The Positive Energy Workplace

Signs You’re Sucking Energy Out of the Room (and What to Do About It)

I had a meeting with my team last week. All of us were prepared, we had some good stuff to dig into. Everyone showed up on time, checked in, confirmed our agenda, and then…

I blew it.

Yep, me, as the team leader… blew it.

How? My presence. Despite being prepared, having all the “stuff” I needed to have to have a great meeting, and all the right “actions” – my presence was off.

Our normally high vibration, present, positive energy meetings, turned into dysfunctional sludge; the sludge had nothing to do with what I said or did – it was my energy and what I brought into that Google Hangout.

Fortunately, I quickly realized I was sinking the “room”, was able to name it, reboot, and get us back on track. (Ironic. Here we are, a company helping people up-level presence in order to be more effective in their leadership and impact, and I had just sucked the energy out of the room. With my beautiful team. Wow.)

How awesome.

So what happened?

Couple things… First, this was not an acute episode; I wasn’t just having a bad moment or an “off” morning, this was cumulative. Some “time integrity” and missed deadline issues with two of our vendors in the previous 24 hours that happened to coincide at the perfectly imperfect moment and would now require some big magic, coupled with my own leadership fail in not fully honoring my intuition, staying more on top of it and checking in, had me crabby. I thought it’d been “cleaned up” with requests, feedback, learning, and re-designs, but here, now, I realized it wasn’t.

I’d brought that energy into my meeting with me.

I was officially the “lowest vibration” in the room.

Had I continued to lead from this energetic state, our meeting would have bombed, my team would have been bummed, and we’d have a soul-sucking vs. life-giving experience. Not my desire.

Can you relate?

This happens. Fortunately, all is never lost. So what to do?

Here are some best practices to DO:

Do Notice: Notice when your energy is off and the impact on the team. Just notice. What are you bringing? What’s the impact? If they’re there to rock, and your vibe is not, you’ve got work to do.

Do Reboot: Once you’ve noticed it, reboot. Come back to presence, breathe, and ask yourself: "What’s actually here, right now, in this moment? What’s the impact I want to have? How would I like to show up?" The breath and noticing alone will shift presence.

Do Name It: Name your negative impact and presence, take responsibility for it, and then ask for the support you need. (In this case, the support I needed was simply to have everyone reboot, give it some grace, and table a discussion for process improvement with our vendors.)

Do Use it / Learn from it: There is a reason your presence is off. Get curious. What can you learn from this event as a team? What do you personally need to learn as a leader? Check it out. (Note: If you find there’s more to do to clean the situation up further, honor that sense and do it.)

Do Have Grace: This is essential; for yourself and for others. Allow for the “space and grace” to notice, reboot, and learn from it. You’ll recover more quickly, learn faster, and become more resilient as individuals and as a team.

Here are some don’ts:

Don’t ignore it or try to work around or over it: It’s there, they feel it. Deal with it.

Don’t get lost in your head: “OMG, I blew it! I blew it! This sucks!” When we get lost in our head, we’re not present for them anyway – double fail. Get “back out there”.

Don’t blame anyone else for your state: Own it and its impact. If it serves and helps the learning or moving the team forward, share what’s up, but not from the energy of blame. Take accountability and make requests.

Don’t complain: Whatever has impacted your state will likely present in the form of a complaint, however there can be great learning there in the form of a request; what would you like instead? Find the request or suggestion and lead from there.

Don’t beat yourself up: No good comes from this – ever. Instead notice it, pat yourself on the back for noticing it, learning from it, and making it productive.

That’s it! Tanking the room, or just in a mood? Clean it up. Energetic hygiene in these scenarios is about awareness, being curious and kind to yourself when you blow it, finding the learning, being accountable for your stuff, and simply showing up in service of what’s here now.

Go get ‘em. To your high vibe Monday and being a positive contribution to any room you walk in to.


This article first appeared on on July 18, 2016.


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