Every year around this time, the focus of most of my coaching sessions seem (for the most part) to be  less on ‘development’ and more on ‘how the hec am I going to get through to Christmas’. In other words, resilience and filling up our tanks enough to get through to our long-awaited break.

Cue positive flashpoints and energy vampires.

What are positive flashpoints?

These are the things, people and activities during your day or week that get you in ‘flow’, make you feel good and give you energy.

When I ask people what their energy flashpoints are, the answers come pretty quick and fast. It’s usually exercise, creative activities, or spending face-to-face time with their team, family, a mentor or someone who makes them feel better. Even a working space can be a positive flashpoint.


Identify yours. And when your tank is running low, channel them. Ensure your week has positive flashpoints built-in. Ask your team members what theirs are (as individuals and as a team) and wherever practical, try to incorporate and encourage their usage.

This is a great way to build resilience.

Conversely, what are energy vampires?  

These are the things, activities and people who suck your energy or make you feel low. It’s not always possible to avoid these altogether (although sometimes it’s more feasible than you originally think), but there are things you can do to “ringfence” or limit them.

Common energy vampires? Toxic colleagues, boring and pointless meetings, high maintenance clients, certain work activities, procrastination, alcohol and other drugs – even particular working habits.


Identify your energy vampires.

Ask, what’s within your power to limit, reduce, change or avoid?

If it’s a necessary part of the job (reports for example), ask, what can I change to make it more efficient? If you brainstorm, you can always find some potential solutions.

Your challenge between now and Christmas?

Identify your positive flashpoints and energy vampires.

Know what fills your cup and what sucks it dry.

Channel your positive flashpoints. Find strategies to reduce your energy vampires.