7 Tactics to Solve Drama at Work

Troublemakers are smart, manipulative, and self-serving.

Drama at work means:

  1. Hot situations get hotter.
  2. Difficult situations become more painful.
  3. Confusing situations seem unsolvable.

It’s impossible to imagine the tiny offenses that bother thin-skinned dramamongers.

They say:

  1. He looked at me wrong.
  2. I can’t like you if you like him.
  3. Her work makes me look bad.

The ability to make molehills into mountains is a troublemaker’s delight.

The person you're dancing around uses drama at work to control you. Image of a puppeteer.

People at the center of drama at work:

  1. Weaken relationships. Dramamongers use conflict to strengthen their power.
  2. Take offense quickly, easily, and frequently. The person you’re dancing around uses drama at work to control you.
  3. Gather allies and expect you to choose sides.
  4. Pretend they love you when they hate you.
  5. Manipulate behind the scenes instead of speaking up.
  6. Recruit the gullible to do their dirty work.
  7. Smile in your face and secretly tear you down.
  8. Suck the life out of hard-working team members.
  9. Seduce you to speak ill of the boss and tell the boss what you said, for example.
  10. Expect others to change but never change themselves.
Don't negotiate with backstabbers. They're glad when you look bad. Image of a smirk.

7 tactics to solve drama at work:

  1. Notice energy drains in your organization.
  2. Don’t ignore recurring tensions. Anticipate problems. Act quickly.
  3. Record their complaints for a month and repeat the list in their 1:1. How would you like to address this?
  4. Don’t negotiate with backstabbers. They’re glad when you look bad.
  5. Go public. Dramamongers love secrecy.
  6. Maintain a solution-orientation.
  7. Isolate troublemakers if you can’t remove them.


  1. Everyone who feels upset isn’t a troublemaker.
  2. 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?

Still curious:

Drama and Who Broke the Media Projector 

Stop Workplace Drama – Marlene Chism