The Energy Investment model is used in some businesses to better understand employees and looks at the relationship between our ATTITUDE and our ENERGY.

Combining these two fields we can find ourselves in different STATES.

By understanding the impact we have on ourselves and our environment when we are in these states; we can make choices for managing our Attitude and Energy.

ATTITUDE is our mindset or mental approach to a situation. Attitude is driven by our values and how they are being effected by the situation we are in. For example, if we value timekeeping, in situations where people are ʻon timeʼ, our attitude will be POSITIVE.  If, however, we value time keeping but are in a situation where people are ʻlateʼ, then our attitude will be NEGATIVE.

ENERGY in this context refers to how much effort we are able to put into a task or behaviour. If we are full of energy then it is said to be high. Our energy can be linked to Attitude, but it can also be linked to more physical influences such as food andtemperature. Being high or low in Energy is not a reflection of physical fitness!


Spectators tend to feel:

  • Positive about what is happening and want to contribute
  • Anxious and lacking in confidence
  • Reluctant to get involved in the work of the team
  • Threatened when too exposed by the teamʼs workings
  • Reluctant to take risks
  • Most comfortable when watching from the sidelines

Spectators tend to react by:

  • Acknowledging the good ideas of others but being reluctant to change themselves
  • Working harder than ever at their own previously successful behaviour
  • Avoiding taking undue risks
  • Trying to ride things out until things return to normal
  • Keeping a low profile

The kind of support which Spectators need includes:

  • Understanding and help in coping with their fear and lack of confidence
  • Effective role models
  • Plenty of feedback, encouragement and positive reinforcement from others
  • Stretching, but achievable challenges, both in terms of the problem or project and the behaviour of other team members

The kind of questions which will stimulate Spectator team members include:

  • Why do you think that this might not apply to you?
  • Who will do this for you if you don’t do it for yourself?
  • How could you justify leaving this to others?
  • What is stopping you from having a go?
  • Can you afford to miss this opportunity?


Victim team members tend to have bruised self-esteem and to feel:

  • Unhappy or depressed
  • Overwhelmed by work
  • Powerless and fearful of mistakes

Victims tend to react by:

  • Blocking out challenges
  • Avoiding confronting issues
  • Retreating into safety
  • Avoiding risk and doing the minimum
  • Avoiding thinking about what might happen

The support Victim team members need includes:

  • Understanding and help in dealing with their stress and frustration;
  • Peer encouragement (an action learning set is an excellent vehicle for this);
  • A series of mini-challenges and successes to rebuild their confidence;
  • To eat the elephant one spoonful at a time;

Useful questions for Victim team members include:

  • Do you really want to feel like this?
  • How much can you get back in control?
  • Who might help you get back in control?
  • What could you do to make a start?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen if you tried something new?


Cynic team members tend to feel:

  • Not listened to at work and thus excluded and constrained
  • Rebellious and determined to block change which they do not personally own
  • Surprised at the stress felt by others
  • That they are right, and angry at the world for ignoring them
  • Frustrated with what they see as other peopleʼs confusion and whingeing
  • Overly confident in their own ability

Cynics tend to react by:

  • Expressing their frustration over the pain and hesitancy displayed by others
  • Arguing against changes and always seeing the negatives
  • Pressing for quick solutions and decisive actions and then criticising them!
  • Being oblivious to the consequences of their negativity on others
  • Bringing both Victims and Spectators round to their own perspective

The support which Cynic team members need includes:

  • Humouring but only to a point
  • To be given a chance to take personal responsibility for their actions
  • Paring with a Player team member
  • Being confronted about the negative aspects of their behaviour
  • Reminding about what the project and/or the team is actually here for
  • Clear boundaries and ground rules set

Helpful questions for Cynic set members include:

  • How much do you know about the impact you have on others?
  • What happened to make you feel this way?
  • Could you see things differently?
  • Could you get a better return on your efforts? How?
  • Would there be a better time to do this?


Players make excellent team members, and typically feel:

  • Challenged and stretched by both the problem/project and by interaction with fellow set members
  • Comfortable with the need to change
  • Open to possibilities and ideas and to suggestions about these made by other team members
  • Optimistic about the longer-term future
  • In control of their own destiny
  • Not afraid of short-term mistakes and set-backs

Players tend to react by:

  • Seeking the longer-term silver lining behind the shorter-term dark clouds
  • Viewing ambiguity and changes as challenge and opportunity
  • Finding humour in different situations and using it as a tool in their interactions with others
  • Treating life as a whole (not just work on the project or the set) as a continual learning experience
  • Expanding their personal comfort zone

Player set members need:

  • Reward and support from their peers for being key people in change and transition
  • Flexible personal growth opportunities coupled with tangible and visible rewards
  • Latitude to do it their way and to model this effective behaviour to others
  • Support from others when they take a stand against a Cynic set member
  • Respect, recognition and thanks from their colleagues
  • Not to have a lot of the work of the team dumped on them

Useful questions for Player set members include:

  • Are you taking others along with you or are you too far ahead of the pack?
  • Might others see you as chameleon-like or as flippant and shallow?
  • How sensitive are you to the fear of change in others?
  • Is your optimism with regard to the future well-founded or not?