A Simple Project that Nudges Managers to Notice Others.

The shift from focusing on yourself to noticing others is essential to successful management.

Systems and processes are essential, but people get things done.

A manager’s performance is elevating the performance of others.

Managers notice environments and people.

  1. How does the environment feel? Hinder? Elevate?
  2. How are people interacting with each other?
  3. What is the energy level of individuals or teams?


In a recent coaching conversation an executive worked on helping managers notice others.

I asked, “What do you do when you notice others?” He responded, “I notice energy.” We explored this a bit. Eventually I asked, “What’s important about noticing energy?”

He responded, “I want an environment where people enjoy coming to work.”

More noticing behaviors:

  1. Discuss performance issues in a timely manner.
  2. Walk around.
  3. Learn about people as individuals.
  4. Drop in and ask how things are going.

I asked, “Which of your strategies for noticing might be useful to your manager?”

“I think noticing energy,” he replied.


Ask your manager to give each team member an energy score in the morning and afternoon for one week. 1 is near death and 10 is near ecstasy. Just a gut reaction.

Plot the morning and afternoon numbers on a line graph. Debrief with your manager at the end of the week.


  1. What do you notice about noticing?
  2. How did you come to the energy numbers you gave people?
  3. What might energize people on your team? De-energize?
  4. How might you fuel energy?

The point of the project is to nudge managers toward noticing. It’s not intended to evaluate employees.


  1. What increases energy or de-energizes employees.
  2. Where people are spinning their wheels.
  3. When people speak with energy or their eyes shine.
  4. When body language is open or closed.
  5. How people respond to challenge, correction, pressure, or opportunity.

How might managers learn to notice others?

Next level project: Have your entire team plot each other’s energy for a week. Have them include themselves. Compare and discuss.