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Leaders, Are You an Energy Generator, or an Energy Consumer?

by on 22 June 2012Comment

Are You An Energy Generator or An Energy Consumer - photo by Bruce GuetnerOne of the most important aspects of leadership is to inspire and engage people in a way that generates positive energy.  In my experience, most leaders certainly have an abundance of energy.  But…

Some are energy generators, and some are energy consumers.

What do I mean by that?  Let me explain.

When you interact with another person, generally speaking you leave the interaction with either more energy than you started the conversation with, or less.

Some people’s ability to transfer positive energy and energise you is better than others.  Some people you speak to leave you feeling positive and fired up, ready and excited to go on and tackle the challenges ahead of you.  And others just zap all your energy.  They leave you feeling unsure, disappointed, lacking in confidence, or just generally less happy and motivated than you were before.  And of course some have no impact whatsoever, it’s just a pleasant conversation and then you move on.

Even someone with boundless positive energy themselves can sometimes be an energy consumer – sometimes they’re just too high maintenance and they drain all your energy just trying to keep up with them.

So what are the qualities of an energy generator?  

If you are an energy generator:

  • You show your energy, optimism and enthusiasm (both in your style of communication and in what you say)
  • You effectively manage your emotions, not showing signs of panic, frustration or stress
  • You demonstrate resilience, bouncing back from mistakes or failures
  • You have an appropriate sense of humour, including humility or being self-deprecating
  • You help the other person to see their strengths and give them positive encouragement
  • You listen carefully and show them respect
  • You help them to imagine the possibilities
  • You give them ideas, and help them to generate ideas of their own
  • You convey hopefulness and excitement about the future

People who consistently demonstrate these behaviours can be literally inspirational.  Particularly if these qualities remain, even in times of difficulty or adversity.

You can be inspirational too.  Practicing a few of these simple behaviours whenever you communicate with others, can completely change the extent to which you inspire and engage them.

So which are are you?  An energy consumer, or an energy generator?


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