Drama and Who Broke the Media Projector
No one knows when or how, but one of our media projectors is broken. I was fascinated how Doers, Dreamers, and Feelers responded.
Mr. Feeler wondered how someone could break something and not report it. He felt a measure of insult and indignation. (Relationships.)
Mr. Doer wondered what happened. Was it dropped? Did someone mishandle it? (Analysis and action.)
Mr. Dreamer wondered how we might replace it. (Future.)
*All three thought about all three things. I report their first response.
Dreamers and drama:
I’m the Dreamer in the story.
Looking to the past feels like drama to me. When Mr. Doer asked about what happened, I wondered, “Who freakin’ cares?” When Mr Feeler wondered about who might have done it, I thought, “What’s the point?”
I feel like others are being dramatic when they think about the past. But it’s not drama. It’s a difference in perspective.
Doers think about process. Perhaps something was done that could be prevented in the future?
Feelers think about relationships. Perhaps we need to develop a more transparent culture?
To me, it’s all drama. Just replace the damn projector and move on.
Doers and Feelers widen a Dreamers perspective. I probably seemed disconnected and dis-concerned. Actually my view is narrow and short-sighted. There’s value in exploring what happened and who might have been involved. It just doesn’t feel worth it to me.
Drama for Dreamers:
You feel drama when you try to solve the concerns of others.
In reality, they should address the issues that concern them. Yes, I need to be involved and helpful. But I don’t need to solve their concerns. They do, if it’s worth it to them.
Dealing with drama:
Sometimes drama is about you, not others.
- Listen to understand.
- Ask, “What are your choices?”
- Ask, “What do you want?”
- Don’t assume responsibility for others.
What makes you feel drama?
How do you deal with drama?
For a fuller explanation of Doer, Dreamer, Feeler read: Cracking the Doer-Dreamer-Feeler Code
For more on office drama, read, “Stop Workplace Drama,” by Marlene Chism.
So in the presented case I would first act as a Dreamer (let’s get a replacement) and then fall back to Doer (how did this happen and do we need to take actions to prevent future breakage). I like you don’t care really care about the drama. I say I’d morph back into a Doer to figure out what happened because I’ve been doing root cause analysis all my working career but as I get older the first reaction is get another (in this case) cause I do not have time to waste.
Thanks Roger. Yes. We all have all three. Love your agility. I think there’s value in understand these orientations and bringing them into play at the appropriate time.
Great article. I shared it with my department because I think a good team will include members with each of these different perspectives. Being aware of the value of each type of mindset may help everyone to recognize that while what others are focusing on in any given situation may not be important to them personally and what they want/need to accomplish, it may address a completely different, yet still valid and relevant, issue.
Thanks Anne. One of my motivations for thinking and writing about doers/dreamer/feeler is there are unnecessary tensions on teams between these folks. It took me years to appreciate the Doers and Feelers in my world.
We can drive each other crazy. It helps to respect their lens and to know when it best applies to a given situation.
Best to you and your department
Definitely a dreamer! I probably would have been happy it was dropped because it was old and needed to be replaced anyway!
Dan, me and most of my colleagues (present and past) would immediately respond by seeing if we can fix it. Analysis, action, relationships, future would all be ignored while it gets rebooted, unscrewed, re-wired or whatever.
Love it, Mitch. You’re a bunch of doers!!
I think you are being kind. Mr. Doer & Feeler may be looking to affix blame. That would be why I ask those questions. After knowing who and how, I can feel superior because it wasn’t me and I wouldn’t have done that…..But then it does need to be replaced. Thank you for the broadening of perspective.
Thanks Pete. You could be right. However, the two guys I’m talking about are pretty straight up guys.
Additionally, I’m surprised at the strong response of the Feeler. I’m still mulling that one over.
All 3 responses are valid, in my mind. Additionally, they are all necessary to improve the situation. In response to your mulling over the feeler’s response, I think I can help. I think I am the “feeler” in some cases but, I like to think I respond appropriately as the dreamer and/or the doer when necessary. 🙂 The feeler’s indignation likely comes from the feeling that “if only people would do the right thing, we wouldn’t have so many problems.” In other words, whoever broke the projector should have reported it so the solution (whatever that may be) can quickly be addressed. I think the feeler is the one who brings ethics to the group. We need those. 🙂
Love this article. I was able to apply this outside of a work environment for clarity.
This is the kind of situation that really has me question my skills/abilities as a leader. Strictly based on instinct I know that I am “Mr. Doer” in this scenario. I want to know what happened so that it can be fixed most efficiently and so that we can get on with the business at hand. In the instant of realizing the problem I don’t really care who dropped it or why they didn’t report it and I’m not all that interested in how we can prevent drops in the future or replace it, I see that something has interfered with the smooth operation of the system that is in place and want to simply fix it and more on (within the existing system) because we have more important things to do.
As an individual, I can see getting away with that kind of thinking, and with only having myself to be responsible for, I can see it actually being a virtue to be that focused on solving the immediate problem and not focusing on the drama or what caused the situation in the first place. The problem, as I see it, is that as a leader, you really are expected to act as “Mr. Dreamer” in that you are going to have to at least envision a process of moving media projectors around that minimizes the likelihood that they will get broken, and/or “Mr. Feeler” in that if there is a person or persons who are being careless to the point of negatively impacting the smooth running of the current system, or worst, taking advantage of the current system to benefit themselves to the detriment of others, you are going to have to take action.
In my quieter moments – after the problem is fixed (at least temporarily) – I find myself stuck in early “Mr. Feeler” mode, just upset that someone would be so careless and not report it, but feel impotent to create a system for minimizing the chance it will get broken again because I just cannot put myself into the mindset of the person who committed the infraction. Beyond avoiding the drama … I just find it very difficult to feel capable of leading individuals who don’t share my mindset or sense of urgency about a particular issue, and I know that this is a great failing of mine as a leader. I rely on the wit and wisdom of “experts” who have written on subjects like “emotional intelligence” and “leading from behind,” but I find it very difficult to authentically embrace these ideas because (I think) I am such a “Mr. Doer.” Thoughts? Suggestions?