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  • Writer's pictureDavid Stamation

DRAMA – It’s Not in the Job Description

Encountering drama within a friend circle might prompt us to choose between engagement and distance, but when drama finds its way into the workplace, the choices become less clear. How does one address this within a professional setting? Furthermore, what does it reveal about a company or its management when a consistently dramatic employee remains unchecked, drawing attention, creating tension and disruption?

Why it cannot be Overlooked

The presence of drama speaks volumes about the company and its management. For employees not inclined toward drama and who steer clear of gossip, working alongside a drama-bound person drains motivation and energy. Many share that it is both taxing and demoralizing tied with regular thoughts of working elsewhere.

Drama, with its intense emotions and disruptive conflicts, needs to be tempered and eliminated to prevent staff turnover. High turnover is not only a hassle but also an expensive and time-consuming affair. By curbing drama, retention rates improve, nurturing stability and a cohesive, productive team.

Roots of Drama

Drama stems from many sources, here are a few:

Attention seeking – drama can be a way to seek attention, validation, or sympathy from others. It can be a means to get recognition or feel important.

Conflict and Entertainment – It can create excitement and stimulation, like what people experience when watching movies or TV. It might be a way to add excitement to their lives.

Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem – Individuals grappling with insecurities might resort to drama to feel significant or gain a sense of control and power in their relationships or lives.

Social Influences – Environments thriving on gossip, conflict, or sensationalism can fuel dramatic behavior.

Drama might seem attention grabbing or momentarily entertaining. Its consequences are far-reaching. Its presence in the workplace strains relationships, induces stress, and impedes effective communication. On a habit-forming level it escalates cortisol levels, offering fleeting energy and a false sense of power, meaning there is an addictive explanation for living in a perpetual state of drama.

The impact is stinging for the non-drama team members – it is the intense emotional expression that drains people. Because the roots are numerous, enacting solutions or fixes can seem out of reach.

Mitigating Drama

Effectively curbing drama involves:

Get clear on your workplace culture. Explicitly stating that drama and gossip have no place in the job description sets a clear standard. Are you leading by example?

Leading by Example. Managers and leaders play a central role in modeling positive behavior, showcasing professionalism, and resolving conflicts constructively. Do you embody the culture?

Emphasizing Solutions. Shifting focus from dwelling on problems to encouraging problem-solving benefits the team and organization. Drama rarely wants a fix or solution.

Drama’s Hidden Cost

Unchecked drama seeps into business culture, breeding a demotivated workforce that dreads Mondays, reluctant to contribute or propose solutions—far from the ideal culture most business leaders/owners envision. Unaddressed, it fosters an environment where employees feel undervalued and, over time, grows into resentment and disengagement.

How Executive Coaching Works

I facilitate a process using the Legacy Method, where leaders define the culture they aspire to create or transform, addressing any entrenched drama within their teams. For individuals and leaders grappling with drama, I guide them toward constructive approaches, redirecting their focus toward enriching aspects of their lives.

Moreover, I support leaders/owners in overcoming the fear of being perceived negatively when reshaping workplace culture by eradicating drama.

If you want to do this yourself, where tackling drama becomes a priority, I advocate crafting a comprehensive 6-month plan. Following this, schedule a review at the 6-month mark to assess progress. If little to no headway is evident, then engage me with executive coaching to create and implement a culture plan. Remember: drama is not a part of the job description.

At Legacy, we believe you are your own best teacher, it’s why we say, Be Your Own Guru.


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