Managing Team Energy

When carrying out projects, there are peaks and valleys in everyone’s work load. When people know that they are going to have to push really hard at some times and less so at other times, they are better prepared to function efficiently. Therefore, an effective leader must manage a team’s energy across different settings: within a team, one-on-one, and across the process. Because there is no one formula for energy management, project leaders need to navigate each of those settings and provide different aspects of trust or psychological safety as needed.

In other words, an effective leader sets up environments where people can show up, share their thoughts, disagree with something, or offer a different point of view and be heard. The leader or manager is there to deescalate energy when it rises, or allow it to get intense if it’s needed — and always brings it back to a place of productivity.

This is important if you don’t want your people to burn out, but instead maintain a consistently high rate of quality outputs and high outcomes. Think of it as related to exercise. If you decide on an hour-long workout but give 100% of your energy in the beginning of the workout, you might have trouble finishing. But if you manage the major exertions of energy, and take time to rest in between intervals, then it’s much more likely you’ll …

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