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Why is Energy Important in the Workplace?

By Shari Bench

Everything is energy. Energy is powerful enough to create your success or promote your demise. Everything you involve yourself in is a result of the energy you contribute. How you contribute to your professional environment is as important as what you contribute. You may have the experience, knowledge, skill, and a long history of success; however, if you approach a new project, a meeting, a new job, an employee, your boss, or a customer with infected/negative energy, you should also be prepared to take responsibility for the consequences.

Some experts will claim energy is neither positive nor negative, rather all energy was neutral and only has the ability to take on the form in which you give it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is you do have the power to choose how you exert your own energy, but you do not always have the ability to prevent encountering others’ negative energy. Sometimes it is easy to see how others affect you, but many times you may not even realize the effect others are having on you. Creating an awareness of how situations or people make you feel can help correct or deflect this negative energy.

As a leader, your energy can determine the success of a meeting, a workday or even your overall company. If you have an employee or co-worker who is struggling, have you considered how much responsibility you have in their performance?

If you have chosen the privilege and responsibility to supervise others, how are you dealing with your negative employees? Negativity is contagious. It may seem as if dealing with negative people is easier to simply ignore them. However, it’s important to remember that many people are not aware of how negative energy is affecting them. Therefore, your negative employees may be consciously or sub-consciously expanding their negativity and influencing the behavior of others.

Wake up Leaders!  Look in the mirror. What are you contributing to your personal and professional life? How do you protect those you are responsible for, as well as your overall company, to ensure they have the positive, working environment they deserve?

Begin with yourself!  There are very common questions to help evaluate the energy you may be contributing. Are you generally a positive or negative person? Do you have a high or low energy level? How do others respond to you; relaxed or tense? Do you find yourself being judgmental of others or open and accepting of diversity and new ideas? Do you harbor anger rather than letting these feeling go? Do you feel mostly happy or sad and frustrated? Are you a nice person?

Observe Energy: Awareness is a great advocate for improvement. As leader, you should  care about creating a positive environment. As an employee concerned with your current work environment, consider you are as responsible for creating a positive environment as your boss and your co-workers. Therefore, by simply taking time over the next week to observe others, you may create a new awareness of the type of energy that is most common in your department or company.

Dealing with negativity: How a leader deals with energy can directly determine how well an employee performs. The majority of employees spend most of their waking day at work. Most employees want to feel good about their workplace. Identifying a negative person does not have to result in turnover. The reality is if you begin with yourself, many others will naturally follow your lead and contribute toward a positive environment. However, if you identify a negative employee who is not supporting the environment you are expecting to create, it is critical to deal with this behavior. If after giving the employee an opportunity to improve, they do not respond favorably, as a leader you cannot ignore this behavior. Allowing this employee to continue contributing negative energy will quickly infect the energy of other employees and yourself.

Setting Expectations: Evaluate your management style and look for ways to create a positive, supportive, and rewarding process. Reward the positive improvements and mentor the employees who are not exceeding expectations. Positive reinforcement can quickly shift energy and build momentum toward your desired results.

Energize your team: A typical workday can drain the energy out of your employees. Look for ways to create energy boosts throughout the day, in meetings, and throughout projects. This can be as simple as frequent short breaks, laughter, creating a very open environment where fresh ideas and creativity is rewarded.

The relationships you align in life reflect who you are. You are defined by your relationships in your personal life and most certainly within your professional career. If you find the majority of your employees are tired or your team is having difficulty with exceeding expectations and creating momentum, seriously consider evaluating the energy flowing within your company. Do not wait for others to create the positive, rewarding, motivating environment that you have had the power to create all along. A positive environment is a healthy environment.

Read other articles and learn more about Shari Bench.

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