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February 11, 2019
Power of a Positive Team
Free Webinar This Week - Feb 14
Discover the principles, practices and characteristics that make great teams great! Join us for a complimentary webinar with Jon Gordon and
his Lead Consultant, Amy P. Kelly.
Thursday, February 14 at 12pm ET.
Perfect for teams of all types (work, sports, family, marriages, etc).
HOW TO DEAL WITH
Over the years I've heard many stories from people who read The Energy Bus about how they dealt with Energy Vampires. Some successfully
transformed them. Others let them go so they could no longer sabotage
the team. And some unfortunately abused their power by labeling anyone
who disagreed with them an Energy Vampire. I've learned a lot from these
people and have garnered lessons from their successes and mistakes. In
this spirit I wanted to share some thoughts about how to deal with an
Energy Vampire (EV):
- First and foremost, love them. No one really wants to be an
energy vampire. He/she is likely negative for a reason. The first step
should always be to love, understand and transform. For example, Martin,
from the company Seventh Generation, told me that he put a sign on his
door that said Energy Vampires Welcome. Expect to be filled up with positive energy.
- While I love Martin’s approach, I also know from personal
experience and the work I do with teams and organizations that not every
EV is willing to change. If your efforts to transform an EV are not
successful and they are sabotaging the team and organization then they
should be let off the bus.
- If you don’t like the thought of letting people off the bus
you are not alone. That’s why I always tell leaders and managers that
you won’t have to let EV’s off the bus if you create a positive culture
where EV’s are uncomfortable being negative. If you create a strong,
positive culture that attracts positive people, fosters positive
communication and generates positive energy, the EV’s who are unwilling
to change will walk off the bus themselves because they don’t fit in.
Energy Vampires don’t like the light.
- The best way to deal with Energy Vampires in your organization
is at the culture level where you set the expectation that people who
drain the energy of others will not be tolerated. One college football
coach did this with his football team a few years ago. He had all his
players read The Energy Bus and had an artist draw a huge picture of an Energy Vampire on the wall
of their team meeting room. Any time a player was being an EV they put
the player’s picture on the wall. No one wanted to be on the wall. In
essence, the coach was telling his team that we will not allow
negativity to sabotage our team and goals. While I don’t recommend
business leaders and school principals utilize the Energy Vampire on the
Wall strategy I do believe they must make it clear that negativity that
drains others and sabotages team performance is not acceptable.
Leaders/managers/coaches/principals must create a positive work
environment where their people can do their best work without being
affected by an EV.
- If you are not a leader or manager and you’re not in a
position to define the culture or hire and fire people you are likely
wondering what you should do if you have an EV on your team or in your
office. In this case you can influence your team and office culture by
sharing The Energy Bus with your manager/leader and encouraging
them to utilize it to create a positive culture. I’ve witnessed many
organizational transformations simply because an employee shared The Energy Bus with a leader and the leader invited everyone on the bus. Please know
I’m not trying to be promotional here. People tell me all the time that The Energy Bus is an effective tool that creates a common language for organizations
to talk about and address negativity. Since it’s a tool that works I
believe in helping others use it. You can read some quotes about it here.
- If you are not a manager or leader and you have EV’s on your
team or in your office it’s also important that you decide to be more
positive than the negativity your face. A simple rule is: Your positive energy must be greater than all the negativity.
- If you encounter Energy Vampires in your daily life remember
Gandhi’s words "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their
- If you have a personal friend or a friend at work who is an EV
you may decide to talk to them about their negativity. If you have a
strong relationship with them and they know you care about them, they
may be open to your advice. But remember Energy Vampires can’t see their
own reflection. They may not realize they are an Energy Vampire.
- Proceed with caution if you decide to go this route. And if you do, do it with love.
- If you have a neighbor that is an EV and it’s one of those
days where you just don’t want their negativity to impact you, run away
as fast as you can when you see them. Just say you have something in the
oven. : )
Finally, if you have
Energy Vampires lurking in your family I recommend you become a positive
force of positive energy that demonstrates to others what real
positivity, in the form of love, patience, kindness, and care, looks
like. Honestly it’s something I’m still working on myself. It’s not easy
but it’s worth the effort.
How do you deal with an Energy Vampire?
Share your thoughts with me on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
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