My college basketball coach used to say, “Be an energy giver, not an energy sucker.” It was important that every player had a positive attitude, communicated well, cheered each other on, and gave 100% energy on the court and on the bench. If one person was pouting about a missed shot or complaining about the refs, it could bring the whole team down.
In college, I was never the player who was going to score the most points or have the most rebounds, but giving energy was something I could do. I really took that to heart, trying my best every day to lift up my teammates and enhance morale. I cheered for every made basket and every defensive stop; I thanked my teammate for the good pass; I worked as hard as I possibly could. I became a successful two-year captain, despite my lack of all-star status.
In this virtual world where we’re on Zoom calls all day, people are exhausted. “Zoom fatigue” is real. I’ve been thinking a lot about my old role of “energy giver” and how I can bring that to work. Just like in college, I’m generally not the “all-star” in the room. I’m in meetings with Fortune 500 CEOs and world-renowned physicians. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take charge of the meeting and be a great energy-giving captain.
Helping Your Teams Push Through Fatigue
Here are five ways to infuse energy into your next meeting:
- Celebrate. Start the meeting with something positive. Ask the group what the best part of their week has been, or what they’re looking forward to about the weekend. Not only does this allow people to get to know each other on a more personal level, but it also sets the tone for the rest of the meeting. I’ve found that spending a few minutes celebrating makes the rest of the meeting more fun and productive.
- Show gratitude. Say thank you. Let people know that their hard work matters. Feeling and expressing gratitude can bring energy to you and to the person you’re appreciating. And after a year where most of us have been confined in our homes and might be feeling lonely, stagnant, or just plain bored, hearing unsolicited praise could definitely change the way a person feels about their day.
- Spread optimism. You might be tackling a tough problem or up against a tough deadline, but it’s not helpful to dwell on the negative. If the group starts complaining or worrying about what could go wrong, help them shift to imagining what’s possible. Your positive words and energy might just be the push people need to approach their challenge with a more optimistic attitude.
- Give that little extra effort. A little extra effort goes a long way. This might mean you’re coming to a brainstorming session with some well thought-out ideas or coming to a meeting with more progress made on your project than your peers were expecting. If others see you putting in the work, they’ll want to pick up their game as well.
- Smile. It sounds simple, but start and end your meetings with a smile. Smiles are contagious – if someone is smiling at you (even over Zoom), it’s pretty hard not to smile back. And we could all use a little more smiling in our days.
If you haven’t considered what you’re doing to improve the energy and attitude among your peers and teams, now is the time.