If you’ve ever worked in a team where high drama was the norm, you know how unpleasant it is. By high drama, I don’t mean the occasional heated disagreement between colleagues, a surprise resignation of a superstar employee or the unexpected demand that throws a team into fire-fighting mode.
There will always be frustrating or unpredictable work situations we have to deal with. But operating in a persistent state of dysfunction and drama sucks the life out of a team. It’s stressful and bad for business.
Common Behaviors That Point To A High Drama Work Environment
- Workplace gossip and rumors
- Lack of accountability, but plenty of finger-pointing
- Unhealthy cliques and factions
- Poor conflict management skills
- Team members hold back their ideas and opinions out of fear of backlash
- A leader who takes sides, won’t address or makes excuses for the drama
- High turnover
Address the Drama Before It’s Too Late
If you find yourself in the middle of a high-drama team:
- Don’t engage or encourage the behavior. It’s easy to get pulled in.
- Model good communication and conversational intelligence. Tell people what you observe and how it is impacting the team and business results.
- Offer ground rules to manage conflict in a healthy way.
- Help your leader rebuild team trust.
Leave the drama to Hollywood. Don’t let it get in the way of your individual and team success.