Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In search of "energizers"

A study out of the University of Virginia found that "someone who is energizing elevates the performance of other people around them."

But "energizers" are different than high-energy people with lots of charisma, who tend to "generate what psychologists call 'high arousal emotions' in others."

Energizing behavior is about letting other people know they matter. The ability to energize isn’t a function of personality; it has to do with the behaviors you exhibit in your interactions with others. For example, when someone comes into your office to speak with you, you devote your physical presence and undivided attention to that person. Even a shy person can be energizing in this way.

An energizer isn’t a cheerleader or a wild-eyed optimist; he simply focuses on the opportunities rather than the constraints. When energizers hear a suggestion they disagree with, instead of dismissing it outright, they’ll search for what’s good in that suggestion. De-energizing people tend to be more negative, focusing on all the reasons why you can’t do something.