Negativity can suck the life out of you and your veterinary team. Learn to let that person go.
Energy vampires. That's an awesome term, isn't it? I had never heard it until I read the management book The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. He describes energy vampires as the people who are gifted at being miserable and seemingly trying their hardest to make those around them miserable too.
I bet you can name an energy vampire or two in your hospital right now. Who do you think about after you leave work? "If only she would..." or "Why does he...?"
Energy vampires will suck the life out of you and the rest of your team if you let them. They can't help themselves. You've probably talked to them many times about their bad attitude and failure as a "team player." You come into work the next day after a long talk with them hoping they've changed, but odds are they're still negative and pessimistic.
The problem, though, is that even though most of you like to fix things and make things better (or you probably wouldn't be in veterinary medicine), you can't fix energy vampires. Some people just like to be miserable, and it's not our job to fix people—only animals. The people need to fix themselves.
Recently, I was talking with a supervising technician, and she told me that a doctor at her practice had printed out a previous blog I wrote about "crazy" being hard to see when you're living in it. (Read it now at dvm360.com/crazy.) After seeing it, she knew she had to let one of her technicians go. This technician was a huge drain on the supervising technician as well as the rest of the team. The supervisor finally realized that trying to fix this person was never going to work and she wouldn't let this energy vampire destroy the morale of the rest of her team any longer.
I had never been so happy to hear about someone losing a job. I knew that the team would be much happier without this miserable person, even if it meant the practice would be short staffed for a while. It's better to be tired from a long day at work than to be emotionally drained from working with a toxic person.
The energy vampires must leave your hospital. It's time to "free" them to find a better fit elsewhere—and let them go far away from you and your team. If they get angry, just tell them I made you do it!
This blog originally appeared on the dvm360 community. Dr. Rebecca Tudor, DACVS, resides in North Carolina. She is the founder of CatalystVETS.com.