mind your business: 7 Steps to a Drama-Free Office
If you work with other people (and who doesn't?) reflect on the last week and notice how much time you wasted on drama: the energy-draining behaviors or exchanges that keep you from what you really want to be doing. Think about all the infighting, water-cooler talk, meaningless meetings, turf wars, pouting, rants and other behaviors that blocked positive, productive interactions in your organization.
Now, think about how many creative projects you could have completed, or how much time you could have spent having fun with friends and family if you had that time and energy back.
By following these seven steps, you can shift yourself (and your team) away from drama to more enjoyable and productive tasks.
Step 1: Get Out of Your Own Drama
One of the most difficult challenges for aspiring leaders is to "own their stuff" and acknowledge their own responsibility for relationship shortcomings. So, before you can guide others, you must take inventory of both your interaction strengths (i.e., where you uplift relationships) and the ways you sabotage relationships. The strength inventory is usually easy. The sabotage inventory is more difficult. It requires the vulnerability and courage to seek others' candid observations and advice about your behavior. To find out your own drama tendencies, you can use self-reflection, ask your colleagues or take a drama-assessment (www.dramafreeoffice.com/self-assessment-survey/). You can only help others when you are curious yourself. Take a deep breath, get re-centered and get out of your own way.
Step 2: Diagnose the Type of Drama in the Other Person
Once you are committed to authenticity and curiosity yourself, you can determine what kind of drama the other person is displaying. There are four primary drama roles that emerge most frequently in office settings: the complainer, the controller, the cynic and the caretaker. You'll need to use different strategies for different personality types—there is no "one size fits all" antidote. Notice the kind of –person you're dealing with. Will they respond more to direct confrontation and setting boundaries –(better for controllers and cynics), or to appreciation and encouragement (better for caretakers and complainers)?