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Energy Vampires – Sap Team Excitement

Friday, April 30th, 2010

By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

It only takes one person to drain the energy of a team. If you want to get others excited about an idea and communicate it effectively you must make sure you plug the leaks in the energy dyke. There are three types of team energy vampires. Knowing how to deal with them is important to achieving your goals.

The Siphoning Vampire works just like the hoodlum who siphons gasoline out of another person’s car. They hook into you and drain your energy supply. They do it by constantly finding bad or negative news to share. Nothing is right for the siphoning vampire, and it’s this person’s job to tell everyone how deplorable things really are.

The Consuming Vampire finds ways to expend energy on less than profitable and sometimes worthless activities. I’ve had several of my clients complain about managers that are consuming vampires. They put employees on all types of non-productive tasks and in some cases have the wrong people in the wrong jobs. The consuming vampire majors on the minors and causes people to waste their energy on secondary activities.

The Spoiling Vampire causes us to waste energy on worthless beliefs or views. Spoiling vampires are prejudiced people who use gossip and negative opinion to tarnish others and spoil their projects.

Now, apply the following strategies to preserve your energy.

Be blunt.
Be as candid with that person as you can and say, “I’m pretty busy here and honestly, I don’t see this information benefiting either one of us.” “We want to see our team succeed and negativity doesn’t help.” “What can we do to help you be more positive and supportive of our goals?” The best thing is not to beat around the bush about what’s going on and what you want from this person.

Don’t become critical.
When you criticize, you are doing exactly what the vampire is doing. Be careful not to complain about a vampire mentally or verbally, or you become one. It’s especially important not to complain to others about the vampire’s behavior.

Find the good in people and events.
Look for the positive aspect in a person or an event. I’m not suggesting that you see everything through rose-colored glasses. I’m saying that there is something good in all that we experience. Find the good; it’s a great form of refueling and it helps keep you away from being negative. It also may provide you a way to help the vampire be less of an energy drain.

Take responsibility for your own energy.
The key to maintaining high energy is that it requires you to take personal responsibility for how you use it. You, and only you, can choose to respond positively to a person or a situation. Guard your energy level from energy vampires, and along with guarding against them, also find numerous ways to refuel your energy supply and the energy of your team.

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  1. Emmy says:


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