Tap into an underexploited energy source: Your emotional energy
We all possess four distinct, yet interconnected sources of energy: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Most of us have a pretty good read on our physical and mental energy levels.
Physical energy is about what your body can handle: you know your physical energy is low if you fall asleep on a conference call, or if you are dragging your butt to meetings.
Mental energy is about what your brain can handle: you know your mental energy is high if you’re able to analyze a dense report, or if you can make creative connections throughout the day.
Emotional energy is about what you can handle emotionally. It is often indicated by a person’s stress threshold, their breaking/boiling point, their ability to maintain a positive outlook, or their ability to motivate themselves and others. These are all critical factors for high performance at work and at home.
3 Things You Need to Know About Emotional Energy
- Emotional energy is the most contagious form of energy.If you are up, you raise up the people around you. If you are down, people feel that too. You spread your emotional energy through your face, your posture, the way you enter a room, or hold yourself in conversation.People often tell me that they appreciate feeling the excitement I have for what I do. At the end of a talk they come up to me and say that they feel energized or motivated. Feeling their energy also fuels me. It’s a powerful, positive cycle that can lead to great work and great relationships.On the flip side, when I’m struggling with something, and I’m running low on emotional energy, my wife Megan tells me that I can get a little… grumpy. If I’m not careful, before I know it, I inadvertently infect my family and then she has a household of grumps to deal with. (Honey, just so you know, I hear you and I’m working on it.)So check in with yourself to see if your emotional energy levels are making life better or worse for the folks around you. And notice how the people around you are infecting you. We all get more out of the day when we brush up against positive, enthusiastic people – so find some.
- No one can have high, positive emotional energy 100% of the time.That’s an unrealistic and unhealthy goal. It would be like trying to stay awake all the time. You grow by resting and stressing your emotions (just like your muscles or your mind).That said, we are most creative, productive and proactive when we have high, positive energy. High performers train themselves to be aware of their emotional energy. They capitalize on high, positive energy times. They know how to move themselves (and others) through emotional cycles. They also know how to tap their energy reserves so that even in times of low, negative emotional energy, they have the wherewithal to take something from the experience and move forward.
- Your emotional energy level can be managed.How?
- Build your awareness about your emotional energy. Check in with people about how they read you. Check in with yourself – and be honest.
- Recognize that you are as responsible for the times you feel great as you are for the times you feel down. If you are up, notice what values you are fulfilling and if you are down ask yourself what feels out of alignment and what you can do to right it.
- Practice pulling yourself out of low, negative energy times. You can. Just like you can pull yourself off the couch to go to the gym, you can pull yourself out of a funk and into a positive head and heart space.
- All forms of energy are interconnected. Eating well, getting enough exercise and rest and staying hydrated can help boost your emotional energy. Likewise, cultivating high, positive emotional energy will boost your mental and physical energy.
Your emotional energy will naturally cycle from low/negative through to high/positive over the course of a year, or a day, or even an hour. As a leader, those ebbs and flows could be creating harmony or havoc, collaboration or confusion in your team. Managing your impact, and your emotional energy is up to you.
Need help, or think your team could use some help? Call me for coaching or a workshop on effectively managing your emotional energy at work.
This article was originally published in Chris Obst’s monthly e-newsletter. Sign up on the side.
Category: All, Energy at work, Energy for life, Focus, Manage your Energy, Manage your People, Managing high performers, Stress, The Leader's Toolkit
Tags: Energy, Habits, Inspire, Management 101