RSS How Do You Deal With Drama?

Recently, I received a response to my blog posting entitled “Lessons from the Past.” The response referred to a personal lesson this individual learned regarding idle chat in the workplace.  To quote the respondent, “Step away from the water cooler. You never know when the thoughts you share can be used to place you in a negative light with others. This is not to say that we shouldn’t engage in conversations with co-workers, just that we should keep them appropriate and positive. Remove yourself from conversations which are inappropriate and negative in nature.”

Herein lies an important lesson for each of us; “water cooler” discussions are a breeding ground for drama. It is generally a place where business and personal conversations get blurred and where personal perspectives can be viewed as business perspectives. 

If I were to ask you right now whether or not there is drama in your life, I’m sure most of you would answer, “Sure, doesn’t everyone?” Of course, we all endure drama in our daily lives; drama comes from a variety of sources: family, friends, media, and our place of employment.  As leaders, we should be aware of the drama that is going on around us including the source as well as those who perpetuate it. Please don’t misunderstand what I mean by drama. Drama is not related to the communication required to address legitimate business issues or concerns, or the individuals involved with those concerns. When I speak of drama, I refer to the communication one engages in which may influence the opinion of another toward one’s own perspective. I think there are some individuals who like to create drama by constantly complaining about co-workers, policies and procedures, or even customers. They are also more likely than not to bring their personal traumas to work so that others can share in their turmoil. Likewise, there are individuals who seem to always be on the receiving end of the drama, some who actually thrive on it and perpetuate it in an organization. 

Please consider the following:

  • We all need to understand when drama is present. How can we deal with the problem if we don’t see the problem? Recognize it, deal with it, and move on to more productive endeavors.
  • If you are the recipient of drama, be careful not to “own it” yourself. I have found that when someone is dealing with drama, there are usually only a few individuals who can fix it. I recommend that you stay above the fray at all costs and direct the drama to the most appropriate resource.
  •  If you enjoy creating drama, expect to be treated like a pariah at some point. You may think that the information you are sharing has pertinence to everyone, but in reality there are usually only a few people who can best deal with your issues.
  •  While we all may like to hear about drama, unfortunately it’s merely a symptom of greater problems. Problems require immediate and sustainable solutions, not more drama!
  •  Drama always leads to consequences. If the drama itself doesn’t hurt you, it’s likely the consequences will.

 Lastly, I recommend listening to the Mary J. Blige song, “No More Drama.” The music is terrific and the words profound! Click here to visit for the song lyrics.

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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