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The Vowels of Coaching: E is for Energy

Energy is needed to both perform and sustain performance. People get energy from different sources:

  • For extraverts energy is gained from other people: brainstorming, having meetings, working in open plan, interactive environments

  • For introverts, energy is gained from within: periods of solitude, having time out and space for reflection and thinking.

Most of us manage and even enjoy some energy from all sources. A problem arises when you get less of the energy you need in the way you prefer to receive it. When this happens and your preference is not satisfied, you are likely to get depleted. Your reduced energy then impacts on how effectively you work and how well you relate to those around you.

Examples where depletion is likely to occur are for

  • extraverts in silent work places where there are few opportunities to discuss ideas and interact

  • introverts in noisy, open plan workplaces that are visually busy e.g. lighting, moving objects and / or where they are spending long periods surrounded by other people

As we cannot redesign most workspaces and most are open plan, most introverts in particular need to find ways to manage themselves so that they remain effective and healthy. Extraverts also need to attend to their need for interaction and arguably they are better catered for in most modern workplaces.

As an introvert myself, I have a special interest in coaching with introverts.

Recognising and acknowledging the relevance and importance of introversion is often the first step to improving your performance and wellbeing. The next step is making changes to your work patterns that support your need for silence and time out. It is necessary to recognise and be prepared to take a stand for your need to be alone and / or silent.

There is pressure to be ‘up’ with people much of the working time. Coaching can help you to

  • identify when and how to ‘hold the line’ and ensure that your precious ‘time out’ is not eroded by others’ demands.

  • Remind you about your need for space and provide the opportunity to explore how, when and where quiet is most important to you.

Some of the strategies that my introvert clients have explored and found useful for them include:

  • going for a walk or a run alone during the day e.g. lunch time

  • having ‘closed door’ time in their diaries

  • using headphones with soft music or even on silent when sitting at your desk or at the gym so that you cannot hear (or be interrupted by) others around you

  • developing a deep focus so that you actually ‘block out’ the noises of others around you

The above options are simple. To ensure that you act on them, you also need to identify and develop support and self-talk to retain and protect your precious energy.

It is most important to find and act on the approach that works best for you.

If this is something you would like to explore, contact Ann


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