How to Plug the Energy Suck and Build High Energy Teams

High energy teams get more done.

Sadly, they don’t teach managers how to track and manage team energy.


Perhaps it’s a topic you’d rather ignore. Just do the work. Don’t worry about fluffy stuff like emotional trajectory or energy networks.

High performance requires high energy.

Assess team energy:

Draw a line through the middle of a piece of paper. The line represents neutral interactions, neither energizing or de-energizing.

Above the line represents a team member who brings positive energy. Below the line represents negative energy.

Place each team member’s bubble on the energy graph. Go with your gut. Include yourself.


  1. Why did you give the energy scores you gave?
  2. What behaviors indicate negative/positive energy?
  3. How might a -2 have more influence than a +2?
  4. What does useful negative energy look like? (Is there such a thing?)
  5. What does useless positive energy look like? (Is there such a thing?)
  6. How might team members bring up negative issues and create positive energy at the same time? Being a positive leader isn’t ignoring negative issues.
  7. What behaviors have the biggest positive or negative impact on team energy?
  8. Who are the team’s energizers? De-energizers?
  9. How might negative/positive team members be best utilized?
  10. After reflection, do you want to adjust your original placement of team members?


Personal reflection:

  1. Where did you place yourself on the energy graph?
  2. Where do you predict others will place you?
  3. Where did others actually place you?
  4. What factors contribute to any variance?

Team conversation:

  1. Where did you fall on the energy graph?
  2. What behaviors drain energy?
  3. What behaviors energize you and/or others?
  4. How might you have negative conversations in energizing ways?

How might a team energy graph be utilized with your team?

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