Ever notice how your level of energy increases when you work with people who are enthusiastic and upbeat? How when new programs and ideas are introduced to you with positive energy, you sit up and listen? And how when your colleagues give you their undivided attention, you feel energized? Maybe you’re one of those lucky people who naturally exudes enough positive energy to light up a whole city block. But even if you haven’t inherited the positive energy gene, you can learn how to develop the power of personal positivity at work and in your life.
Here are my five favorite tips for powering up your personal energy and scoring a positivity home run!
1. Clear the air of energy killers.
People who are negative, critical and uninterested reduce your energy. Steer clear of them if you can. But what do you do when it’s your lack of energy and enthusiasm that’s drawing you down? How do you steer clear of your energy depleters? When you don’t feel enthusiastic you can fake it ‘till you make it. Acting enthusiastic helps you get your second wind. Norman Vincent Peale said “If you are lacking in enthusiasm, by simply acting enthusiastic, you can make yourself enthusiastic.” It’s like a shot of adrenaline, because you trick your mind into feeling enthusiasm for real.
When your audience of one or one hundred responds with enthusiasm, they can power you up and feed your energy. Once you get plugged into each other, you and your audience will feed each other. That means, you won’t have to work so hard, and your audience will have more fun and get more out of your interaction.
Use enthusiasm to power up your energy levels, and see what happens!
2. Know when you are giving your best performance.
Learn where your highest performance energy level is so you can perform at your best and know when you are fully on and when you are starting to lose energy. Identify your place of peak energy, enthusiasm and attention. Create a mental marker of how you feel when you’re at your best, and memorize it so that when you feel like you are losing energy, you can perk yourself up and operate at your best be it during formal presentations, small group meetings, or one on one.
Stay focused, present and enthusiastic and you will raise the level of positive energy with your audience. Closely observe your audience and be flexible and adaptable to their responses to enhance your connection. This will also help you develop and hone your communications skills, to keep your edge and improve your personal interactions.
Even if you’re scared, or your feet hurt or you don’t feel like doing what you’re doing, smile anyway. Smiling raises your energy, and it raises the energy in the room. Studies show you can actually hear someone smiling over the phone. A smile changes the tone of a speaker’s voice, and creates a warmer response from the person who is listening. There’s power in a great smile! Consider role-playing your smile with a trusted friend or coach as many people feel they are grinning like a clown only to be told that they need to smile.
4. Maintain your personal level of energy and enthusiasm.
Do you give one or two presentations over and over again? Maybe it’s time to shake things up and recharge your battery. You don’t have to write a whole new script, just make some key changes to keep you on your toes and liven things up for you and the audience.
One great way to do this is by shining the light on other people and sharing the limelight. Be inclusive, invite others to participate, and have co-presenters. Including other people creates higher group energy. That lets you catch your breath and power down for a few minutes while the energy moves around the room.
Take breaks to feed yourself, so you have energy to pass along to others. Try taking a walk around the block instead of getting your coffee to go. Sit in a chair for a minute, close your eyes and savor the smell of your drink. No one is able to be ‘on’ all the time. Take a time-out so you can really shine when it’s your time to be on, and then stay focused, remain present, be enthusiastic and keep your energy high!
5. Monitor/be aware of your level of enthusiasm, especially for longer interactions.
In other words, know when you’re wilting. Think of it as your personal voltage meter. If your mind begins to wander or you can’t pay full attention to the other person when you’re in a conversation, it’s time to step away and get your energy levels up again.
Don’t be on autopilot. Your energy will sag and people will notice. A red flag that you’re waning is when you are distracted in a conversation and begin tuning out, watching what’s going on around you instead of paying full attention. You may just be tired, but the other person is likely to feel dismissed or under-valued. If you can’t take a break right then, try taking a deep breath, putting on a big smile and making a conscious effort to remain in the moment. Sometimes that’s all you need to get a power surge and get back on track.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson