What do people see when they meet you? A person who approaches the world with a positive attitude, or one who thinks of herself as a victim?
“The energy you project to the world has a huge effect on the way people perceive you, the way you interact with others, and the results that you get,” says Jeanette Iglesias, a life coach and specialist in “energy leadership.”
She describes energy leadership as a process that “develops a personally effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but also those with whom you work and interact, as well as your organization as a whole.” It is a complex explanation for a very simple concept: we get what we give.
Iglesias will speak on “Energy Leadership: How to Energize Your Business and Your Life,” at the meeting of NJAWBO Region Four (formerly the Mercer chapter of NJAWBO) on Wednesday, October 10, at 11:30 a.m. at KC Prime Restaurant, Lawrenceville. Cost: $30. Reservations may be made at www.njawbomercer.org.
Iglesias is the founder of JI Coaching LLC, a leadership coaching practice based in Princeton Junction. She came to coaching world after several years in executive positions for Saks Fifth Avenue and Victoria’s Secret.
Iglesias grew up in the Bronx and graduated from the City College of New York-Baruch College, with a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on marketing and advertising in 1995. She has also taken the “mini MBA” program at Rutgers University, graduating in 2011.
After graduation from Baruch she began working for Saks and then moved to Victoria’s Secret. “I had my dream job. I was working in New York City, in the fashion industry. I had a leadership position and was in charge of a number of big initiatives. I had what I had said I wanted — but I was unhappy every day,” says Iglesias. “When I worked in New York City I wasn’t Jeanette Iglesias. I was the director of publishing operations for Victoria’s Secret Catalogues. That’s how I saw myself. The title had become me.”
Then her son was diagnosed with cancer. “Reality hit,” she says. “I took a look at my priorities and my true values.” In 2009 she quit her job to take care of her son (who is now almost eight years old and has been cancer-free for two years.)
She eventually enrolled in the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and became an accredited coach.
It is easy to give examples of the effects of negative energy on ourselves, on our businesses and on others. Almost everyone can think of someone who just “gives off the wrong vibe.” A good example is a business owner whose business is not going well. “Because she is worried about not having enough clients, or enough money, or any of the other things we worry about as business owners, her whole attitude is affected,” says Iglesias. “People begin to not want to be around her. Because of her ‘air of desperation’ she is less likely to get the new clients she desperately needs. Her own negative self-perception is damaging others’ perception of her.”
The best way to turn this type of situation around, says Iglesias, is to “get out of our own way. To become aware of who we are and how we show up in the world.”
Iglesias begins working with clients by using an assessment to help them take an honest look at themselves. “We need to become conscious of our default tendencies. How do we act when we are under stress?”
She then identifies the seven levels of energy and helps her clients move from wherever they are to the highest energy levels. “When you get to level seven you are making a choice to show up in the world and be present. You are really cooking with gas,” she says.
Victim. The first, and lowest energy level is victim. “When we are thinking like a victim, we are victimizing ourselves with our own thoughts. This type of thought process leads to apathy and lethargy,” Iglesias says.
After victim, the next levels are conflict, compromise, concern, reconciliation, synthesis (a level of joy and wisdom”), and non-judgment — the highest level of energy. “This is where we can sit back and just let it happen. We can follow our passion and just be,” she says.
Of course, no one can be at the highest level of energy at all times and in all situations. “We tend to be at different levels in different relationships. We are at one level with business associates, another with our family, and still another with friends. What is important is to find out what our default setting is. Where do we go when we are under stress? How can we move out of that level if it is not a good place?”
“When we approach our relationships from an energy level of passion and creativity we respond better to those around us, and they, respond better to us,” says Iglesias.