Great Leaders Move Energy: Do You?

The energy was good.

We’ve all had that thought at the end of an excellent meeting, right? After a great conversation. We may have, in fact, uttered those very words.I facilitated a corporate retreat a few months ago. I enjoyed my group immensely. Good energy, I thought to myself. My language of choice – but then I’m a personal-energy-kinda-guy. As we said our good-byes, however, a few of the folks in my group also commented that the energy was good. That moved me. It wasn’t just me. The energy WAS good. And it was felt.Traditional leadership experts (Brian Tracy comes to mind) like to break the notion of personal energy into physical energy, mental energy, and emotional. I have it, and everyone else who’s in the same physical space has it as well. As these energies interact in one physical space, they merge, mingle, ignite each other. Hopefully my body is energized, my thoughts are sharp, clear, intentional, and positively directed toward others. And hopefully my emotions are in support of what I wish to accomplish in this gathering.Cool. But let’s delve a little deeper into our understanding of energy. If you’re metaphysically inclined, you know that all of us have spirit of soul energy, whether we consciously experience it or not. At the most universal level, everything is and has energy. Plants have energy, objects have energy, rooms have energy. My computer screen has energy. So does my phone. I remember a conversation I had with a limousine driver in Chicago as he was taking me to O’hare. We were noting how the dark, dreary skies had an impact on our mood. Then he linked this weather sensation that we all know to a previous profession of his.I used to be a housing inspector, he said. I have inspected hundreds of houses. Don’t let anyone tell you that houses don’t have energy.Energy. Everywhere. And if we hold any sort of formal leadership role, it behooves us to know how to move and shape energy. Because energy is there, and it’s real. I no longer believe that good energy is a mere luck of the draw. Sure, with some folks we feel more in sync than with others. But good energy is something we ignite, capture, circulate and recirculate.Here are some of the ways in which we do so. I call them the touches. I like this word because we cannot “force” collective energy. I realize the notion of moving energy can sound a little woo-woo. Allow me to un-woo-woo it a bit. Here are some touches for you to play with: 1. The Light Touch.Choose light over somber. Choose playful over pedantic.I do not propose that we take a serious concern and trivialize it. “Make light” of it. But when we treat a matter, a concern, a person, a group with a light touch, we move the energy of the moment toward a playful exchange. A joyous exchange. This moves energy instead of keeping it stuck. And it tends to stir our souls at their very core. 2. The Improvisational Touch. When something isn’t going as planned, choose flow over fighting the moment.An improviser sees a creative opportunity in any event. Even in the conversation that seems to go nowhere, the meeting that veers off on a tangent. Instead of resisting the unexpected, folks with an improvisational touch ride the wave of the moment. They explore the unexpected instead of trying to contain it. The moment we improvise, energy moves. 3. The Boomerang Touch.Choose to notice instead of ignoring. Choose to “pick up on it” instead of rejecting.With a boomerang mindset, I pay attention to everything an individual or group of folks is sending my way. Their sense of humor. Their language rhythm. Their tone of expression. Their physicality. I hit the “same wavelength” button. I intentionally use the language of others. I match their rhythm. I send it right back to them. I surrender to their tone (unless I decide it needs shifting). Energy suddenly feeds upon energy. Yes, it boomerangs.4 The Expanding Touch. Choose to seize a micro-stimulus and amplify it.It’s the boomerang touch on steroids. I notice an impulse, a spark, a theme, and I decide to run with it. Someone mentions the word success, and I go on a riff on the connotations of success. Someone makes an extravagant gesture, and I reciprocate with a cavalcade of extravagant gestures of my own. I enlarge. Magnify. Turn it into something. Small energy is amplified and becomes infectious. And infectious energy is near impossible to resist.Energy movers aren’t control freaks or energy dictators. They simply notice energy. Catch it. Run with it. Sounds like a sports metaphor now that I think of it. A sport in which everyone wins.And most sports are terrifically energizing, aren’t they?Related: How APPROACHABLE Are You?