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Zombies, Vampires and Co-Workers, Oh My!

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It’s the season for frightful creatures and some of these creatures are in the workplace. Perhaps you’ve seen the dreaded Zombie and Vampire in your office and wanted to know how to survive with these dreadful creatures lurking around.

Zombies are the living dead that are walking among us. We’ve all seen them in the old monster movies. I define the Zombie as the co-worker who has worked for your company for the past several years. They come to work faithfully day after day, but no one knows why they are there or what they’re contributing. They hide away in a corner and only come out when they are hungry, or to complain that something isn’t fair.

Vampires are a bit harder to detect. They try to mix in with the rest of us, but when you look carefully you can spot them. They are the co-workers that literally suck the life right out of you. After interacting with them you are emotionally and physically drained. They are the takers, the ones that will take your ideas and sell them off as their own. The ones that always ask for a favor and give nothing in return.

Both of these creatures want us to conform and be like them. They do their best to hold us back from being successful. They ask you, “Why do you need to be the show off and make the rest of us look bad?” “Why do you need to make changes, things are just fine the way they are.” Or my least favorite, “Just keep your head down and you won’t get hurt.”

If you have people in your life that are robbing you of your success or draining your energy, chances are you have a Zombie or a Vampire for a co-worker. The truth is that some situations you encounter with these creatures can be fatal. So let me share a secret serum with you. After using this tried and true serum, you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing you’ve got the vaccine to fight off their dreadful nature.

Understand the problem behavior won’t go away on its own, in fact it will get worse if untreated. Just remember, “SBI” – this is the secret serum that works incredible well for controlling dreadfully contagious behavior viruses. Its best to catch these behaviors early before they are permeating throughout your organization.

Ask to meet with your co-worker and cover the following:
1. Situation – Describe the situation in detail. Talk about the facts only, don’t share your emotions or how you felt. Help them recall the specific situation where this behavior occurred. Talk about what happened and what was the event.
2. Behavior – Describe their behavior that occurred during that particular situation. Again, don’t share emotion or past behavior, just share the facts of this current situation and their behavior. What did they do, or say.
3. Impact – Describe how the behavior during that situation impacted you. Describe how you felt.

After discussing these three items let your co-worker know what you would like to see happen in the future. Negotiate for a win/win so that both of you can walk away with a clear path forward and with respect for one another.

My last piece of advice, if after repeatedly using this serum and there isn’t a change, then scream loudly, “Run for your life!” and run away just as you would from a monster! Seriously, ask yourself what price you are willing to pay to work with Zombies and Vampires, but before you answer that question, remember these viruses can be extremely contagious.

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