Are You an Energy Giver or an Energy Taker?

How to impact the room in a positive way that produces results

When I was in the corporate setting, I had a conversation with my boss in which he shared a reflection that has stuck with me all these years. At the time, he was an executive vice president for the bank.

He told me that as he met with people throughout the day, he noticed that they were either energy givers or energy takers. He explained himself by saying that they either left him feeling motivated, eager, and armed with possibilities or tired, zapped, and laden with more problems.

My boss was a proactive individual. He took his role as a positive force in the company very seriously. I knew that there was a lesson to be savored and applied from his comments. As I thought about his words, I determined their relevance through my lens as a leader.

He was not saying show up and entertain me. Rather he was saying, make a choice before you arrive as to what your standard will hold and prepare accordingly. I could participate in any meeting or interaction anywhere as part of the problem, by adding more weight and momentum to the issue or as part of the solution by offering answers, possibilities, and hope.

My special skill has always been to cut through the noise and find the most direct and effective path to accomplishing the big picture. I therefore adopted and successfully used the following process for showing up to any interaction or meeting as an energy giver and therefore a positive contributor:

  • Determine beforehand the overarching purpose for the meeting or discussion and how it fits into the “big picture”.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the individual sponsoring the gathering and define success from their perspective.
  • Identify the role you will play and the actions you will take to facilitate that success.

You know what happened from there? Meetings, interactions, and discussions were generally fun, compelling, and often path altering.

What works for you? How do you impact the energy in the room in a positive way that produces results?

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