Your skill as a communicator has a lot to do with understanding what goes on beneath the surface of an interaction you have with another person. Each person has hidden factors – emotions, fears, conditionings, negative experiences – that affect their interactions with others, as do you. These hidden factors can have a major impact on how you interact.
It may not be possible to readily identify these hidden factors in another. However, your awareness that they exist creates a “knowing” that goes beyond the surficial aspects of an interaction, helping you to stay away from negativity or friction. Try some observing of your communications with others. See if you can develop awareness of any hidden factors that are present. Examine the hidden factors that affect your interactions with certain people. In doing so, you will develop an awareness that you did not have before and your communication skills will sharpen and grow.
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It’s inevitable; your energy levels go up and down. Have you noticed how low energy levels affect your work? Low energy levels have lots of causes, among them: being tired or sick, being in a situation that is draining your energy, boredom and strong emotions.
Awareness is the first step in dealing with a low energy level. When this occurs, change your expectations of what you can and can’t do. It may be that you have no choice but to raise your energy level for an immediate task that must get done. In that case, develop dependable ways to raise your energy level – perhaps a short nap, a change of scene, getting help or another means. When you can afford to, give yourself the time you need to restore your energy to a high level.
When your energy level is low, you are not at your best. It is in your interest to understand and know how to deal with your changing energy levels.
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How are you doing this week? Are you feeling energized, tired, full of vitality or drained? Your energy level requires attention and maintenance on your part. So much can lower your energy level – stress, overwhelm, too much to do, worries, negativity in your relationships. It is up to you to identify things that “fuel” you and make sure they are consistently in your life.
What fuels you and is it in your life?
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So many times you can find yourself fighting reality. You don’t like the way things are, so you resist. Doing so does not serve you. It expends your energy and takes your time, usually with little result. Alternatively, you can find the power in allowing.
Allowing refers to using the way things are as your starting point. It does not mean that you accept the way things are; just that you see things clearly and go from there. Doing so gets rid of any illusions and lets you address a situation as it is. Then, you are better able to protect your interests and achieve your desired result.
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I recently came across a Harvard Business Review article, Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time . The article has been around awhile, but I found it intriguing and relevant to what many managers deal with today. The basic thesis of the article is that in organizations need to build and sustain the capacity (energy) of their employees. The authors’ write that the core problem with working longer hours to get things done is that time is a finite resource. Energy can be systematically expanded and regularly renewed by establishing behaviors to expand and renew your energy. The article is worth a look, with many good suggestions for managing your energy and a sidebar with questions to ask yourself to determine if you are headed for an “energy crisis”.
How is your energy level in your work and your life? Do you actively sustain a high energy level or do you drain your energy, thus harming your productivity level? Managing your energy level may be the piece you are looking for to “lock in” high productivity and balance in your life. It’s a winner, for sure.
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There are times in life when you are tired. You can be tired in a variety of ways: fed up, physically tired, out of energy for something or lacking inspiration. Usually, it does not take long to know you are tired. The problem comes when you try to ignore or override it. It behooves you to “listen” to your emotions and your body. They tell you things that your mind may be ignoring.
Are you tired? If you are, stop now and figure out what is happening. Life offers a lot more when you are in touch with yourself, than it does when you are tired.
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1. Stop what you are doing and walk away for a few minutes
3. Draw something whimsical with colors
4. Look at a few photos or a short video that makes you happy
5. Take a walk outside
6. Close your eyes and shut the world out
7. Breathe 20 times in and out, focusing only on your breaths
8. Tell yourself a joke, or recall something that really made you laugh
10. Eliminate distractions
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As a manager, you certainly have a lot to manage. A critical factor in doing it all and doing it well is how effectively you manage your own energy.
The best way to manage your energy is to stay in the present moment and act from your center. You do not know all that will come up in a day. Staying in the present moment and coming from your center helps you respond, not react, to events.
Managing your energy involves balance, self-awareness, having positive ways to deal with stress and keeping perspective on what is important to you and what is not.
How are you managing your energy today?
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Recently, a client described a business relationship that had a troubled history at his organization. He had inherited both the relationship, and its past, in his new position. After a particularly difficult interaction, he reevaluated his strategy for the relationship. What he came up with was brilliant. In the midst of an exchange, he said to the person, “Can we start over?” Simple, direct and effective. Turned out, that the other person was relieved and more than willing to give it a try. No drama, no games, no complexity; just the expression of a desire to end one energy and create a more productive one.
How much time have you taken for yourself this summer season? As our military recognizes the need for rest and recuperation, so should managers. You are expending energy, experiencing stress and thinking on your feet every day. Somewhere in there, you need to refuel. Otherwise, your energy dwindles, bit by bit, until you are slowly dragging through your days-mentally, physically and emotionally.
Make rest and recuperation a regular practice and you will stay at the top of your game.