Flipping the Switch from Drama to Empowerment

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Last week, we dove into a detailed explanation of the different roles that facilitate drama and the roles that diffuse it. For this post, we’re looking to have a little fun exploring how to use that information to stage a full on drama-busting role reversal.

Moving from Victim to Creator-

There’s a scene in The Matrix, after the Oracle gives Neo bad news that he is not “The One.” The Oracle says something like, “you’re in charge of your own life, remember?”The same is true for us all. We can’t get lost in what other people think: we choose our attitudes, we choose our perspectives, we create our outcomes. When we see that there is the potential that we are playing the victim role, let’s break that cycle by asking questions like: “What do I want to create?” “How do I want to respond?” Better yet, let’s ask these questions every day and in order to prevent drama before it starts. That’s when we become drama-busting gurus.

Switching from Persecutor to Challenger-

Remember, being the persecutor starts with our beliefs, which means that we can overcome it by adjusting our thinking. First, we must acknowledge that the other person is NOT a victim: they are creative, capable, and resourceful. Once we are in this mindset we can change our role by changing our actions. For example:

  • Be courageous and tell the truth about what you see sans assumptions and judgments.

  • Encourage the person to take action and ask if they are willing. If not, say, “OK, what are you willing to do do?”

  • Share the ways in which you’re hoping they will grow or what you’re wanting them to learn and ask for their input.

Jumping from Rescuer to Coach-

Moving from rescuer to coach is similar to the old “Give someone a fish versus teaching them to fish” analogy (and we all know how it goes, so I won’t bore you here). We can’t fix the victim’s every problem for them. Instead, we can take the role of a guide. Instead of stepping in and resolving the problem with a quick wave of the wand, we can aim to guide them through it by asking questions such as, “What do you want?” “What are your choices?” “What outcomes are important to you?” If we continue to play the role of rescuer it’s the other person we are robbing in the end (and we don’t want to be the kind of people who rob others).

With the information now in front of us, let’s intend to make the switch from drama to empowerment. Being a drama buster means not only understanding how to prevent drama, but also recognizing when we are engaging in drama and consciously flipping the switch. Freeing ourselves from the negativity that soap-opera-like drama can bring into our personal and professional lives opens us up to the opportunity for greater success.

Our upcoming Ditch the Drama™ workshop will dive deeper into the subject in greater detail and we look forward to seeing you there!


Workplace Communication: Keep It Real

People are intrinsically built to disguise their emotions; it is human nature. However, this clouds communication and can create hindrances in the workplace. In order to be an effective communicator, it is advantageous to grab the shovel and dig out what is really going on. Doing so will give you the opportunity to find the source of the problem and work towards resolution.

Somewhere, at this very moment, thousands of employees are sitting at their desks thinking about how desperately they want to quit their jobs, even though they may not even be able to define the problem they are having. How can a resolution be reached in this type of situation?

Good employees are lost every day simply because of lack of communication. The truth is that it has to begin within ourselves. First, we must find that root feeling that is bothering us. It could be feelings of neglect, a lack of appreciation or disappointment. Identifying this root emotion is essential.

The next step is to communicate this feeling explicitly. Being honest and upfront is the most effective way to communicate your feelings successfully. However, this can be tricky and it will take practice and trust in order to let your guard down and say what is really going on. Yet, without this key point, the problem is unlikely to ever be fully resolved.

Below is a simple technique that you can put to use immediately. Instead of describing feelings as judgments (e.g. “I feel like you’re not listening to me,” “I feel like you’re too controlling”), rephrase your statements to accurately describe your feelings and nothing more (e.g. “I feel neglected,” “I feel fearful”). This simple technique practiced in the workplace (and in personal settings) can keep us from masking our feelings, placing blame and essentially avoiding to-the-point statements that clearly communicate the root issue.

Successful communication is a multi-faceted endeavor, in the workplace and beyond. It requires the participation of every member of the organization. One weak link, whether it be a disingenuous supervisor or a pent up employee, and the whole system can collapse. This is why it is important for everyone to do his or her part. When it comes to expressing emotion, be real. The results can help create a more open and forthcoming workplace.