Our relationships are a key part of our wellbeing. Positive relationships can lift us up, help us live longer and happier lives. Conversely, negative interactions can really drag us down, and leave us spiraling for hours, days, or longer.
My colleague Wayne Baker is a pioneer in energy network analysis in organizations. What does relational energy look like? How does it flow between people? How does it affect our experience of and performance in the workplace?
Relational energy may seem like a someone etherial concept. I mean, we can’t see or touch relational energy, can we? However, it may be more tangible than you realize.
Try this little experiment, based on Wayne’s work:
You can also expand on this experiment by guessing how the other person felt toward you. Did your interaction leave them more positively energized, less positively energized, or neutral? Please note though: this is explicitly a guess. We can be very poor at deciphering how other people really feel about us in any given interaction!
Now that you have this rudimentary data, you can plot a course to more energizing interactions in the workplace. Consider these questions:
Commit to trying some small experiments over the next week or two, and keep a daily journal on what happens!