What is your energy level right now? How are you showing up at home, work, or school?
I just finished reading a great book called “Energy Leadership” by Bruce Schneider, where he discusses the impact of both low/negative energy and high/positive energy in our lives and relationships.
In Bruce’s book, he says that people have seven energy levels — the first two are negative energy levels, and the other five are positive energy levels. What was shocking about his research was that he found that 85% of people are living in Levels 1 or 2 energy!
Take a look at the levels below:
Level 1: Apathy. People at this level feel like a victim. Nothing is going right in their life, and there is nothing they can do about it. “I lose.”
Level 2: Anger. People at this level are in conflict. Everything is a battle, and they are determined to fight. “You lose.”
Level 3: Forgiveness. People at this level are able to take responsibility for their lives and begin to do the work they need to make their lives happier. “I win.”
Level 4: Compassion. People at this level are helpers. They want to make sure others are happy. “You win.”
Level 5: Peace. People at this level are not just helpers, they understand that both parties can “win” and set up interactions so “We both win.”
Level 6: Joy. People who can achieve level six look beyond the situation and can understand that each person is unique and that there are no challenges or problems, just opportunities. “Everyone always wins.”
Level 7: Absolute Passion. People who achieve this level of energy reach a state of transcendence where they are connected directly with their higher power. These people understand that there is not such thing as winning or losing, we just are. “Winning and losing are illusions.”
Think about a recent interaction you’ve had with someone that hasn’t gone as well as you would have liked. What energy level were you showing up as in that interaction? What energy level were they showing up as? How do you think the interaction would have been different if you brought a different Energy Level to the table?
My boss recently had a difficult meeting with a contractor we use at work. The contractor had been so upset by past interactions, they had resorted to hiring legal counsel. In this interaction, my boss didn’t show up at a Level 1 (Why do I have to deal with these people? I hate my job.) or a Level 2 (I am going to make them really pay for hiring those attorneys), he entered the meeting with a Level 5 energy (we can both win). He asked them to explain, in detail, what they were upset about.
As they explained, he realized that their interpretation of the situation was inaccurate. They believed that they were the underdogs and that they were being taken advantage of. What they didn’t know is that they were one of the top three contractors for the year. When my boss explained this to them, they were shocked! That information took them from a Level 1 energy (we’re victims) to a Level 2 (we want to fight to ‘win’ this).
When my boss informed them that their score for the year revealed them to not only be one of the top revenue contractors, but one of the top scored contractors, they were ecstatic. This shifted their energy from a Level 2 to a Level 3 immediately. Instead of my boss having a long, drawn-out, level 1 and 2 discussion with these folks, he was able to raise their energy out of negative and into positive and the rest of the meeting went exceptionally well.
How can you use this information to have better relationships and interactions today?