A Simple Strategy to Re-Energize Others

I thought I knew him pretty well. That’s the problem. I thought I knew him.

I’m disappointed in myself. I should have known him better. Frankly, I pride myself in seeing and respecting people.

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It shouldn’t surprise me that I didn’t know the young leader as well as I thought. I’ve worked with an older leader over 25 years and I’m still learning how to respect his strengths, navigate his weaknesses, and learn from his perspective.


The young man never said I disrespected him. But, I didn’t know him as well as I should. I couldn’t respect his strengths properly.

People who feel understood and respected are energized. People who don’t feel understood feel disrespected, even if you don’t intend it.

Disrespect devalues. Devalued people bring less value.

John R. Stoker, the story of quitting time (1:53): 

“Employees want to know that their leaders care about them as individuals and that they value the contribution that they make.”

John Stoker

4 ways leaders de-energize others:

Devalued people have less energy.

  1. Fixing: You should be more like me.
  2. Judging: I’m better than you.
  3. Assuming: I understand, without exploration, more than you.
  4. Agendas: I don’t care what you think. Just do what I want.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin

How to spot and stop devaluing-behaviors:

John R. Stoker taught me that hot or negative emotions in me indicate I’m judging, fixing, assuming, or pushing my own agenda. I’m devaluing.

Spot engaging in behaviors that devalue others by monitoring your emotions. Frustration or impatience with others signal that you stopped valuing them.

Stop devaluing-behaviors by asking questions and attending to answers.

Curiosity reestablishes respect. Respect energizes.

John R. Stoker on turning off autopilot (1:49):

What makes you feel disrespected?

How can leaders show respect to others?

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