Has this ever happened to you?
You get into work early and crank out your documents, emails and other work products and then it happens. You know what I’m talking about, right? That time comes when you have to go to your first meeting and all of the brightness, energy, and productivity of your morning disappears into the shadowy, dispirited haze of a meeting room.
Where does all of the energy go? How does the motivation vanish?
In many meetings, we have folks coming together to get status updates or to provide input or ideas. Sometimes it can be quite fun, but not always. Sometimes there can be a lot of energy in the room, but that seems relatively rare.
In the last newsletter, we discussed how emotional intelligence isn’t enough and how we really need emotional leadership. We approached this from a personal, self-leadership perspective. Today, let’s talk about it from a people leadership perspective.
Energy & Motivation
Have you ever noticed how leaders focus on influencing and persuading others to make decisions and take actions? Yes! That is their job, right?
Well… in truth, a leader’s job is to work with others to accomplish something… to create something of value. Often times leaders approach this with reasoning and perspectives and other motivational techniques.
Motivate [moh-tuh-veyt]: to stimulate to action
Often times leaders focus more on the action part and miss or skip over the stimulate part.
So, why don’t people act? As leaders, we often believe it’s because we haven’t given them a big enough reason to overcome the inertia of doing nothing.
Reason isn’t the only part of stimulation.
I believe that true leaders… leaders that we want to follow… don’t just give us the reason. They supply us with what is often missing more than reason.
The best leaders supply us with the ENERGY to move.
You see motivation isn’t just a mental activity. It’s mental and physical. You, as a leader, can’t ignore the physical.
As Brendon Burchard often says “Power plants don’t have energy, they generate energy.” Your job as a leader isn’t simply to set a course and give people reasons to get there. Your job is to also help them to generate the energy to do so. What can you do?
What have you done in the past to liven up your meetings? Do you talk louder? Do you make the room colder so people don’t nod off? Do you sit there and roll your eyes? Do you threaten people with poor performance reviews? Do you throw things at them as they start to nod off?
What if you actually helped your team to generate more energy??? …especially during those dreaded after lunch meetings.
What can you do?
If you notice that your team or teams are lacking in energy, be the leader. Teach them how to generate energy.
Start your meetings off with little physical exercise that will get the juices flowing… not only throughout your body but also throughout your mind and spirit. Sure, they will think that you’re crazy or that you just got out of some goofy motivational seminar and are trying an “exercise-of-the-month”, but don’t let that deter you.
You are a leader and it’s your job lead PEOPLE!
People are not robots. People are not just brains or hands. People are whole beings and human souls. They have a mental component, a spiritual component and a physical component. In order to get the most from your team and help them to become their best, you must lead them in all 3 aspects.
Are you bold enough to handle this? Yes, some people will make faces and roll their eyes at you.
Can you lead ALL aspects of your meetings and your people? Yes, some may even criticize you or make fun of you.
If you are willing to pay those small prices for more productivity and less stress, try these tips:
- Walk more. Ask your team to take the stairs to get to your meeting or take the long way around to the conference room.
- Stand more. Have a standing meeting. Invite people to move around. Changing positions can help folks change perspectives.
- Move more. To start your meeting, have your team (if they are able) stand up and do 10 arm crosses, 10 arm circles, 10 high-knees (marching in place), and/or 10 deep breaths while bouncing on their toes. This will immediately raise the energy in the room.
- Drink more. Ok, I don’t mean adult beverages. (Those actually have the opposite effect of what we’re looking for. 😉 Drink more water. Be sure that there is water at every meeting. Encourage your team to drink more water instead of coffee, tea or sodas.
- Gesture more. I’m Italian so this one comes naturally to me. (I can’t talk without using my hands.) But add some excitement to your meetings. Describe things my moving your body, especially your hands and face.
- Smile more. Smiling is contagious and energy-producing. Add more joy to your meetings and talk about your wins and successes.
- Thank more. Keep a gratitude journal at work. Share a gratitude and thanks at the meeting. Afterwards, send an appreciative note, email, text or instant message to your team members.
- Laugh more. Have a joke of the day or joke of the meeting! (It doesn’t even have to be funny.) Ask one or more of your meeting participants to bring a joke to the meeting. You might be surprised how funny the people are on your team.
Don’t just be an INSPIRATIONAL leader.
Strive to be an INVIGORATIONAL leader too!!
Start adding more energy to your meetings and interactions TODAY!!
Which one of these tips are you willing to try?
Did this spark any new thoughts or approaches for you?
Leave your comments, questions, musings, and suggestions in the comments section below. AND, if you liked this post, please click the fancy (or not so fancy) social media buttons to share it with your friends, followers, connections – heck, share it with your enemies, too – as well as anyone else who creeps at your online.