- Body – Physical Energy
- Emotions – Quality of Energy
- Mind – Focus of Energy
- Spirit – Purpose of Energy
For teams, this seems to reverse in order
Energy in Teams, comes from:
- Alignment – Purpose of Energy
- Clarity & Communication – Focus of Energy
- Trust – Quality of Energy
- Synergy (People and Systems) – Physical Energy
Energy is deliberately created in our lives, and if this is neglected, energy will fade. The same goes for teams – energy is deliberately created in teams, and if not specifically attended to regularly and consciously, energy will fade. So how do we govern our bodies, emotions, minds and spirits to keep our energy levels right?
- Small meals more often
- Time management
- Prioritise the task (Avoid distractions like email, noisy spaces, phones, social media)
- Prioritise the person
- Focus on what we love, and what we do well (can be different)
- Personal balance – where you are, be all there
- Live by values
Energetics – transferring and communicating energy
We absorb and give energy constantly to those around us.
Someone who is always finding fault, or making excuses, playing politics, or making a process harder than it needs to be is sucking energy out of their team, and out of the poor person who has to deal with them.
Someone who is proactive, delivers on time and to expectations, (or owns and fixes their mistakes without ego) and refuses to play politics, is adding value and energy to their team, and to the lucky person who has to deal with them!
Someone who cannot manage their negative emotions, is sucking the life out of the team and the people around them.
Someone who always has time and a smile for others, even under stress, is adding energy to the team.
The examples are endless. And obvious.
As a team leader, we are responsible for the energy levels in our team – without great energy levels, our team will:
- Miss deadlines.
- Make excuses.
- Be error prone.
- Be ok with that.
We can improve energy levels in our team members with some leadership disciplines that focus on the following:
- Strengthening a sense of purpose and accountability
- Preventing isolation and a lack of awareness
- Removing obstacles
- Ensuring that processes and systems serve the people, not the other way around
If our energy is down, what can we do?
- Take time out to refocus (give ourselves privacy to deal with it, and space to make clear choices)
- Choose our attitude (it’s not instant, but we can rebuild our mood)
- Choose our emotions (slow down our responses and be deliberate about them)
- Prioritise and plan activities, and do them well (getting stuff done sends the right message to ourselves and anyone watching)