Energy Vampires

Energy vampires drain you, your team, your business and undermine your team building efforts.

These folks run the gamut, from insecure whiners to overbearing jerks. They suck energy from you because it makes them feel better, while leaving you drained and sick.

In your business you must avoid these people like the plague. This means avoiding team members and customers who are psychic vampires.

Dr. Judith Orloff has identified several types of these vampires:

  • Sob Sister
  • Blamer
  • Drama Queen
  • Constant talker
  • Fixer Upper
  • Outwardly Nice Socializer
  • Go-For-the-Jugular Person
  • Unintentional Sapper

We deal with one or more of these types on a daily basis. You cannot completely remove them from your life or even your business. Luckily there are ways to minimize the impact of their existance.

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Pay attention to peoples' symptoms:

  • Raging Self-centeredness (obviously this can be detrimental to team dynamics)
  • Over sensitivity to criticism
  • Us against them attitude
  • Me against the world attitude
  • Traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Scapegoating
  • Refusal to take responsibility (for actions or other people)
  • Constant need for reassurance
  • Perfectionism

Have no doubt, you're being robbed of vital energy and resources if you give into these energy vampires' desires. If you're surrounded by them you are not going to function at the highest efficiency.

Their behaviors can be subtle, inviting, and even charming.

They use their good qualities to lure you in, trap you, then feed from your energy.

These psychic vampires test your leadership skills and the strength of your team.

They make the people around them uncomfortable, unfocused, unhappy and unproductive. Small issues become pressing problems the longer you allow them to interact with the team.

When you have someone at work who is an energy vampire is, you can't confront, reason or persuade them into right actions the way you'd deal with a well-adjusted adult.

Pessimistic people are energy thieves and are typically unwilling to look at themselves or their negative behaviors in any kind of objective light.

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"Praise Only"

Praise these people when they do right, remain silent when they do wrong. Often they're looking for you to engage with their negative behaviors in order to draw you in. This is how they begin draining energy from you.

If you praise for good while not engaging or becoming enmeshed with their "traps" you effectively neutralize their attacks and escape the typical drama, wasted time and energy.

Document these folks poor performances because often you need to rid yourself completely of their presence.

Isolate and Shield Your Team from Energy Vampires

These vampires need other people, despite their antisocial persona. They need you in order to transfer your good energy to them.

You must limit the amount of contact you and your team members have with an individual such as this.

While it is detrimental to team chemistry to "single out" someone publicly for negative behaviors or to call them out for being a "team cancer" you must be secretive yet firm in minimizing peoples' contact with them

Understanding how to work with energy vampires becomes part of your leadership skills. 

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Robert Broughton
(805) 419-3344

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