The Energy Funnel Explained: Level 3

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

For those who find themselves in Level 3 energy on the Energy Funnel, they are classified as “The Justifier.”

Level 3 energy is characterized by coping, forgiving and taking responsibility. People in Level 3 energy often tolerate and compromise, but can be overly focused on winning (self-focused vs. win-win).

Notice that Level 3 is mildly anabolic; you have moved out of the fight or flight levels. As a result, more options become available at this level, and energy starts to become more positive and productive.

What Level 3 Looks Like

Let’s say you work with a teammate who has a very strong personality. This person is cheap with praise and frequent with personal critiques. You have learned to tolerate this person and disregard their strong and direct comments. You tell others, “That is just who they are.”

Or, for your vacation, you have your heart set on spending some time at home to work on a house project but your family wants to spend time with your in-laws at their summer cottage. You insist on working on your project and decide to have the family leave for the cottage without you; you will join them later in the week. Though not ideal, you got some of what you wanted to happen.

Summary

  • Thought: Rationalization
  • Feeling: Tolerance
  • Action: Collaboration/Compromise
  • Advantages of Level 3 energy: keeping the peace, getting things done, resilient, tenacious, focused, determined
  • Disadvantages of Level 3 energy: can be viewed as insincere, inauthentic, self-motivated and more concerned for results than people

Remember: when you notice that you are in Level 3 energy, you can become aware of what is inspiring this level of energy. And with that awareness, you have the choice to approach the situation or circumstance with Level 3 energy or any of the other six levels.

As you become more aware of your emotions, you see that your energy level is yours to choose. The result is you can significantly improve your outlook, outcome and experience.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. What activates Level 3 energy for you?
  2. How is Level 3 energy productive for you?
  3. How is Level 3 energy unproductive for you?
  4. When it is unproductive, how can you move to a more productive energy level?

Are you viewed as insincere, but think you’re driving your team or department toward great results? Schedule a complimentary 15-minute coaching session with Jay to determine if coaching is right for you to identify ways to move out of Level 3 energy without losing your tenacity and drive.

Continue reading about the next energy level: Level 4.

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The Energy Funnel Explained: Level 2

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

For those who find themselves in Level 2 energy on the Energy Funnel, they are classified as “The Warrior.”

Level 2 energy is characterized by conflict, judgments and arguing, among a number of other combative emotions. People in Level 2 energy often fight for things to be abundantly clear (i.e. black or white, no gray area), tend to be sarcastic and have a high need to be right. They can be controlling, aggressive and antagonistic.

What Level 2 Looks Like

Let’s say your project is discussed at the weekly team meeting and a few components are highlighted as areas that need work. The team begins to brainstorm ways you can further build out these pieces. You respond with a sarcastic comment and immediately point the finger at someone in the room for not providing you with the information you needed to build those components. This generates a similar response from the person you challenged and an argument ensues.

Or, you are driving on the highway and, to avoid some debris in the road, you swerve into another lane. Though you don’t hit the car in the other lane, you force them to hit their brakes. They then turn on their lights, lean on their horn and speed up to get next to you, cursing and using obscene gestures. They are in Level 2 energy.

Consider the second example. What level of energy are you in and do you want to be in?

Summary

  • Thought: Irritation
  • Feeling: Anger
  • Action: Confrontation
  • Advantages of Level 2 energy: productive by self, achievement happens in difficult situations, can impact/drive change, ensures they are heard
  • Disadvantages of Level 2 energy: results are not sustainable, relationships are challenged, others disconnect and disengage, results in little to no trust or respect

Remember: when you notice you are in Level 2 energy, you can become aware of what is inspiring this level of energy. And this awareness can help you choose how you want to approach the situation or circumstance, whether that’s with Level 2 energy or in any of the other six levels. Many people default to Level 2 energy as part of our instinctual fight or flight reactions. Level 2 energy is fight.

As you become more aware of your emotions and energy, combined with your understanding of the six levels of energy, you see that your energy level is yours to choose.

Awareness is key. The result is you can significantly improve your outlook, outcome and experience.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. What activates Level 2 energy for you?
  2. How is Level 2 energy productive for you?
  3. How is Level 2 energy unproductive for you?
  4. When it is unproductive, how can you move to a more productive energy level?

Do you find yourself moving through life mostly in Level 1 or Level 2 energy? Schedule a complimentary 15-minute coaching session with Jay to determine if coaching could improve your energetic response.

 

Continue reading about the next energy level: Level 3.

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The Energy Funnel Explained: Level 1

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

For those who find themselves in Level 1 energy on the Energy Funnel, they are classified as “The Victim.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a victim in the traditional definition of the word, but rather you feel like a victim as a result of something, someone or a situation. This could include situations or circumstances in which you have no control.

Level 1 energy is characterized by worry, guilt, fear and self-doubt, among a number of other negative emotions. This energy level manifests as a perceived lack of choice, victim status, low interest or no motivation. People in Level 1 energy often say they feel overwhelmed, hopeless, helpless or emotional, resulting in lethargy and inactivity.

What Level 1 Looks Like

Let’s say you work for a short-tempered manager. This manager isn’t open to new ideas, is critical and always seems to be upset. Working for this manager can create feelings of self-doubt, hopelessness, disengagement and ambivalence. You feel no interest or drive to do great things at work. You just want to get by without incurring your manager’s anger or feeling the effect of his moods. This situation can inspire Level 1 energy.

Another example, you go to Thanksgiving dinner with your family. There are relatives there that you only see once a year because you don’t share much in common. Listening to them or even spending time with them seems to take away all of your energy. You have told yourself you don’t like them so you avoid them as much as possible. You leave the family event feeling drained and exhausted. This situation can inspire Level 1 energy.

Summary of Level 1 energy

  • Thought: Victim
  • Feeling: Indifference
  • Action: Disconnection
  • Advantages of Level 1 energy: self-protection, sympathy from others, non-accountability
  • Disadvantages of Level 1 energy: no engagement, reduced effort, no interest, feeling stuck, unable to create change

Remember: when you notice that you are in Level 1 energy, you can become aware of what is inspiring this level of energy. That awareness, combined with the knowledge that there are 6 levels of energy, gives you the choice to decide what level of energy you will use to approach the situation. Many people default to this level of energy as part of our instinctual fight or flight reactions. Level 1 energy is flight.

As you become more familiar with the 6 levels of energy, and as you become more aware of your emotions and energy, you’ll see that your energy level is yours to choose. The result is powerful: you can significantly improve your outlook, outcome and experience. Awareness is key.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. What activates Level 1 energy for you?
  2. How is Level 1 energy productive for you?
  3. How is Level 1 energy unproductive for you?
  4. When it is unproductive, how can you move to a more productive energy level?

Are you feeling stuck in Level 1 energy? Schedule a complimentary 15-minute coaching session with Jay to determine if professional coaching is right for you.

 

Continue reading about the next energy level: Level 2.

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