Energy Vampires – Sap Team Excitement

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.

8 Responses to “Energy Vampires – Sap Team Excitement”

  1. Abu Bakar Siddiqi says:

    Dear Bob Rausch,

    Energy Vampires – Are one of worst secrets which exist in the dark Alleys of Corporates & almost many organisations, which almost everyone at one point of time or other would have fallen prey and have sunk deeper.

    Honestly, You’ve done a great job of breaking this open and Classifying them as a caution for all. Well done !
    I am simply going to shoot mailers of this in my netwrok.A big thanks to Jennifer too.

    • Bob Rausch (The Energy Doctor) says:

      Dear Abu,

      Thank you for your response. I really like the way you describe the “dark alleys of corporations” – so very true. Actually there are three types of vampires that I discuss in my book “The Secret Power in Stress – 1) Siphoning Vampire 2)Consuming Vampire and 3) Spoiling Vampire.All three drain the energy of a team away from the most important reason we are there, to be productive and excell in performance. I’ll discuss all three in future PDUs2Go articles. Thanks again for your response. All the best to avoiding corporate vampires. Bob Rausch

  2. Dave Fingado says:

    The last point in the article is, I think, the stongest point. Every day, you have a choice. You can choose to wake up Grumpy, or you can let him/her sleep. We are all in charge of our own destinies, and can shape them to the way we want to be, a la Earl Nightingale, “The Strangest Secret”. I would tell that person to look up “Nick” on youtube. He’s an Australian speaker on the power of positive thinking w/no arms or legs.Very powerful reminder to be thankful for what we have and are capable of being. After this doesn’t work, I am blunt and tell her/him to stop & get on with the job. My 2 cents.

    • Bob Rausch (The Energy Doctor) says:

      Dave – I can’t agree with you more. We are all responsible for how we use our energy. When we look around at all the trauma occuring on our planet and think of the people who are experiencing extremely life-changing events it should encourage us to be even more responsible for our life. We don’t have time or energy to listen to complaining. I’m reminded that the man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there. In the books I’ve written on personal and team energy I eventually get to your last point. If you don’t like where you are move to another place but don’t waste my energy on complaining about it. Nicely done Dave.

  3. DA says:

    Thanks Bob for this article. I am currently faced with a dilemna of what to do with another PM who kept throwming my team under the bus and kept making me look like I don’t have a grip of my team. This person kept pointing fingers and doing the blame game. I have decided to just ignore her and ask her how do we move forward and make this project a success? as a a weapon.
    Thanks again.

    • Bob Rausch (The Energy Doctor) says:

      Hi DA – You are right on target. I’ve said many times “Show be a bully and I’ll show you a coward.” The person who is throwing you under the bus is insecure and lacks confidence. That’s why she does what she does. People with confidence find ways to encourage others, not discourage them. One of my energy tips in “The Secret Power in Stress” is “It’s more important what I think of you than what you think of me” I encourage you to keep doing what you do and do your best to keep the vampires away. Have a great week, Bob

  4. Michael Ososki says:

    Great article, Bob– thank you!

  5. Bob Rausch (The Energy Doctor) says:

    Thank Michael – I appreciate the encouragement. Have a great week. Bob

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