How to Get to The Heart of the Drama and Ditch the Drama

How to Get to The Heart of the Drama and Ditch the Drama

You’ll find I talk a lot about drama. Why? We’ve found that in the average workplace, the average person spends 2.5 hours a day in drama: arguing with reality, resisting change, withholding buy-in and complaining about the circumstances.

Drama is a huge impediment to productivity. If left unchecked, the drama has a tendency to escalate… and escalate… and escalate… until you have an office full of fretful employees who aren’t focused on what matters - results. But how do you help ditch the drama?

In the realm of leadership, drama does not discriminate. The misconception that there is differentiation is fueled by a lack of true understanding of what drama looks like in the workplace.

Drama is emotional expensiveness.

Drama isn’t only crying and bickering. Drama is the overall cost of an employee to an organization. It is how expensive he or she is emotionally. Emotional expensiveness can show up in many ways including but not limited to

•Judging others

•Holding grudges

•Withholding critical feedback

•Talking more about people than you do to them

Many times leaders who avoid conflict are the ones creating additional drama in organizations and limiting business results due to these distractions.

Ditch the (2.5 hours per day!) drama

When life and work present the call for use to deliver aggressive agendas with limited resources, (i.e. doing more with less), many of us personalize this request and begin to fantasize about quitting. Winning the lottery. Being the Walmart greeter. Most individuals love their job, so they don’t stay in this quitting zone for very long.

Reality-Based Leadership conducted research which found that the average employee spends over 2 hours per day in drama.

In our meetings, we tend to agree in the meeting and then after the meeting, we have the real conversations about all the things that would need to change in our reality for us to give the organization the gift of our work.

It doesn’t feel good to step down instead of up.

So, after stepping down we need to justify our behavior by coming up with reasons, stories and excuses about why we had to step down and away from the challenge, saying, ‘This is sick and wrong. This shouldn’t be happening. I wouldn’t do things this way. Who thought of this?’ This is what we call BMW Driving (Bitching, Moaning, and Whining!)

We start to cite our circumstances as the reasons why we can’t succeed when, in fact, our circumstances are simply the reality in which we must succeed. We look to find someone that can change our reality for us.

We list the many things we need in order to give the gift of our work – more money, more staff, better technology, for work to be fair, better communication, less change, if it changes then we should be consulted, priorities that don’t change, colleagues as committed as we are, etc.

Work on Changing Mindsets, Not Skillsets

As leaders, it can be tempting to rush off and execute on the list of team demands. But happiness is quickly adaptable, and once that list is met, you will be greeted with a new set of tasks. A better approach is to work on changing mindsets.

Help your team understand their circumstances aren’t the reasons they can’t succeed, they are the reality in which they must succeed.

That which is causing them stress is their next call to greatness – where they need to grow next to become immune and be ready for what’s next.

Take Measure of Your Office Drama Quotient

How can you call your employees up to greatness? First, ask yourself if these questions feel familiar to you: Do people in your office make decisions based on assumptions about the motivations of others?

As a leader, do you still tolerate “that’s not my job” (or any version of it) as a response to a request? If your response to either of these questions is ‘yes,’ consider taking stock of your behavior, and the behaviors of your co-workers. Taking our Office Drama Assessment to understand your office drama quotient is a great initial step towards enacting change.

Anyone can choose to be drama free.

A happy leader is one who can restore peace and sanity to the workplace.

I have seen my share of unhappy leaders. However, the ones who go home happy and manage to achieve their business goals are the ones who choose to be happy over being right. That choice includes taking some simple steps. One of the most critical steps is insisting on teamwork.

Outlaw the option of judging other team members. Instead, encourage your team members to focus on doing whatever it takes to accomplish your organizational goals.

And leave the bitching, moaning, and whining to someone else.

Join the revolution and begin to inspire those around you to become the best leader and employee they can be. Here are three courses to get you on the right path. 

Commit to being your best,

Cy Wakeman


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XTRAcredits is the yellow pages for everything and anything continuing education and professional development credit related. offers a catalog of on-demand professional development courses available at any time, anywhere and are accredited for CE Credits when you need them.

More About Cy Wakeman Wakeman is a faculty expert at XTRAcredits, a dynamic international keynote speaker, business consultant, New York Times bestselling author, and global thought leader with over 25 years experience cultivating a revolutionary new approach to leadership. Grounded in reality, Wakeman’s philosophy has helped organizations and individuals all over the world learn to ditch the drama and turn excuses into results.  

Wakeman’s newest book, No Ego, points out that Ego-driven behaviors are the #1 source of drama in workplaces today. It is high time for a modern leadership philosophy that provides simple tools and techniques to eliminate drama from our organizations, deliver up employees who say yes to what’s next, and cultivate accountability, not engagement, to drive big business results.

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