Work is stressful at times. I guess you can say that’s just the way it is. The stress is caused by the task at hand, other people; most often a combination of the two. Everybody has to deal with a challenging situation from time to time. I certainly have. Some days I handled them well, on other days, not so much. You’ve probably heard the phrase, it’s not what happens, but how you handle it? I’ve used it in one-on-one conversations and speeches. Yet on occasion my response to challenging situations is not as good as it should have been, knowing what I know. Why the difference? One word – energy.

In my world, energy comes in two forms: the will and the way. The will is the let’s just get it done mindset. No matter how tired, plow through. Deadlines must be met, and projects completed paying little attention to communication styles and feelings. The let’s get it done approach works in the short run and in certain circumstances, necessary. But there is a downside which include, but are not limited to poor communication, low morale, burnout, absenteeism and turnover.

When emotional energy is high, I found better ways to listen and respond. It is much easier to practice “It’s not what I say, but how I say it.” When upbeat and positive, I serendipitously transmit it to others. The way I feel determines my energy. I learned to pay attention to it.

I gained more insight regarding energy while interviewing a job applicant. She talked about energy and metaphysical stuff which made no sense to me at the time. She had a lot of innovative ideas, so I hired her. It would have been expedient to hire someone like me, but we were much more effective as an organization because of the diversity of thought. There is the will and there is the way. I give both my full attention and I am better as a result.