“Be a Zapper, not a Sapper!”

—William Byham, Ph.D.

QC #922

Over my many years of coaching, I’ve found that the more simple an idea or behavior is, the more likely it is to be understood, applied, and habituated. When it comes to relationship development and creating empowering successful organizational cultures, today’s quote packs a ton of value in only six words.

The act of Zapping involves interaction with others in an energizing and positive manner. Examples are:

  • Being genuinely interested in others
  • Listening carefully and completely to what others are saying
  • Being open and receptive to the point of view of others
  • Looking for value in what others say and do
  • Saying Please and Thank You
  • Acknowledging the contribution of others

The act of Sapping involves the opposite behavior, in which others experience draining and energy-reducing interactions. Examples are:

  • Being judgmental and critical of others’ ideas and behaviors
  • Not listening to others, or ignoring them
  • Taking credit for others ideas or achievements
  • Interrupting, or not allowing others to express their views
  • Gossiping
  • Betrayal of confidences
  • Lying or being unethical


Create a Zapping/Sapping log book in which you can capture these daily energy boosters or drainers.

Request feedback from those around you. Work to increase your Zapping, and reduce your Sapping.

Consider picking up a copy of Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment by William Byham, and consider sharing this resource with others in your communities.