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By Thomas F. O'Neill

How to deal with low energy in the workplace

Most people come home from a days work feeling drained as if the energy was sucked out of every pore of their body. They may have had a bad day at work but then again when asked to describe their day they are at a loss for words.

Most likely it was not a particular event at work that has them feeling drained but rather their co-workers have them feeling sapped of energy. The person sitting in the cubical next to theirs, their direct supervisory staff or the clients they deal with on a daily bases may have sucked the energy right out of their body.

At times we have experienced people who energize us through their positive attitude and on the other hand there are those people who drain us of our energy through their pessimistic outlook on life. There are also those people who have the uncanny ability of putting us at ease with their tone of voice and mannerisms and we feel comfortable around those people. Studies are currently being conducted as to how these energy shifts can be consciously controlled. The ability to put people at ease is a great tool for all walks of life especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

Corporate leaders are spending a lot of money on research on how to consciously control their energy, behavior, and tone of voice in the corporate world of business. They understand the importance of energizing their subordinates towards higher productivity and at the same time maintaining that ability of putting people at ease on an interpersonal level.

We can all identify people in our workforce that have the uncanny ability to drain us of our strength, such as:

The whiner -- The world is against them. They come to work with their problems and rehash the same story as to why he or she is unhappy. They bring up the same old points over and over again, and every solution you suggest is met with a reason why they can't accomplish their goal. This type of person consumes your energy like a flashlight consumes the energy out of its batteries when left on to long.

The Blamer -- Less benign than the whiner, the Blamer will attack and put others down for their shortcomings. They can lay on guilt-trips and be verbally abusive. Where the whiner may consume you in negativity, the Blamer will slug you with it. The Blamer sees you as the reason they canít get their work done -- as for the Whiner they blame the world for their shortcomings.

The Drama Queen Ė They will start each sentence with "Oh my God, you'll never guess what happened," it would appear that they live their life in extremes and they go through life describing their extreme circumstances. They have their highs and lows and they go from crisis to crisis feeding off of chaos. Whether she's breaking up with her boyfriend or complaining about her husband having his tubs tied. One day she is complaining about some medical problem that she has and the next day she is complaining about a client that she canít stand being around. Whatever happens to this person is an extreme event in the life of this person. She will wear you out with a borage of extreme emotions.

The Constant Talker Ė They continuously tell you about their unending life adventures. This person is concerned with him or herself foremost and you less. Their stories, opinions, and jokes take precedent over your peace of mind. They wear you down with their motor mouth whose volume desperately needs to be taken down a notch.

The Go-for-the-Jugular Fiend -- This person out of his or her insecurities will not hesitate to cut you down to build themselves up. They may be filled with envy, insecurities, or overly competitive but nonetheless they will insult you every chance they get. This person is the worst of all the energy drainers in the workplace and excessive exposure to this person can cause you to go out on sick leave from chronic fatigue or depression.

Like a bad computer virus these people should be quarantined or deleted from your operating system. However, when it comes to the workplace they cannot be removed from your life. One way in dealing with these energy sappers is by gaining a better understanding as to how these people go through their daily routine and then politely redirect their energy. It is important to be polite and never let them see you sweat. You can also gain an upper hand by limiting your exposure to them by avoiding long conversations by being resolute. If the whiner won't stop their rehashing of the same stories such as their husbands inability to get them pregnant or their chronic medical condition, redirect the conversation or politely end it.

Dealing with the constant talker is extremely difficult but being polite, sincere, and at the same time redirecting their attention is the best approach in maintaining your peace of mind. Tell them you have to make an important telephone call or that you have to meet with an important client. Take the time to learn how the energy sappers in your workforce think and use that knowledge to your advantage. You will find being the master of your domain is better then leaving at the end of the day completely drained of energy.

Many psychologists suggest that employees learn relaxation exercises to deal with workplace stress. Many employers throughout the United States are also beginning to incorporate relaxation classes into their annual training. A reason for this is that employees who develop the ability to relax at work have fewer sick days. Fifteen to twenty minutes of relaxation in the morning and afternoon is all that is needed to replenish ones energy and to get a fresh start at work.

Many psychologists suggest developing a sense of humor to rise above the daily absurdities that one faces on the job and life in general. Developing a healthy sense of humor is our greatest psychological defense against the daily adversities that come our way throughout the day. The average person has the intelligence to recognize the absurdities in life and a sense of humor to overcome them.

If you find that you donít have much of a sense of humor and you feel overwhelmed by the people around you retreat for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing will relax you during those stressful moments.

Many people in the United States are also beginning to turn to the eastern mystical approach to gain and maintain positive mental health. They are visualizing and creating a psychological distance from their daily stress. This can be achieved through various methods of meditation or yoga. Finding the time to learn more about oneself by turning inward is no easy task but in todayís fast passed society people have found that it is the best approach in maintaining positive mental health.

I have also found that meditation helps me maintain a positive attitude, a healthy sense of humor, and in relieving stress. It also helps me gain a greater understanding of myself and people in general.

The more traditional cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming, and aerobics are also great ways of relieving the unwanted stress in our lives.

I have also found that those who take their job to seriously are the ones with the most stress and others rarely take them seriously. Those who learn to go with the flow on the job have the least stress. They have learned how to create a psychological distance from stress by gaining a greater understanding of themselves and others. They have also developed a positive self-image and a healthy sense of humor.

Our over all goal and objective at work should be to become that person who puts everyone at ease. The person everyone likes to be around due to their tone of voice and mannerisms.

With love,
Thomas F. OíNeill

Click on author's byline for bio.

Other writings of Thomas F. O'Neill can be found at the links below.


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