Energy Vampires

Halloween is right around the corner. Soon, we will have little Frankensteins and Ninja Turtles and Cinderellas knocking on our door looking to have their buckets and bags filled with candy.

I like Halloween. Greeting these little demons, super heroes and princesses is fun.

Know what would be really great? If Halloween was the only day energy vampires came around too.

Energy vampires are deadly to an organization; especially when they are in leadership positions. They will suck the life right out of their employees. These leaders don’t get engagement. They get compliance.

What I find remarkable are how many energy vampires we have in the workforce. We find them from the top echelons all the way down to the front lines. We not only find ourselves working with them, we often have to work for them. Even worse, if we fail to keep our guard up, we may become like them.

I originally wanted this post to be about managing the energy vampire, but I could not find a good reference starting point. Google has ample hits when it comes to working side-by-side with energy vamps. They also have great suggestions working for energy sucking bosses. But for reasons unknown, there is not much information available for managing these individuals.

I was unable to find a single source about staking an employee, or the use of excessive garlic in the workplace. I started to wonder why this was, and I soon realized something. If Gallup is correct with their numbers and approximately 70% of our workforce is disengaged, would it not follow we have close to the same proportion of energy vampires in charge? Are we the ones turning our employees into energy-sucking demons?

We all need to take a hard look at ourselves in the mirror. Can you see your behavioral reflection? The behavior others are seeing from you. Keep in mind Dracula had no reflection, so this may be difficult to see.

If so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you a little bit too much of a control freak?
  • Do you offer an opinion about most everything that comes your way?
  • Do you find yourself dominating most conversations?

If so, you may be an energy vampire.

  • Are you hungry for attention?
  • Do you find yourself interrupting others – especially when they are talking about themselves?

If so, you may be an energy vampire.

  • Are you insistent on double-checking the work of others?
  • Do you have trouble trusting the work of your team and find yourself overly managing?

If so, you may be an energy vampire.

  • Do you wake up in the morning feeling the whole world is against you?
  • That your staff, your boss, your colleagues are all out to get you?
  • Are you a chronic complainer?
  • No one ever makes coffee but you.
  • No one ever cleans the sink but you.
  • No one ever does their job, but you.

If so, you may be an energy vampire.

  • Do the little things in life tick you off?
  • Do you have difficulty controlling your anger?
  • Do you find yourself on an emotional roller coaster at times?

Guess what? You are an energy vampire.

There is good news in all this, however. For the remaining 30% percent of the engaged workforce, Google has some great tips and strategies on how others can learn to work with you.

Did that last sentence sting a little? If so, that means there is still hope. You have not fully crossed over to the dark side. Not only can you turn, in doing so you will turn others as well. Because behaviors are contagious.