“Rather than waste time managing morale, consider managing your own energy. Then watch as your team feeds off it.”— Misti Burmeister

Change is an inevitable part of any growing business. But it also makes people nervous about how the outcomes will affect them.

So how do you help your team embrace change rather than fear it? Simply check your energy. Because their energy (positive or negative) is a direct result of yours.

Case in point: While preparing to reorganize her department, Gina – the CIO of a large company – brought her leadership team together to discuss the pending changes, including:

  • What is? (the current state of the department)
  • What could be? (her vision for the future)
  • What’s standing in the way? (the obstacles for achieving the vision) 

After discussing these topics, we transitioned to the conversation of fear.

Several leaders shared their concerns about how the changes would affect them and their teams. Namely, they didn’t want to fire anyone, and they were unsure whether they had the skill sets necessary to lead their teams through such a radical shift in direction.

These fears made perfect sense, and Gina did an exceptional job addressing them.

Then a young man in the last row stood up. He was hunched over, with his shoulders rolled forward, as if he was feeling uncertain, fearful, and perhaps timid about speaking up.

“How do I manage morale?” he asked. “It’s been very low in my group for a while, and telling them about this reorganization might make things worse.”

It was a valid question – one with a very simple answer (though simple is rarely easy).

“The only way to manage morale is to manage your own energy,” I suggested. “Imagine what would happen if you enthusiastically shared the new direction with your team, and explained how you will help them reach new levels of success as a result of this transition.”

Change is challenging for everyone, but when people know their leaders are committed to their greatness, they will take the ball and run with it.

Rather than waste time managing morale, consider managing your own energy. Then watch as your team feeds off it.

Here’s how:

  1. Start right. Start every day with a dose of inspiration. Listen to motivational speakers or inspirational song, or read something uplifting.
  2. Expose what’s critical. Write down the top three most critical outcomes you will generate each day, and make them your focus. This is an excellent way to keep your energy pouring into people and projects that will help you reach your greater goals.
  3. Squeeze. Keep a tally of the people/projects that give you energy. Seek always to spend time with them. Intentionally limit your time with those who drain your energy. Eventually the negative forces will get squeezed out. 

The only way to change the energy of the people in your life (at work or home) is to adjust your own habits to support the energy and life inside you.

Take a look at your posture, tone of voice, and actions. Do they add to the energy of those in your spheres of influence, or do they take away from it? If it’s the latter, then your energy needs some work.

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Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations and Hidden Heroes

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