Column: Remove these four things from the workplace to get rid of drama

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Commentary by Jack Klemeyer

It’s hard to believe all the drama that seems to live in the workplace today. Drama reigns from the frantic posts on Facebook and other social media to the chatter at the water cooler. Many bosses have quipped, “If we could just get rid of the drama our people would be much more productive and our bottom line would be much better.”

I like to look for patterns in things because when you find the pattern you can trace any issue back to its cause and then fix it. The same is true for drama. Believe it or not, there are actually Four Pillars to Drama and when you eliminate these four, you virtually eliminate the drama.

Here are the Four Pillars of Drama:

  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Making “stuff” up
  • Ignoring “noble” intent
  • Looking for ways to be offended

Let’s look at each a little more in depth.

Jumping to conclusions. An action taken by another person 99.9 percent of the time has nothing to do with you or me. We all have things going on in our lives that may cause us to fly off the handle once and a while for some, and as a regular occurrence for others. When this happens it’s an indicator that the person who flipped out jumped to a conclusion or two.

Making “stuff” up. This isn’t the false sales call report. It’s much worse. Making stuff up is close to jumping to conclusions but different in the fact that when there’s nothing to jump to … they make that part up.

Ignoring “noble” intent. You see, in most cases when someone does something that offends or upsets another person, that wasn’t the result they were looking for in the first place. Many times a well-intended act goes awry and never gets noticed for the noble intent from which it was meant initially.

Looking to be offended. You might challenge this one and I would ask that you examine your position. Are you looking for a way to be offended? This one comes from the attitude that the person being offended has assigned responsibility to someone or something other than themselves. We alone are responsible for our thoughts, our actions, and our results. Any time we assign that responsibility to someone or something other than ourselves … we’ve been had.

Keep your eyes open and begin to notice how and when the drama show begins. Stay calm and quietly trace the source back to its inception. I’m betting you’ll find one of the Four Pillars of Drama.

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