Ever had the experience of a complete stranger entering a room, and you immediately dislike them (even if you don’t know them)?
Or, what about meeting someone for the first time and you’re simply captivated and drawn to that person in some unexplainable way? Sound familiar?
Well if you said yes to either, then you are just like myself and the millions of others who believe you energy introduces you before you speak.
There are 3 things we are going to explore in this article:
- What your energy is and why it’s so important
- How to better manage your first impressions
- How to improve your personal energy
Leaders, listen up.
So much time, money and resources are spent on polishing both the tactical and practical skills that this little but hugely important thing called “your energy” is being neglected and should not be ignored.
It doesn’t matter where you went to school, what company you work for or how much money you make – if your energy is bad, weak or dare I say “dark” – people simply won’t want to be around you, let alone trust, follow or admire you.
Well there you have it. I get this is going to sound like a lot of new age woo-woo to some of you and that’s totally fine. I am here to simply lay out what I know, what I have seen and map it against our human conditioning.
This famous quote is accurate on a few different levels. For today’s sake, it’s true because we are addressing people’s actions before they speak which brings us to the first topic…your energy.
What your energy is, Why it’s important, and How it works.
I will spare you the Bill Nye deep dive into quantum physics but this explanation below should give you a high-level overview of how we are all energetic beings radiating a force from within.
- Quantum physics says that as you go deeper and deeper into the workings of the atom, you see that there is nothing there – just energy waves. It says an atom is actually an invisible force field, a kind of miniature tornado, which emits waves of electrical energy. Those energy waves can be measured and their effects seen, but they are not a material reality, they have no substance because they are… well, just electricity. So, science now embraces the idea that the universe is made of energy.
Here’s the cliff notes version in case you slept through science class: The energy that you exhibit is the vibration that your thoughts and feelings possess. It’s all about your presence. How you show up, stand up and smile all matters and it’s felt by those around you. The energy you bring into a space or another person’s life is yours to own. It is important to have positive energy because the stronger the frequency, the better chance you will have connecting with others.
How to better manage your first impressions.
There’s no denying the impact and importance of a great first impression. Sure, there is the personal grooming, dressing appropriately and making sure your prepared to speak, but what about your energy?
What kind of energy are you bringing into the space? What do you want to give off when people meet you? How do you make them feel or better yet, how do you want to make them feel?
Your energy is the sum of who you are. It defines who you are as a person and what it is that you are attracting into your life so it’s important to lead with positive emotions. According to associate professor of psychology, Barbara L. Fredrickson at the University of Michigan, leading with positive emotions can do the following:
- Positive emotions can undo negative ones
- Positive emotions fuel resilience
- Positive emotions broaden thinking & build resources
- Positive emotions trigger optimal functioning within organizations
- Positive emotions are contagious
Here are some practical tips to get you on your way:
- Watch your body language and be open and relaxed.
- Work on finding your balance throughout your day by surrounding yourself with positive people and influences to ignite more positive energy within yourself. Slowing down also works.
- Of course, practicing mindfulness breathing will also help balance your energy, calm your nervous system and transform your presence.
- Practice compassion. By seeking to help others, you will get out of your own way to help the physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts and pains of another. This will allow you to take more responsibility for the energy you radiate.
Here’s How to Start Using Energy More Wisely:
According to this fantastic Harvard Business Review article by Peter Bregman, there are five ways you can start using your energy more effectively:
- Notice your energy. Where do you spend it? When you look at life with an energy lens, you begin to see things differently. Simply doing this little energy check-in began to change my habits.
- Know what matters to you. Knowing what brings value to your life — joy and productivity — is essential to making smart decisions about where to spend your energy.
- Plan wise energy investment. Once you know which things matter most to you, schedule as many of them into your life as possible. Literally put them in your calendar. Let them crowd out activities that represent energy leaks. This idea of “crowding out” works for thinking, too. Let your learning mind “crowd out” your complaining mind. Scheduling time at the end of the day to glean insights can be incredibly valuable.
- Most importantly, plan where not to invest. Once you begin to notice your energy, you will clearly see things you do and ways you think that are pointless energy drains for example, don’t enter a conversation that you know will rile you up and get you nowhere.
- Finally, don’t spend much time thinking about this. You don’t have to get it right, just better than yesterday. And optimizing your energy expenditure can be its own counterproductive energy drain. Simply pull yourself out of one useless conversation, stop yourself from responding to one silly email, let go of one nagging thought, and you’ll be a more intelligent investor of your energy.
Final thoughts: Your personal attitude is a critical part of the energy you project to your people and organization. If you aren’t radiating positive, supportive and encouraging thoughts and actions into the workplace, it should then be no surprise if you are having trouble leading others.
The next time you are about to walk into a room, meet someone for the first time, or give a presentation to a room of strangers, it’s probably a good idea to check and clean your energy first. Remember, people will pick up on your energetic vibration before you open your mouth.
The floor is yours: How important is it to have positive energy in the workplace?
Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.
Joshua / www.JoshHMiller.com
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