This made me laugh but there's a lot of wisdom here. If we replace 'Office' with 'Dojo' we can instantly relate to it. Some students walk through the door with a loud Osu! and you feel glad they've arrived as they ADD to the atmosphere and effort levels. Others walk through the door and you know they'll do their work without stealing energy from others.
But there is another type who only come to steal. So I want to do my best to get them to either start being a contributor or quit altogether. In my dojo we do a Saturday class that's as hard as I can (sensibly) make it. I love taking that session because the energy thieves don't come. They're still in bed waiting for someone to make their breakfast.
Roger Mellott speaks about stress management for professionals. He discusses the idea of having an "energy pie" and posits that some people wake up with an energy pie the size of a dinner mint and others wake up with an energy pie that is the size of a child's swimming pool. I take several lessons from this:
1.You need to have the biggest energy pie possible;
2.You need to be aware of where your energy pie goes;
3.You need to avoid what I call "pie suckers." You know what I mean....those people who just suck the life right out of you. There's a sucking sound that you hear whenever they approach.
Some ideas for how to deal with the "pie suckers," i.e., those people who are thieves of your energy (and thereby your time, too).
1.Know who your "pie suckers" are. Don't make a list to post in your office, but know who they are. The first step in preventing any of your time and energy thieves is awareness. What's the saying, "Forewarned is forearmed"?
2.Avoid your pie suckers whenever possible. Practice saying "Hello!" rather than "How are you?" The last thing you need to do is engage with your pie suckers. It's likely that they will try to engage with you...so do everything possible not to invite their interaction. Just changing your morning greeting may be helpful in this regard.
3.Walk past pie suckers quickly (fast walking burns more calories, anyway). At work, you should hardly be sauntering about anyway, so moving quickly helps give the impression that you are busy, on the move, in a hurry, on a mission, etc. and thus makes it easier to keep interactions with your pie suckers to a minimal level.
4.When one of your pie suckers asks if you "Have a minute?" answer "No." You may smile and shake your head, but don't give an inch. If it's someone that you simply must talk with, let them know that you have a minute, but that's it. Chop, chop. Move right into the topic, deal with it, and then move on (or get the pie sucker to move on).
5.Be polite but distant. Don't learn about your pie sucker's illnesses, pets, in-laws, children, or work-out routine. Similarly, don't share your own private information. This may go completely against your nature, but if this person is sucking your energy pie (i.e., stealing your energy), then resist any temptation to make connections, especially of a personal nature.
6.Under no circumstances should you share a meal with your pie sucker. Even if it means sitting alone in your office at lunch, don't chance it. (And a private lunch with you and your thoughts sounds pretty good, doesn't it?)
7.Do not feel obligated to give your pie sucker birthday or holiday cards or gifts. If your pie sucker gives these items to you, thank him/her. Refer to item #5.
8.If you share office space with your pie sucker, rearrange the furniture so you don't have to face him/her. Put up a partition if possible. And do what you can to change the office-sharing arrangement if you can. Sometimes, it just takes asking.
9.Remember that pie suckers are stealing from you. This isn't nice. You don't allow other people to steal your things (essentially all of which are replaceable). Why would you allow someone to steal your energy or time (which, essentially aren't replaceable)?
10.High blood pressure is expensive. Is your pie sucker worth the price? Be very conscious of the cost of interacting with this person.
Please note: The moniker "pie sucker" applies only to one or two people in your life (at least I hope so). This terms doesn't apply to the person who just sort of irritates you now and then or someone you just don't care for. A pie sucker is a person who just drains your energy in ways that distinguish him/her from others.
It's sad to say, but usually when I talk about this concept in workshops, people know exactly what I'm talking about. If you have more than one or two pie-suckers, you may need to do some seriously re-thinking about your work or personal life and how this is happening.
Additional note: In all honesty, we are likely to be someone's pie sucker, too. We should take a look at what people might find about us that just drains the life out of them. There's room for growth in all of us.
Energy thieves are the worst kind of thieves because we need our energy to be productive--both professionally and personally. Take steps to eliminate energy thieves from your life and start with "pie suckers."
Time and energy thieves are part of modern life (sad by true). You have the power to prevent this pilfering of your productivity.
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The page has turned. From today I will demand from all members, DON'T be an energy thief!