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Watch Your Energy Level to Positively Impact a Meeting


September 10th, 2019

- Updated on

September 10, 2019 - 4:04pm
Have you read Bruce Schneider’s Energy Leadership, Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core? If not, now is the time to learn about the “7 Levels of Energy” and take this lesson to your leadership teams. Studies have concluded that individuals who operate in the higher levels of energy are more fulfilled in their personal and professional lives. 

Have you heard the saying, “Your energy level defines you before you even enter the room?”  Do you know someone who can take the energy up or down in a room just by their presence?

Business team meeting
The 7 Levels of Energy are neither good nor bad. Each energy level has an advantage and disadvantage and most of us experience all seven levels of energy throughout the day based on our thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and filters. Simply by becoming aware of the levels, we can shift and change how we perform.

What are the Energy Levels and How Do They Impact Coaching and Leadership?

Our energy is a product of how we think, feel and act (TFA), which results in how we perform under normal and stressful conditions. Our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings create our actions. This concept provides coaches a language and framework for discussion with clients. Your current awareness, leadership ability, and engagement profile is assessed through the Energy Leadership Index Attitudinal Assessment. This assessment determines baseline strengths and opportunities for executive coaches to create an individual development/coaching plan with our coaching clients. 
Basically, there are two kinds of energy: catabolic and anabolic.

Catabolic energy is draining, negative, resisting, contracting and destructive.

  • The Advantage: Provides an initial energetic boost.
  • The Disadvantages: Distracting, acts like a blinder/limited view, creates long-term mental, emotional, and physical tolls. Destructive to you and those around you.

Anabolic energy is constructive, positive, expanding, fueling, healing and growth-oriented.

  • The Advantages: Helps move you forward, achieve positive and long-term results, necessary to leading others, creates a complete and conscious view and focused on solutions. 
Recognition of our energy levels can help executives, team leaders and employees be aware of their own behavior, increase engagement levels, and direct their natural ability to inspire themselves and others.
Let’s describe each level and see where executive coaches can help our leaders size up their energy profile, leverage their anabolic energy, shift catabolic energy, and achieve their goals.

The 7 Levels of Energy

We all know someone that may fit these descriptions under certain circumstances. In some cases, the energy rises when they walk in the room, expectations are changed, a sigh of dismay is heard, or a breath of relief. These leaders or team members do and don’t inspire others.  (TFA – Think, Feel, Act)

Level 1: T-Victim, F-Apathy, A-Lethargy

Some of the characteristics may be:
  • I lose; I hate myself
  • Blame others when things go wrong
  • Down on themselves and take things personally
  • Keep feelings and opinions to themselves
  • Avoid confrontation and making decisions
Each energy level assessment is a snapshot in time. People can shift energy levels at any time and for better or worse results. The entire room in a meeting can experience all levels of energy.

Level 2: T-Conflict, F-Anger, A-Defiance

Some of the characteristics may be:
  • I win, you lose.
  • Angry, blames self and others
  • Believe they have to fight to get what they want
  • Not open/trusting of others or feels self-guilt
  • Willing to do something about it and can get a lot done, but it is forced and aggressive
A Level 2 can have a lack of trust, overstep bounds and often can’t enjoy or celebrate what the team has accomplished. Sometimes a Level 2 comes up with things that others hadn’t thought about and are valuable contributions, but it often shuts people down.

Level 3: T-Responsibility, F-Forgiveness, A-Cooperation

Some of the characteristics may be:
  • I win and if you win too, that’s great
  • Still can get into blaming mode; will rationalize own or others’ behaviors
  • Rationalization is a coping mechanism
  • Residual anger from past conflicts can leave disappointment
  • Tries to fix the other person
Is this another version of the glass half empty versus half full?

AJO Coach Karen Maier

“Our thoughts create our feelings, and they create actions,” says Karen Maier, AJO's Executive Coach and Energy Leadership Practitioner.
“Coaches are not therapists and if there are issues to be dealt with, we can only expose the issue and propose what impact it might have on the leadership results.”

Level 4: T-Concern, F-Compassion, A-Service

Some of the characteristics may be:
  • You win; I love you
  • Focus is on caring, giving, supporting, helping others
  • Giving is truly about the other person
  • No longer take things personally
  • Risk is give, give, give; putting others priorities before their own

Level 5: T-Opportunity, F-Peace, A-Acceptance

Some of the characteristics may be:
  • We both win or we don’t play
  • Sees opportunities from whatever is happening and what is right instead of what’s wrong
  • Tend to be very intelligent; thinkers; leaders; great communicators
  • Quickly addresses things; focused on solutions
“This behavior is about opportunity, win-win. The individual does not see challenges, they see opportunities,” says Karen. “Many executives are Level 5. High-energy optimists with strong positive vibes that are good to be around.”

Level 6: T-Synthesis, F-Joy, A-Wisdom

Some of the characteristics may be:
  • We always win; all that happens has value
  • The experience itself is the opportunity; don’t wait for things to happen
  • Makes it possible to synthesize and create powerful partnerships
  • Taps into their intuition; creative
  • Calm, unstoppable, easy going, flexible, inspire greatness in others
  • Goal is not project, but process
What is the business case for adapting the energy in the room or influencing the energy in the room? “People naturally work to try and absorb high energy,” says Karen. “It is unlikely to pull a four or five down to a one or two. But a one or two can be pulled up. On the other hand, some people may be happy where they are.”

Level 7: T-Non-judgmental, F-Absolute passion, A-Creation

Some of the characteristics may be:
  • Winning and losing are illusions
  • Unconditional love
  • The essence of our core self and nature of our true existence
  • Create, experience and observe all at the same time
  • No human completely resonates here/stays here but can learn to access it
“Nature dictates that no one can resonate at Level 7 for too long. People can have moments of this, then they return back to reality,” says Karen. “It isn’t accessible for long periods.”

Raising the Energy Levels of Individuals and Teams

Karen explains that people can choose to be inspired by higher energy people. For executives and leaders, it is an effort to put teams together from the one and two’s energy levels and make them a project team. But with the right higher energy levels inserted in the mix, it can be a winner.

“No one is a pure level of anything,” says Karen. “You can access whatever level is above or below you, depending on the situation. You can change as needed. But you can also make a point of entering a situation at a level that you know is going to provide motivation and initiate productivity. It’s up to you.”
Karen went on to ask, “What level are you now and what would you like to be?” There is no simple answer to either question. Everyone should assess their own levels and decide where they want to be. A coach can help with both of those efforts.  

Integrating the Energy Leadership Index to Leadership Coaching

Although there are many assessments such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Hogan and Disc, Energy Leadership Index (ELI) uniquely measures awareness, leadership ability, and engagement, while enabling executive coaches to communicate a client’s leadership profile and create a desired development plan. ELI is a great baseline tool for executive coaches and their clients and will complement other attitude and aptitude assessments in the overall leadership coaching process. 
“Bruce Schneider brings us another tool in the toolbox,” says Karen. “Our energy levels can impact our work, our personal lives and our general feeling of well-being. It is definitely a worthy assessment as part of the coaching process.”

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Gail Petersen - AJO BloggerGail Petersen is an experienced communicator providing clients with strategic planning, writing and project implementation to engage and maximize the impact of messaging on target audiences. She practices and promotes quality written communications, mentoring and collaboration in all her projects. She lives in Easton, PA with her husband and two house rabbits; is on the Board of the Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue; is the grant writer for a dog and cat shelter and edits nonfiction books.