Feeling sick and tired? Here’s how to re-energise yourself and your team

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear someone exclaim how tired, unwell, or stressed they have been feeling lately. The pressure to do more, especially when the body seems to be saying “Enough!”, appears to be reaching a breaking point of sorts.

As we near the half way point of 2024, it’s worthwhile for leaders to be aware of this trend – including if they are experiencing it themselves – and avoid sweeping it under the rug in favour of a “keep on keeping on” mindset. When cracks appear, it’s unlikely that they’ll resolve spontaneously on their own, and (rather than painting over them) we can catalyse exciting change if we investigate their true cause and take action.  

So what are the causes underlying all this stress, fatigue, and sickness? While it’s tempting to blame the events of the day – such as the after-effects of a global pandemic or pressures brought on by inflation – the truth often lies much closer to home.  

Learning to use our energy wisely

Despite beliefs to the contrary, humans don’t always have infinite energy levels. Especially when our nervous system is under stress, there’s only so much we can pack into it before it starts shutting down.

If we apply this thinking to the leadership landscape, we can become wiser about how we manage the energy in ourselves, others, and collectively in our teams. We can do away with our assumptions about how much energy or capability we feel should exist, and examine what part we may be playing in keeping energy levels low. 

Some of the common practices that tend to inhibit energy include:

  • micromanagement
  • deficit-based leadership approaches
  • ad hoc or overly rigid work allocation
  • lack of training.

For example, when we micromanage ourselves or others, we create a constrictive and disempowering environment – a huge energy sapper. If we are always focussing on weaknesses or tasking people with activities that they don’t have the skills to do, we are also creating the perfect conditions for low energy. 

To escape this cycle, leaders need to know how to manage energy in the same way as they manage time. It’s a skill that must be learned, respected, and consistently applied. Unlike time though, the better we manage energy, the more of it we get!

Managing your own and others’ energy requires recognising the practices that drain energy and replacing them with their direct opposite. In practical leadership terms, this means:

  • vision and purpose, over task orientation
  • thoughtful human connection, over silos or futile meetings
  • strengths and talents, over weaknesses
  • honest conversations, over avoidance
  • mentoring and training, over neglect.

When we choose the mindsets, strategies, and actions that align with higher energy states, we are able to cultivate new levels of resilience and engagement within us and inspire the same in our teams.

How coaching can help

1:1 leadership coaching can be very effective in helping individuals identify where they are losing energy, and what needs to change so they have the space to uncover where their untapped energy lies.

Team leadership coaching also empowers leaders to pinpoint what isn’t working and why – enabling them to develop practical strategies that address these issues at their core. This then inspires greater resilience and a renewed sense of purpose for themselves and those around them.

Rather than waiting to find out if the second half of 2024 will bring some miraculous shift in energy levels for yourself and your team, why not take steps now to ensure it does? Visit 1:1 coaching or learn more about in-person and online team coaching workshops here.

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