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!


It’s All in Your Head

There are always problems that must be solved, and the decisions we make when facing problems are the direct result of the state of mind we have going into them. I have found that when working with individuals it is easy to get hung up on the “why”:

·      Why did I do that?
·      Why did they do that?
·      Why didn’t they listen?
·      Why didn’t I take their advice?

This kind of thinking rarely brings a solution. In fact, it can be downright counterproductive; it siphons energy and shifts the focus on the past.

True, it is extremely important to learn from the past, but I have found that individuals can overcome problems much more effectively when the attention is focused on the present and future. One of the ways to do this is by focusing on the “hows” and “whats” of the issue:

·      What can I learn?
·      What would I do differently next time?
·      What’s possible now?
·      How can I move forward from here?
·      How can I apply what I’ve learned?

These questions are better designed to keep minds where they need to be: What is? or What will be?

The only thing the past has to offer us now is a chance to learn from it. The present and the future, on the other hand, have so much more. Therefore, try to not waste time beating yourself up about what has already happened. Shift focus on what is still to come. For many of us, this requires a change in mindset and asking the appropriate questions of ourselves can help create that change.

5 Tips to Quit Complaining and Start Creating


“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou

In his book “The No Complaining Rule,” Jon Gordon calls people who spend their time complaining, “energy vampires.” He says that this practice sucks the energy out of any situation. At the very least they suck all the positive energy out of a room and fill it with negativity. There are a few practices that can help you break a negative attitude and create a more positive, more productive outlook.

1.    The Jolly Journal- Instead of using your journal to vent, try using it to celebrate your day. Even the worst days have something positive happen. Take the time to break your day down. You can start by creating a list of things you learned during the day or list a couple of events that brought you joy or made you smile. You may find that the day wasn’t as bad as you originally thought.

2.    Choice Map– One of my favorite tools is Dr. Marilee Adam’s Choice Map. She recommends that you redirect yourself when you start feeling negative by asking learning questions like: What’s possible? What are the facts? What are my choices? Instead of negative questions like: Whose fault is it? This creates a much more constructive perspective on the situation, allowing for the development of solutions.

3.    Take a Hike– Not the metaphoric “hike,” but go for a literal hike or brisk walk depending on how much time you have. I’m not sure why but it is a wonderful tool that works like a charm for me.

4.    It’s Alllllllllll Right– In the words of famous photographer, Dewitt Jones, “celebrate what’s right with the world.” Take a step back and find something that is “right” in the situation. This helps to adjust your focus and may open new doors in the search for solutions.

5.    Let It Out– Give yourself five minutes to just let it out. Put it all on the table, everything that is bothering or annoying you. Be brutal with it, how unfair or bad it feels. Just let it all out. Then, after the five minutes is up, take a couple of deep breaths and just let it go.

Life is all about attitude and the attitude that comes with constantly complaining is anything but constructive. The most important thing is to clear the negativity as quickly as possible, complaining in and of itself rarely accomplishes this. Cultivating the ability to address problems with a reasonable and appropriate energy and then moving on has made both my business and personal life much more enjoyable.


  • The Quotations Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2012.
  • Adams, Marilee. “Choice Map: We choose moment by moment.” Inquiry Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2012.
  • Gordon, Jon. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2012.