4 Ways to Change the Energy Conversation!



Guest post from Achim Nowak:

We love to run personality
profiles on our leaders. These profiles offer cognitive frameworks to help us better
understand our behavior preferences and tendencies.  They may also, I fear, entirely miss the heart
of the matter.
 
Consider
this:

Sandy
Pentland and Daniel Olguin at MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab
outfitted five
executives with devices that recorded data on their social signals – not what
they said, but their tone of voice, gesticulation, proximity to others,
personal energy, and more. All that is not spoken. Pentland and Olguin call
these signals honest signals.
The honest signals
of these executives were tracked just days before each appeared before a panel
of judges to present a business plan. Without reading or hearing their pitches
to the panel, without any inkling at all of what the executives would actually
propose, Pentland and Olguin forecast who would present the winning plan.
Accurately, of course.
When asked which
honest signals are most clearly identified with successful people, Pentland’s
answer is emphatic: “The more successful people are more energetic.” (Harvard Business Review, January 2010)
A resounding YES
to this insight!  It entirely matches
what I witness in my work as an executive coach. No matter how skilled any of
us are at what we do – if our personal energy is not expansive, visceral,
infectious, our impact in the world is significantly hampered. And yet,
we
tend to avoid a deeper conversation about the energy experience. Carl Jung’s
division of personality types into introverts and extroverts still serves as
the most prevalent Western benchmark of how we access energy. Introverts,
according to Jung, tend to derive energy from thoughts and ideas while
extroverts tend to derive it from other people.
This
energy-duality-lens is limiting and simply not very helpful. Let us, instead, have
a conversation about personal energy that transcends simplistic cognitive
labels. Let us consider the presence of a “big energy.” Cultures throughout
history have found language to describe this energy. The most common phrase attributed
to it is “life force.” The Hindus call it prana,
the Japanese ki, the Chinese qi or chi. There are almost 100 other names associated with this energy
in as many different cultures. More importantly, there are very specific
techniques for accessing this “big” energy. They are easily learned.
So –
let us introduce our leaders to expansive energy frameworks and practices. Here
are four which they may find immediately energizing:
The Chakras
      Our spinal cord acts as an energy highway
that allows energy to move from the base
      to the top of the head and out.  Seven major chakras serve as energy centers
that
      line our spine, beginning at its base and
leading up to the crown of our head.    
     Techniques for opening our chakras are
readily learned. The moment we know how
      to access the chakras, our energetic
connections with others are heightened!
The
Chi-Catalysts
Chi is the Chinese term
for “life force.” Its presence is the underlying principle for all
Chinese
medicine. Unlike the kundalini energy which we access through our chakras, chi travels through energy channels
called meridians that crisscross our entire body. When these channels are open,
we are vitalized!
Practices
such as qi gong, reiki, acupuncture, tai chi, Alexander Technique, reflexology,
and yoga unleash the flow of chi.
  1. NLP
Neuro-linguistic
Programming (NLP) is an annoyingly academic name for a rather intuitive approach
to noticing the verbal and energetic cues of another person. By mirroring and
matching the cues we receive, we get on the same wavelength with the other
person and accelerate the connection. We end up “being in synch.”  NLP techniques are common-sense and readily
learned.
4.   
Symbolic
Imagery
For
individuals who are stirred by symbols and mythic imagery, power animals may be
a fast track to accessing vast hidden energies.
All Native American
cultures incorporate the primal energy of animals into their world view. They
call it “power animals.” Very specific practices can be learned to help us
connect with the energy of power animals.

The beauty of these four
areas of energy knowledge? They are available to every one of us. They have
been practiced with great success by introverts and extroverts. Once learned,
they propel us toward more energetic connections with every person we meet.
That is powerful indeed!

Achim Nowak is the
author of Infectious: How to Connect
Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within
(Skyhorse, 2013) and Power Speaking: The art of the Exceptional
Public Speaker
(Allworth Press).  An
internationally recognized authority on leadership presence, Achim has coached
Fortune 500 executives around the globe. He is the founder and president
ofInfluens, a coaching and training firm based in South Florida.