Recently, I had the pleasure of attending an all-day seminar led by Dandapani, a Hindu priest and former monk. Not only was it tremendously informative, but it was also potentially life-changing. Well, for me at least.The workshop was titled “Unwavering Focus.” In a nutshell, the goal of the workshop was to get to know the inner workings of our mind a bit better and reorient ourselves toward positivity. Interesting, right?

We covered a lot of content in eight hours. And while there was so much useful information, what resonated with me most was the concept of identifying the three types of people who give and take away energy from us.

Dandapani places people in one of three categories (although shifting from one category to another is possible): Uplifting, Neutral and Non-Uplifting. As Dandapani explained, people are often some of the biggest consumers of energy. The goal is, of course, to be an Uplifting person, but also to surround yourself with like-minded people. This means practicing empathy, listening and not taking energy away from someone else.

Related: This I Believe – Company Culture Means Everything

In his teachings, Dandapani also talked about the concept of “The Energy Vampire,” when referring to the Non-Uplifting segment of people. The Energy Vampire, simply stated, is someone that saps another person of valuable energy. We all know people like this. It could be a relative, a friend or even a colleague at work. These people constantly fill your time with problems and rarely do they offer solutions or anything beneficial to you in return.

Negative forces in the workplace can truly be a productivity killer. Negative emotions are more contagious than positive ones. It’s incredibly awkward working with negative people because, in my experience, others tend to walk on eggshells around them. Sometimes people will avoid negative personalities altogether which, of course, crushes collaboration and potentially morale in the workplace.


When employees are negative or unhappy at work, it becomes more and more unlikely they’ll be able to provide value to their company or customers. Eventually, clients will be on the receiving end of this negativity, which could potentially cause your clients to re-evaluate their business or take their business elsewhere. Worse yet, if the negativity isn’t bad enough after they drop you, your clients may decide to share these experiences with other potential clients.

Thanks to specific SaaS employee engagement platforms, employees are able to share their ideas and feelings anonymously. This allows managers to keep their fingers on the pulse of the team’s collective attitude. If they see unwelcome trends developing, they can act swiftly to improve morale by making appropriate data-driven changes. At stable|kernel, we have been working with Office Vibe, an employee engagement software service that provides tools to measure employee satisfaction and gives actionable tips to create a better workplace.

Here’s an example of a recent weekly report I received:

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This is a very useful piece of information to receive on a weekly basis, and it helps the leadership team monitor the company’s health on a variety of different topics. It also helps us find potential negative issues or feelings. The sooner we can get ahead of these kinds of challenges, the better off we will be in the long run.

As an employer, the pursuit shouldn’t be to try and find exact clones of you or even people who enjoy the same craft beers or sports you do. Surround yourself with positivity and with uplifting people. You’ll be constantly amazed at how much positive people can do together.

Learn more about what we are doing here at s|k to foster a positive, healthy culture!

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Jason Russell

CEO and Co-Founder at Stable Kernel

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