New Vitae Wellness and Recovery’s Leadership Committee hosted Karla Chin, Wellness Division President for eXude, Inc. on 1/29/15. While she frequently provides wellness coaching and holistic mental health counseling, Karla’s training, entitled, “The Resilient Leader,” emphasized the importance of recognizing and owning one’s energy in meeting day-to-day challenges and called on each participant to consider ways to adjust habits that may be detrimental to personal goals.
Karla initiated the discussion by identifying two types of energy: catabolic (which tends to be destructive) and anabolic (constructive and growth-oriented). Each of us can bring either negative or positive energy into a situation, but catabolic energy can result in blaming others or a feeling of fear when it comes to making decisions and taking next steps. Alternatively, Karla suggested bringing anabolic energy to any situation. In this way, we will have a wider range of view on the situation, will promote healing and build goodwill, and will have a better understanding when navigating a difficult situation. After identifying the types of energy, Karla devoted time to reviewing the Seven Levels of Energy. Based on Dr. Bruce Schneider’s Energy Leadership Index Model, Karla identified each level, and provided concrete examples of how it feels to bring varying levels of energy to manage a difficult situation. While an individual may be at a particular level at any given time, it is important to recognize one’s level and be able to gradually adjust thinking processes to achieve a realistic, wider view of the challenging situation. The Energy Levels included:
Level 1: The Victim: One’s frame of reference is, “I lose.” People feel powerless and believe that nothing changes. There is little need to assume responsibility, but a person does not feel as if they are able to make an impact on the challenge.
Level 2: The Fighter: The individual’s frame of reference is, “I win, you lose.” This level emphasizes a person’s worth based only on achievement. It results in a person seeking control of others or of a situation at all costs.
Level 3: The Rationalizer: The frame of reference at this energy level is, “I win, and if you win too, great!” The emphasis is on interpreting situations in a way that makes one feel better about him/herself. It may result in manipulation of facts in order to prove one’s view is the right view.
Level 4: The Caregiver: At this level, the frame of reference is, “You win.” It places an emphasis on helping others, and trying to fix everything, but may still include judgments on others.
Level 5: The Opportunist: At this level, one’s frame of reference is, “We both win.” This level of energy permits us to see more solutions to a common problem, and shares a belief that for an individual to win, we all must benefit and win through a challenging situation.
Level 6: The Visionary: The visionary’s frame of reference is, “Everyone always wins.” At this level, a person is able to access intuition and is very open to the mysteries of life. There is a strong feeling of connection to all things, even in situations some may consider painful.
Level 7: The Creator of Experiences: At this level, a person may believe that winning and losing are illusions. People are able to create brilliant ideas and there is no fear or judging. While this level may not be easily accessible to everyone at all times, it results in a genuine passion and interest in life.
Karla suggested that for each level of energy, a different pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behavior emerges that can either promote or stymy progress, happiness, and fulfillment in both personal and professional goals.
Karla also provided audience members with a copy of a personal wellness tool known as The Wheel of Life. Trainees were asked to self-rate their current levels of satisfaction with various life domains, including finances, spirituality, relationships, and career goals. The wheel provided participants with a visual picture of potential life imbalances for further consideration, exploration, and goal setting.
Karla ended the conversation with suggestions on ways to quickly adjust our energy levels when faced with particular challenges. Her suggestions of striking a confidence-building pose, physical activity, and smiling can all work to adjust our physical and emotional responses to life’s challenges.
Overall, many participants suggested that they would be incorporating the information into their personal and professional lives through journaling, goal setting, and ultimately, working to recognize and take ownership for one’s energy level. Special thanks to Ms. Chin for an invigorating and revitalizing training!