Zapping vs. Sapping

There are two types of people in the world – Zappers and Sappers. When you are with a Zapper, you feel energized. You become engaged, you lean forward, you feel stimulated. This enhanced state is ideal for creative expression.

On the other hand, there are the Sappers. These are the folks that drain your energy. You could have just gulped six shots of espresso and four Red Bulls, yet you want to fall asleep after speaking with them for five minutes.

The thing is, we all have both types inside of us, and we have a choice as to how we impact others. In meetings and brainstorm sessions, what do you do? Do you Zap your colleagues with energy and inspiration, or do you Sap them dry of their creativity and motivation? With an increased sense of awareness and empathy, it’s up to you. You get to decide if you want to be a Zapper or Sapper.

In their book, Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment, Authors William Byham and Jeff Cox talk about the impact of Zapping in the workforce. The results? Improved productivity, quality, and employee satisfaction.

In the same way you are used to managing the clock or managing a budget, you should think about managing energy… especially in creative brainstorming sessions. The collective energy of the room can build into a frenzy, unleashing brilliant ideas while having a great time. Or it can devolve into yet another boring, BlackBerry-checking, clock-watching, drone session.

Do everything you can to keep the energy up. High-fives, cheers, and positive vibes for all. Don’t allow negativity and energy-draining commentary to suck the life out of the room while sucking the life of your creativity. Energy is the raw material of creativity. Engender it, and the creativity of your team will soar. Extinguish it, and you’ll end up with yet another set of watered down, group-think, same-old-same-old, not-so-exciting ideas.

This week, make a conscious effort to Zap everyone you come in contact with. Instead of random acts of kindness, try random acts of Zapping. Energize those around you, and you’ll end up energizing the creativity and imagination of your team. That energy will build momentum and help you achieve the results you seek.

Ready….set…. Zap!