Aetna has Andy Lee, a Chief Mindfulness Officer. Corporate Consultants are rebranding themselves as Chief Inspiration Officers. Tony Schwartz, author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance, champions the notion of a Chief Energy Officer.
Yes, these job descriptors can sound a little trendy. Creative job titles such as these, however, speak to what, deep down, we all long for. Less drudgery at work. More inspiration. An energized and energizing ride.
If you’re fortunate, you work in a Silicon Valley work culture like Zappos where every aspect of the organizational design is intended to motivate and energize you. Free lunches. Freedom to decorate your meeting spaces. Free life-coaching. An explicit work culture that does much of the energizing for you.
Chances are, you’re not employed at Zappos, and you will not suddenly be anointed Chief Energy Officer where you currently work. Don’t let that hold you back. Here are 5 habits that will help you to immediately become the inspirational Chief Energy Officer you long to be – and the person your colleagues long to engage with:
- Notes of Appreciation
Show that you noticed. Saying it, especially when the saying reveals the specifics you observed, is terrific. But when you write it down, not in an email, no, in an old-school note-appreciation-card – wow, then it carries the weight and impact of a well-considered gesture.
Write 1 note of appreciation a week. It takes less than 5 minutes to do so. It will be an exhilarating energy catalyst.
- Happy Endings
Have great meetings. Disagree vigorously. Challenge each other. And at the end, affirm the fire and spirit of the discourse that occurred. The Happy-Ending-Affirmation may come from you. Or invite every meeting participant to affirm each other, out loud, before you leave the room.
No meeting ends without a vigorous affirmation of the positive that occurred.
- Passionate Curiosity
Even when you’re sure of a course of action, even when you feel like you do not wish to be derailed by a tangential comment, stay curious. Yes. DON’T BE RIGHT, BE CURIOUS. Your curiosity will energize everyone around you.
Talk less, ask more. In every situation. Even when you think you have all the answers.
- Conscious Optimism
While you’re caught in a crappy day, as you have grave doubts about a course of action, face your reality, in that moment. Face it – but refrain from unloading every detail of your anxiety on those around you. Speak your truth, but infuse it with optimism.
Consciously stated faith and optimism will energize those around you. It will energize you. Constant worrying will not.
- “Speak Energy:”
Make energy not just something you experience – use energy language to describe how you feel in a moment or receive the communication by another person. “I was energized by the conversation we just had.” “I’m always energized after meeting with you.” “Your energy is infectious.”
When we begin to explicitly describe a human encounter in terms of energy, we help the other person to more consciously experience the energy of a moment, as well. And energy is the deepest level of connection between two individuals. Powerful.
The beauty of these 5 simple habits: While we energize others with these behaviors, we also energize ourselves. We become, in fact, our very own Chief Energy Officer. How very cool is that!