Energy plus Engagement = Power!

Tom is struggling with getting the car in gear. It’s a small Kia, manual, right-hand drive. As an American he’s used to automatic, left-hand drive. Actually he’s a World traveller and has driven cars in all parts of the World. But this Kia’s gearbox holds some challenges for him. I’m in Eire, in Wexford, guest of my good friends Christine and Tom Harvey who are enjoying a house swap for 6 weeks; and a rented Kia!
So the engine is revving but we’re not going anywhere. I know there’s a message here for me – it’s fine for me to have lots of energy and enthusiasm but if it’s not connected to anything then I’m not going anywhere. There’s energy but no real Power. I need to engage my enthusiasm with a vision, a plan, a project timeline, or whatever I call my method of getting going. Connect your enthusiasm to a plan or a vision and you’ll get Power – potentially an unstoppable force to accomplish something worthwhile. Now it is also true that simply creating plan or a vision can create an enthusiasm to achieve it, but if you’re not getting to where you want to be then you might want to look at your enthusiasm or your engagement, or both.
Empathy Styles ( shows us that each of the 7 styles has its own way of combining these two elements of life. The most powerful with the most focus is the Politician who’ll be very clear about what needs to be done, and it will get done. The Hustler has a different way of getting things done but will still be effective.
The Engineer will have both the plan and the willingness to engage with it although the final result will take its own time. At least having the Engineer involved we know the final solution will work! The Normal also has an orderly way of getting things done – it may not be exciting but it will be logical.
The 3 styles who have most difficulty with combining Enthusiasm with Engagement are the Mover (lots of energy but if there’s no plan will easily be distracted); the Double-Checker (quite capable of creating a plan but will need help getting started); and the Artist (great at dreaming of a great vision but little sense of urgency – “I’ll do it when I’m ready”!)
Of course we’re all a combination of Empathy Styles (thank goodness) which gives me, at least, hope! As a strong Normal, Double-Checker, Artist I have my own challenge to engage my variable enthusiasm. I know that I can create a great vision but I also know that I have to work to overcome my inertia and doubts to create value for myself and others.
So where do you sit with this – what are your strong Empathy styles? And how does that relate to your enthusiasm and your engagement? If you’re lucky to have two or more styles that combine well to produce both Enthusiasm and Engagement you are indeed fortunate. I’d love to hear from you about how you get to produce things worthwhile.
Visit to discover your strong Empathy Styles, or to learn more about Empathy Styles.
Or contact me at or +44 (0) 207 100 2520

Where are you headed?

I’ve done a bit of sailing over the last few years and I’m not very good at it. I know I’m not a natural sailor. But one thing I have realised is that when we see another vessel who’s going to cross our path, even though they may be miles away, we make sure that our boat makes a deliberate movement away from the other boat. We let the other boat know clearly what our intended course is so it can go its own way.

I’ve also noticed this in high streets with lots of people milling around. It’s actually quite difficult to change direction quickly particularly if you’ve got up a head of steam or if you’re pushing a pram and someone steps into your path. For smooth running we need to signal to people what we’re going to do. People need to know which way you’re going – what your intentions are.

And, of course, this isn’t just about the high seas or the high street. It’s about our businesses and our lives.

So I’m thinking about Empathy Styles – how does this work for the different styles? Politicians have no problem with this – they’ve made up their minds, set their course and off they go – and, by the way, they won’t be giving way! Normals are also good at direction setting though they’ll be more likely to change direction if it isn’t working, logically. Hustlers will take the route that best suits their purpose, and will be on the lookout for opportunities and bargains along the way. So if you’re shopping with one expect a sudden change of direction when a shiny new something is spotted in a window over there.

Movers are interesting – I don’t think direction and purpose are words that Movers really understand. They’re more interested in energy, relationships, fun and movement, no matter which direction it’s in – “let’s get going, now” might be their motto. Double-Checkers could take a leaf out of the Mover’s book and get going, even though, sometimes it’ll be in the wrong direction! After all if you want to turn a bus around it’s much less effort to get it started and then drive it around to face the other way, rather than picking it up and manhandling it.

That leaves us with Engineers and Artists. The Engineer will get going, once they’ve done the planning and the research. They may not be the quickest, but they will arrive – remember the tortoise and the hare – and the finished project will actually work! And finally, the Artist. The Artist can be a bit of a dreamer – “I’d love to write a book” or learn a musical instrument or paint. How many of us have heard that from our friends, family or even ourselves? And how difficult it can be to get started. Why? Maybe because it has to be perfect in their mind and it won’t be perfect because they can’t do it. Try arguing them out of that one! (I’ve just started to learn the alto sax after a lifetime of wanting to do it – it’s great and why didn’t I do it 20 or 30 years ago??)

So, whatever your Empathy Style is, my invitation is to make up your mind, set your direction, let others know quite clearly where you’re going, and then get going. And if your intentions are strong enough, just watch people move out of your way. In fact, notice how many people and the universe will help you to get to where you want to go.