Monday, May 20, 2013

Drama is in the Air

There are few things that are more draining, exhausting, and frustrating than drama. It lurks in the shadows, and has opinions, secrets, alliances, pretense, etc. What is it about drama that is so intriguing? Drama is part of our culture, and it is that same culture that fuels it. Reality TV's linchpin is drama. Someone is upset at someone else but they can't confront them, instead they have to "vent" to their "friends" all over social media so that they feel better.

What makes drama tick? What is at its heart? Manipulation. Someone wants something and is willing to do, say, and/or post anything to get it. "They offended me and I am going to make them pay. I will manipulate circumstances and conversations so that they know I mean business." Or how about, "I have to get people on my side instead of theirs, so I'll start sharing information with others to make it happen." The struggle is that most people love to hear the dirty details and then "share how they feel".

Drama drains. It sucks the life out of those involved. How do you kill it? I love Dave Ramsey's policy inside his company – employees must hand complaints up to higher-level leaders, and pass compliments down. You aren't allowed to stew on things. If there is an issue, then send it on up and let the powers that be deal with it. Encouragement and praise are great things and help in defusing drama. The only way to guard against it is to have EVERYONE buy in to this concept and lead by its truth. If someone in Dave's organization can't figure out how to follow this rule, he "set's them free" and they get to find a new job.

Beware of the drama lover. They enjoy telling others their sob-stories so that they can recruit followers and build secret consensus. If they can get enough people on their side they might just be able to manipulate a more favorable outcome. What they don't see is that they are also slowly tearing down the inner walls of the team and creating factions. Every leader has had a cancerous person crop up within their organization. It's amazing what happens when they prune them out. Many of you know who your dramatic manipulating drama lovers are.

It's still Spring time and pruning season is in the air. Grab some shears. The rest of your team with thank you.