“What color is your energy?” I was asked that question, rhetorically, in a meeting the other day. That got me thinking. I think I am a pretty energetic person, so my color is on the brighter spectrum. But is it always? Is it the right color, the right energy for the occasion? For the moment?
It’s probably pretty easy to say we would generally want to be around the person whose energy is brightly-colored. We can picture a high-energy person bringing a vibrancy to any interaction. They literally shed some light on the situation. I know for me that being around a person of bright energy energizes me. It causes me to be more engaged and more alive.
For the most part, I don’t like to be around the dark, cloudy person. You probably know them. The person who already has a frown on their face. The person who automatically tells you why something won’t work or why the situation is not as good as you think or the idea is dumb. They act like a black hole in space, absorbing all of the energy in the space and leaving everyone feeling flat.
These extremes seem simple. But it does provide some cause for reflection.
Are you bright or dark? Are you absorbing everyone else’s energy through your darkness? Does your face, your tone of voice, your body language sometimes mute the energy level. Does the situation dictate your color, your energy level? No one likes sitting in the boring meeting. Having to go to a networking event or office function that we don’t want to attend brings out the dark grays and somber deep blues in us. We go into the situation not adding energy, and sometimes taking away energy. I know if I am going to be somewhere with someone who I don’t feel particularly fond for, I can be muted and not project much.
How about the brightly-colored, energy-creating person in the room? The event you say to yourself: “I want to make sure I am there because I know it will be energizing”. The person you look forward to meeting for a drink. The person who leads a meeting with such brightness and energy that you cannot help but be engaged. It may not mean they are only bringing up positive thoughts or that they are going to avoid the tough subjects. But you know they are going to address the needed subjects in a bright way – “we need to discuss this tough issue/problem, so let’s see what we can do together to solve it”.
There is no doubt that there are times where we need to mute our color – less bright or less dark – to allow others to be seen and heard. It can be temporary. If your energy is so bright – or so deep – it may blot out all of the others. We have all been in a room or a meeting where one person dominated. Even if their ideas were sound, we are still left with a sense of frustration. Our color, our energy, did not get utilized. So sometimes a really vibrant energy person (or the very cautious person) needs to tone it down for the good of the group. Think about it this way. Even the brightest color or the darkest color can clash with others. Sometimes that color needs to mute a little bit, or be in the background to let the energy of the others out, to blend well with many others.
The act of muting your color may be as simple as sitting and listening for a while. The sunshine yellow person who starts a conversation or riff and then sits back allowing others to carry it for a while. The pine green person who gets outside their comfort zone of steadiness to challenge the group with something provocative. Allowing their native energy, their native color, to be present, but in the background (or foreground) helps everyone see better.
I’d like to bring you back to an earlier question I got asked. What color is YOUR energy? How is that color, that energy, serving you right now? How is that serving others? If you provided a rainbow spectrum to other people, asked them where you fit, which color would they point to for you? Would you like that?