At the heart of both books is a concept that I literally use almost every day: The IEP Method or Intentional Energetic Presence. It’s about helping people start on the inside and then “show up” in a way that creates a positive impact without creating burnout. I won’t try to teach you the method… but I would invite you to listen to our discussion and then take a look at her materials and read her books. It’s truly a transformational way of thinking about your inner energy and how it affects those around us, especially if we are leaders.
One part of our talk, though, got me thinking. If you’ve listened to my interviews and podcasts, you hear the metaphor of “the oxygen mask” come up more than a few times.
You know the one on an airplane, we’re told to make sure our own oxygen mask is in place before taking care of a child we’re traveling with—because we can’t take care of someone else until we take care of ourselves. Usually, when this topic comes up in leadership training exercises, the kind of “self-care” that’s discussed is about, primarily, health and family—make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, taking time for your family and faith needs.
That’s all true!
But Anese used a couple of interesting terms that I think merit some attention.
She spoke of “self-talk” and “self-kindness.” The stories we tell ourselves about how we do what we do. Why we go to work. How we start our days. Why we’re in this meeting or having this performance conversation. And those are very, very important moments that inform our “inner game,” which, as she reminds us, “drives our outer game”. When I asked her about the qualities of great leaders she’s worked with, one of them she mentioned is something you don’t hear often—they’re good at pausing. And I’ve found that to be incredibly true. Because I think that good leaders are pausing to listen to that inner voice to make sure that they’re not bringing any of their own negative energy to a situation. They’re making sure that the self-talk is good first, and then putting out good, clean, positive leadership direction.
I hope you’ll pause… and listen to what Anese has to say. She’s a wonderful teacher, and I know you’ll learn something important from her. I certainly did.