dra·ma – an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances.
Recently I saw a post advertising a workshop for creating a drama-free workplace. At first glance that sounds like it would be wonderful. No conflict. No emotions. Just people showing up and working the day away allowing you to focus on what you want without interruption.
This may be extreme and I guarantee it was not the intent of the workshop. However it is what a lot of leaders want. Drama is seen as bad. It’s acting out and disrupting workflow. This also forces managers to have to deal with infighting while trying to put out other fires. What we are dealing with is not drama as much as it is bad behavior. There’s a difference.
If you read the definition above there is nothing to suggest that drama should be bad. In fact I would argue that organizational growth can only happen WITH drama. As leaders we want people to be excited about what they do, Without conflict needed change cannot occur. Emotions drive us to act. When they aren’t channeled properly they cause us to act out.
How to embrace Drama
If you have ever seen a play or movie that has impacted you emotionally you have experienced drama. An inspiring speech will do the same. In fact, you may have attended motivational events with international speakers whose purpose is to move you to act. Without that emotional hook it’s hard to get people to perform. Instead of creating a drama free workplace create a drama positive one.
- Live your Vision: A simple statement that defines your Why is a must for getting others to rally behind you. It becomes the driver of your actions.
- Guide with Values: What will you do to win business and deliver your promise? What won’t you do? Values become the moral compass for how any representative of your business should act.
- Define what you want: A question I often ask my clients is, “what do you want?” The goal is to gain clarity with the outcomes you are trying to create. It also changes corrective action to a positive outcome.
- Teach others how to handle conflict: It’s often too easy for an employee to pass the buck when they have a conflict with another team member. Instead of giving them tools to handle disagreements, they dump the issue of the manager and leave it up to them to figure out who is right and how to exact punishment. Your role as a leader is to coach others to become better team players.
- Communicate regularly: Productive meetings create proactive discussions. Get your team to look ahead and work together to solve issues before they get blown out of proportion.
- Get them excited: Unlock the passion. Get others to see the opportunity. Positive emotions get people to come into work every day.
These steps can help you transform drama from bad behaviors to positive motivators. Your leadership can strengthen an organization to become a powerful force. Instead of crushing drama, create with it.