11 ways to stop workplace drama
This is a guest article by Marlene Chism.
In my book, Stop Workplace Drama, I talk about how obstacles in your personal life always spill into your professional life. Most of the things that keep us stuck are not circumstantial. What holds us back and then becomes drama are our addictions, bad habits and character flaws. So how about looking at things you can stop doing? Making one significant change could change every other area of your life, including your workplace relationships. Here are eleven ways you can stop workplace drama:
- Stop comparing yourself to others. You are unique and so is the next person. As my algebra teacher used to say, you can’t compare an apple with a Billy goat. Instead, appreciate your blessings, and compliment others on their skills, abilities and attributes. If you want to improve in some area, take action, but quit using other people as the benchmark for your success.
- Stop engaging with negative people. Negative people are all around, but you don’t have to have the last word, nor do you have to point out to them how negative they are. Instead of engaging or trying to change them or their point of view, simply smile and respond with a statement like “Hmmm that’s an interesting take on things.” You can like someone and even work with that person without plugging into his or her negativity.
- Stop resisting. Complaining is a form of resistance. So is being stubborn and gossiping about who did you wrong. Once you have identified what is unpleasant, either change it or accept it. Anything else is just drama and an excuse to lose focus.
- Stop trying to be right. All drama is based on the need to be “right.” You don’t always need others to understand or agree with your point of view. If you know what you need to do next, do it and be OK with the fact that others might see things differently.
- Stop criticizing others. Criticizing someone else is often due to a lack of personal discipline or the unwillingness to confront a difficult situation. When people do something inappropriate, bring it to their attention so they can make amends, or ask for what you want instead of harboring resentment.
- Stop working through lunch. The body craves rest and recovery every 90-120 minutes. Working through lunch will exhaust you and increase the likelihood that you’ll make mistakes. Each day, schedule time to rejuvenate and your effectiveness and productivity will increase.
- Stop questioning your self-worth. You are here; therefore, you are worthy. Start a gratitude journal, and decide once and for all to claim not only your right to exist but also your right to excel.
- Stop arguing. Instead of constantly correcting every minor detail, ask yourself, “Who cares?” Most of the time we argue over insignificant details that do not have any impact on the point being made. The wisdom is in knowing what is important and what is not. If the essence is understood and the detail is insignificant, just let it go.
- Stop panicking. Regardless of what triggers you, instead of freaking out when things aren’t going your way, take a breath and regain a sense of control. When you are frightened, your brain actually freezes up and you lose critical thinking ability.
- Stop the noise. Being plugged in 24/7 is bad for your health, and studies show that you actually lose productivity when you multitask. Focus on one thing at a time, and spend some time without being hooked up to a Bluetooth device, a computer or a cell phone.
- Stop talking about what you lack. Talking about not having enough time, not having enough money and not having enough (fill in the blank) is what is contributing to your negative feelings. Become clear on what is enough in all areas of your life, because if you don’t know what “enough” is, you will never know what is more than enough.
Marlene Chism is a professional speaker and author of Stop Workplace Drama (Wiley, 2011). To see more about the book and to get more resources go to www.stopworkplacedrama.com.
According to Gallup, no single factor more clearly predicts the productivity of employees than their relationships with their supervisors.
With so much of your success hinging on the relationships of your employees and managers, what does it take to go from being a mere “manager” to being an authentic, drama-free leader? How do you strike the right balance of managing, leading and interacting with your colleagues and employees—without getting sucked into and contributing to drama?
The person to answer that question is Marlene Chism, author of the award-winning book Stop Workplace Drama. Her signature eight-principle “Stop Your Drama Methodology” can help you and the leaders in your organization break the recurring cycle of drama in your office—and breaking that cycle can lead to:
- Better communication.
- Better business relationships.
- More time spent working and less time spent on drama.
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