I once worked with a lady that was an absolute energy vampire. She could find the negative in any situation. When we hit our sales numbers, she would say, “Now we just have to do more next month. He is never happy.” If someone had a baby she would say, “Great. Now we all have to work to cover her hours.”
If left unchecked, the energy vampire will cost you time, money, good people, and possibly your future.
This post provides you with the skills you need to detect, and slay your energy vampires.
How to Detect an Energy Vampire
The energy vampire doesn’t have fangs, so you must develop some detection skills to identify the vampire.
Here are tell tale signs that you are in the presence of an energy vampire:
- Tardiness. Vampires don’t like the sun. They have a hard time finding energy to get out of bed. So, if you know someone that is constantly late, they may be a vampire.
- Not accepting responsibility. Energy vampires take the good, and never the bad.
- Blaming others. Energy vampires point fingers at others. When you see someone pointing a finger, he may be a vampire.
- Gossip. Gossipping is the primary tool that an energy vampire uses to make new converts. If you see someone gossipping, he is trying to create new vampires.
- Nay saying. Energy vampires never see the possibility of growth. They will be the first to tell you something can’t be done.
- Back stabbing. Back stabbing is one step up from gossiping. Back stabbing occurs when the energy vampire has been identified by a vampire hunter. He will do everything he can to turn the team on the person that sees him for what he is.
These are the top 6 signals that you are in the presence of an energy vampire. Be warned, and be prepared.
How to Slay the Energy Vampire
- Hire slow. The mythical vampire hides his identity until he is ready to strike. He understands that revealing his evil nature too early would give his victim a chance to flee. The energy vampire uses this same technique. He keeps his identifying traits hidden until he feels like he has drawn you into his lair, or until he can no longer keep up the facade. When you hire slowly, you are more likely to discover the truth of the person. Performing multiple interviews is always a good idea.
- Fire fast. If you have found an energy vampire on your team, get rid of that person as quickly as you can. Don’t try to save them.
- No gossip. Establish a clear “no gossip” policy in your business. When you remove gossipping from your company, you remove the fangs of the energy vampire.
- Expose it to the light. If you want the behaviors that create a vampire to disappear, then you have to expose those behaviors to the light of day. There is a management rule that says, “Praise in public, rebuke in private.” I agree with that philosophy for your team members in development. However, let’s say that someone is fired for unethical behavior. If you don’t bring that to the light of day, then it creates an environment for gossipping. People will typically make up something far worse in their head than it actually is. Nip those negative thoughts in the bud by openly communicating with your team.
Now that you are armed with the skills to detect and slay your energy vampires, it is time to take action.