Troublemakers are smart, manipulative, and self-serving.
Drama at work means:
- Hot situations get hotter.
- Difficult situations become more painful.
- Confusing situations seem unsolvable.
It’s impossible to imagine the tiny offenses that bother thin-skinned dramamongers.
- He looked at me wrong.
- I can’t like you if you like him.
- Her work makes me look bad.
The ability to make molehills into mountains is a troublemaker’s delight.
People at the center of drama at work:
- Weaken relationships. Dramamongers use conflict to strengthen their power.
- Take offense quickly, easily, and frequently. The person you’re dancing around uses drama at work to control you.
- Gather allies and expect you to choose sides.
- Pretend they love you when they hate you.
- Manipulate behind the scenes instead of speaking up.
- Recruit the gullible to do their dirty work.
- Smile in your face and secretly tear you down.
- Suck the life out of hard-working team members.
- Seduce you to speak ill of the boss and tell the boss what you said, for example.
- Expect others to change but never change themselves.
7 tactics to solve drama at work:
- Notice energy drains in your organization.
- Don’t ignore recurring tensions. Anticipate problems. Act quickly.
- Record their complaints for a month and repeat the list in their 1:1. How would you like to address this?
- Don’t negotiate with backstabbers. They’re glad when you look bad.
- Go public. Dramamongers love secrecy.
- Maintain a solution-orientation.
- Isolate troublemakers if you can’t remove them.
- Everyone who feels upset isn’t a troublemaker.
- Healthy disruption is a good thing.
Forgiveness isn’t a strength for thin-skinned people. Normal people get upset from time to time but work through it.
If a troublemaker isn’t stirring the stink now, they’ll be causing drama soon.
What do you notice about drama at work?
What are some ways to deal with troublemakers?
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