Question: Marlene, explain what you mean by drama?
Answer: Everyone knows what it’s like to dread making a call when you know you should. Or it’s the voice in your head that makes you doubt your ability, or the fear that you don’t have enough time or money.
For the leader, drama can manifest while preparing for a difficult conversation, or introducing a change that you know the employees are not going to like, or even dealing with the negativity and lack of motivation within your team.
In my book, Stop Workplace Drama, my definition of drama is “Any obstacle to your peace or prosperity.” So…you need to become aware when you are not in a joyful place, or when you are not motivated, or when you feel confused or divided, because that means there is drama; and drama always impacts your personal effectiveness.
Question: All drama has three components within it. What are they?
Answer: There is always a lack of clarity. Think of the overly creative boss who keeps changing direction on the team; that create tremendous drama. Or maybe you do well in your career but you want to leave and find something more fulfilling. That’s an example of a lack of clarity. Another indicator of drama is a relationship issue. And finally, there is always resistance when there is drama.
Question: Your fifth principle in the book is stop relationship drama. What does this mean?
Answer: This principle is based on The Karpman Drama Triangle. When relationships are dysfunctional, you will see three patterns emerge: the victim, the persecutor, and the rescuer. We all know what victim behavior is: “t’s not my fault…” “There’s not enough time.” It’s the finger pointing, the pouting, the excuses. This drives managers crazy. So, in all drama, you will find these three patterns.
But not all relationships are about people. I jokingly tell everyone in my presentations that the best relationship advice I ever got was to fall in love with the phone. When I started my career, I didn’t realize what a wonderful sales tool the phone was, and I avoided it. I had a bad relationship with it. I felt like a victim, because although I had the skills to use the phone, I had negative thoughts about the phone. So when there is drama, look for a relationship issue, and that will help you get to the core of the problem.
Question: How you identify resistance?
Answer: When someone says, “I would BUT…..” that is resistance. You see a lot of excuse making in resistance. “The reason I don’t think that would work is because……” In the book, I teach you how to look for what I call “four patterns” of resistance so that, as a manager, you can tell if you are getting through it or not. You can stop resistance in its tracks before it becomes a big problem, if you utilize these tools. I also talk about the particular attitude and language that happens right before change, and I call that “The Fulcrum Point of Change.” You can even use this with your clients when you are making a sale.
What drama are you dealing with today? How can you cut through the fog and create clarity?