Motivation can take on many forms from physical rewards and incentives (Extrinsic) to the more subtleties of recognition, fulfillment and general emotional satisfaction (Intrinsic). As human beings we don’t function or perform solely on motivation; we also need energy. But what do we mean by energy and how does it manifest itself in the workplace?
In this context energy is primarily sourced from our thoughts, beliefs and behaviors; essentially how we, as human beings, show up. Bruce Schneider of iPEC Coaching has done quite considerable research into this arena and he points to two major types of energy that are at opposite ends of a continuum.
- Anabolic – this is positive energy and is characterized by constructive mindset intent on building relationships. This positivity is promoted through congruence with values and beliefs, and with a connection to personal purpose. Possibility is apparent and people in this space are active participants and want to achieve results. There is a contagion affect and people are attracted to those with this energetic state. At the highest level they have won the game before it starts; they know what they want and act appropriately and accordingly.
- Catabolic – this type of energy is destructive and harmful to individuals and organizations. Apathy and anger are very apparent and there is a propensity for conflict and people being in the victim mode. This negativity causes people to disengage and, at best, passive which in turn fosters more catabolic energy. The attitude is defiance and total unwillingness to contribute as they feel they have no power, no choice and consequently no chance of success.
However, by virtue of these being driven by thoughts, beliefs and behaviors, they can be changed. Establishing self awareness around where you are at predominantly along this continuum is a great starting point. Even though we might have a predominant state, depending on circumstances, we also oscillate back and forth (good days and bad days!). However once this is better understood you can begin the process of moving to a place of choice and create action towards your desired state.