Being at Peace: The 5 Dynamics and Their Energy Levels

Photo of a women working on her laptop

While doing reading tutoring, my 1st grade student said, “I love how even the words change colors [as the bear dreams about different seasons].”

I commented, “I didn’t notice the change in the word colors.”

In disbelief he said, “Really?”

I then said: “I don’t always see the details, I see the big picture.”

I hope I conveyed that we bring different things to this world… and that is a good thing. In that moment, I also realized how at peace I was with having low Energy in Examine, the third dynamic. 5 Dynamics helped me feel comfortable and capable of sharing that. On reflection, I realized I’m also OK with being effortless in the other Dynamics.

The Five Dynamics

After the individual assessment, 5 Dynamics determines your natural “energy levels” for each of the five dynamics. Explore, Excite, Examine, Execute, and Evaluate – most tasks require these dynamics, or phases, in this approximate sequence:

  • First Dynamic “Explore”: Understand the complete situation, see relationships, and develop creative solutions.
  • Second Dynamic “Excite”: Invest your energy exciting other people about the idea. Bust silos and develop internal support. Build a team.
  • Third Dynamic “Examine”: Develop an implementation plan using data. Create schedules, budgets, timetables, clear roles and rules, etc. Predict problems. Find faults.
  • Fourth Dynamic “Execute”: Aggressively implement the plan. Hold people accountable. Measure performance. Compete. Strive for completion.
  • Fifth Dynamic “Evaluate”: Assess the preceding four Dynamics with a two-pronged test: external success (e.g., cost, time, quality, profit) and internal satisfaction (engagement, absence of stress). Adapt the process to increase success and satisfaction in the next cycle.

The following energy levels are assigned to each dynamic:

  • Abundant: To the point of overflow.
  • Effortless: Easy and natural.
  • Deliberate: Willful and conscious
  • Reserved: Erratic and tense.

So what’s it like to be ‘effortless’ in Explore, Excite and Execute Energies?

In 30+ years of working, I changed roles on average every 2 years, something unusual for my generation. I realize that kept me interested/energized. Nearly all of those roles were global, and many were leadership roles. That meant the perspective and talents of others were important for success. I very early on realized that while my energy and passion could be inspiring, it could also overwhelm others. I learned to step back and slow down at times to capture the value of the team. 5 Dynamics reinforced the importance of doing that and also the tendency for my Energy pattern to take on too many things. I’m still working on prioritizing /not taking on too much and reflect on the insights from 5 Dynamics as I embark on this next phase of life/semi-retirement.

A colleague who has had mostly operations roles, although he is ‘stressed’ in Examine Energy, which is often required in those roles, speaks of how he might have taken a different career path had he taken 5 Dynamics earlier in his career. Meanwhile, he has a lot of experience and expertise as an operations manager and continues to do well in operations roles.

How will you build stamina/adapt as needed in low Energy Dynamics?

I realize that throughout life, I have adapted. My favorite adaptation has been to partner. I had a large global training project with an extremely tight timeline. One of my colleagues put together the project plan along with resource requirements that was huge in terms of our ability to get the needed results. Without that we would have either missed the deadline and/or totally burned out the team members. As it was, most commented on how this was the best team they ever worked on and it was global and virtual. With the insights and language from 5 Dynamics, I have an additional resource to use especially when establishing roles on a team.

My next favorite adaptation has been to use tools and education to build competency, something I’ve done especially for complex project management which has high Examine Energy elements.

Another approach, albeit not my favorite, is to ensure I take time to re-check or review my answers or plans. That helped me in test taking (I was good at math, but made ‘careless’ errors) and in corporate life when preparing presentations/communications. It was especially important in a high examine culture where I worked as errors could derail/discredit the rest of a communication.

The last approach I’ve used is to just decline to accept jobs or projects that have an overabundance (for me) of Examine Energy, especially just after other jobs that had a need for high examine energy.

So, I really resonate with Michael Sturm (brains behind 5 Dynamics) when he talks about knowledge setting us free. I am at peace with my lower Examine Energy (I don’t always catch the details) and so very much appreciate people like the young boy I’m tutoring who can bring that Energy forward. May you also find peace and appreciation for who you are and who others are as well.

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