Photo Credit: Patternity -- Projected Grids|Richard Burbidge
Often times in relationships professional and personal we over-give or over-take. They are different sides of the same coin. However, either side you are on, when the exchange is off it can be draining and negatively impact your energy and mental state. Even when you are overtaking it has a diminishing effect on your power and impact.
Specifically in terms of anxiety, stress and even feelings of suppression in the workplace an unbalanced exchange can be at play. Whether it be not enough pay, putting in too many hours, or an interpersonal situation with a boss or colleague.
Find out where you are in terms of healthy energy exchange by answering the questions below.
On a scale of 1 to 5 measure answer each of the questions below.
1: Very Low 2: Low 3: Moderate or Neutral 4: High 5: Very High
1. How well do you feel you are compensated monetarily for your work?
2. How well do you feel you are compensated in appreciation and praise for your work?
3. How well do you take care of yourself (proper nutrition, regular exercise, and doctor visits) in relation to your work?
4. How well are you able to replenish the energy you put into your work during off hours?
5. How rewarding in terms of experience, exposure, and training do you find your work?
6. How rewarding in terms of creativity, personal interest, and genuine interest do you find your work?
7. How well is your work aligned with your natural and developed talents, gifts, and skills?
Add up the total for all of your answers. For example if you chose 4 for every question, your total would be 28.
Under 21: Very Low Exchange
If you scored below 21 your exchange with your work is probably slowly (or quickly) draining you. If it is a job that you feel you need or want to keep for some time while you reach certain financial goals be intentional with the energy you spend here. First, shifting the perspective to an empowering context by being grateful for what the experience does provide. A little bit of gratitude opens doors for better exchange. Look for ways to align your personal interests and skills with your work -- ask for new responsibilities or take on a new project. Always make your personal well being (nutrition, exercise, and personal care) a priority. Do something that enriches and rejuvenates you on your breaks. Watch the exchange get better and better each day!
21-27: Moderate Exchange
If you scored between 21-27 your exchange is pretty good. You may not be doing cartwheels to the office each morning (maybe you are) but you see the value, feel appreciated, and are able to get your basic needs out of your work. To further improve this experience look at where you scored less than a 4 above, and ask yourself what would it take to move the scale to the right. Asking for a raise, making a lunch/workout break a priority, having a conversation with team mates to create a new level of understanding and appreciation. In this range you are in a good place and have perspective and leverage to make it better. Keep up the good work!
28-35: Very Healthy Exchange
If you scored, between 28-35, congratulations! You have a very healthy exchange with your work. You may even love and enjoy it. Be grateful and celebrate where you are. It's not an easy thing to achieve and you probably went through some tough days where the exchange felt off to get here. It may feel like a day to day process to maintain, and it is. Know that it's possible with clear intentions and communication. You're a model for healthy exchange at work!
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