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Leaders Letter Newsletter

Leaders Letter 165 – Energy Control

Dear leaders, we are entering into the period of the year when we need a real break, and many counting down to holiday/vacation. 

We are hitting the breaking point and a rest is what you need and the doctor likely ordered. 

In my coaching and workshops, I have numerous recommendations and a theme of recommendations I supply towards summer and into the autumn/fall session:  

  • Mid-year burnout 
  • How to control your energy 
  • How to leverage knowing your energy levels 
  • Understanding how your department members gain energy and lose energy 
  • How your team leads are motivated 
  • And where everyone’s energy levels are 

Here is how I break energy down further 

Ramp Up For Important Meetings 

  • I am a person who is full of energy in the morning but mid-afternoon I have a harder time doing my best work, I attempt to book important meetings earlier in the day and restrict my caffeine intake to coincide with the most important meetings 
  • I have been known to get hangary, which means I need to eat fairly regularly and need energy from the food to help me post lunch. Knowing which foods provide you energy and which reduce energy, it will be important to improving your output and being present in meetings and when making important decisions 
  • I ramp up with caffeine, I ramp up with preparation for the meetings and often I will walk to bring up the heart rate and help you to think more clearly. 

Energy Matching 

  • As a coach you are either supposed to bring the energy and take levels higher or match the person you are coaching. Very often I will match coaching clients’ energy to ensure it aligns with how they feel and then raise if they need to take part in more specific skill drills 
  • Many video-based meetings can feel like a slog, there is a lot written about zoom fatigue and mirror anxiety but a small shift and delay can feel like a lot, it is important to call this out and match the energy or call it out to try and ensure everyone is equally invested (hard I know but in trust-based organisations, this is not a too far removed)
  • Walk-and-talk meetings are often a great way to energy match and equal the conversation. Walk-and-talk meetings are often an easy way to remove any tension and matching strides is a simple way to energy match 

Energy Zapping 

  • We have all been in meetings or when working in the office and someone’s negative demeanour or negative attitude wipes out the team’s energy, it is important to learn what zaps your energy and who can zap your energy.
  • Being able to talk to your colleague with negative energy can be challenging, if you can discuss this, please do directly, if not attempt to help them recognise they might not be helping the collective (seek HR help required
  • When you are sat in a bad meeting you can feel frustrated and see your energy level deplete, MRS aka meeting recovery syndrome is an essential area which many are unaware of and do not control by scoring and reflecting on the quality of the meeting. Ensure poor meetings and frustrating meetings are addressed and you personally make personal reviews and notes on meetings that create MRS. This is where I recommend conducting a calendar auditand being ruthless in owning your time and energy levels.  

Energy Supplying 

  • Do you have someone within your team (first team or your own department) that whenever you chat or work with them – they boost your energy, they make you feel like you need to take action or can improve something just by spending a short amount of time with them? I can name five on the spot and often wish I could collaborate with them when low on energy. These energy givers are invaluable collaborators and ensuring you match their energy or give back is critical to a high-functioning and performing team 
  • As mentioned earlier, food and drink are vital areas of giving you energy. There are a number of ways you can incorporate this into meetings and working sessions, by providing healthy snacks (allergies to be remembered) and getting the opportunity to add a buffer to get a drink and/or snack (even a FIKA break) to manage levels and give you the energy 
  • Often with away days and strategic getaways you will actively see people’s energy drop and when they hit caffeine walls, most would then dive into the sugary treats and then have a large lunch, this would mean a real crash or slump after lunchtime. There are typically drinks and dinner in the evening the following day will be a write-off for many. It is important you understand this cycle and supply better snacks (fuel), book in breaks (powering through isn’t a smart default) and stop people just sitting around a boardroom table or a hotel’s basement conference room and getting out and stretching your legs, reduce cognitive boredom and improve your oxygen flow 
  • When you set the agendas and running orders you should consider what decisions are made and when and how the sessions can complement energy sources 
  • I used to hate looking at the agenda and knowing my annual strategy presentation or my business lines financial request was after 4 pm. This was knowing everyone would have low energy, and low attention and knowing that the most important decisions are made when people are more switched on and energy levels are higher (despite many late-night emails and chats most decisions are made in the workday apart from in crisis)

This week’s focus action is to understand how to control your energy, how to make other people aware of this and where you can tweak your offsites and workshops to be more energy aware. 

Have a great week and have great energy levels, 

Thanks,

Danny Denhard