Workplace drama. How to deal with it? Would you believe by watching a comedy starring Bill Murray?
Drama leads to drama and potentially, given too much time and not even serious attention, to tragedy. Nobody wants tragedy to enter their office with the possible exception of those who work in the funeral home industry. Non-productive interpersonal drama among workers is a disrupting influence with the power–should things get completely out of hand–to all but destroy the efficiency of your business well past the shelf life of the immediate events that stimulated the drama.
One very effective tool for dealing with workplace drama is to avoid the drama of the situation. Advice, by the way, which is in no way at all comparable to the utterly useless instruction of telling those involved to just stop being a drama queen. On the other hand, if you are the actor-writer responsible for scripting the drama taking place in your office, you can keep telling yourself to stop being a drama queen every time you feel the urge to make a scene. But what if you are merely a player in someone else’s office drama script? How do you deal with workplace drama that isn’t being produced by you and over which you do not have full and comprehensive control?
Easy. By recognizing and exercising the control that you do possess. For a good ten year stretch of my life, I worked as a temp. Meaning I got the kind of business education they don’t teach in Harvard and I didn’t just get it for free, I was actually paid to learn. I learned several things from my experiences of being dropped unaware into the role of specta tor in the middle of a countless number of workplace dramas better than a lot of workplace dramas on primetime TV. Not the least of which was that I had to make it one of my missions in life to avoid any kind of career placing me into an actual workplace situation. Another of the important things I learned is best expressed by one of the great philosophers of our time: “Exit stage right.”
Snagglepuss had it right. Getting off the stage of a drama taking place around you in the office really is an effective way to keep it from getting inside your head and knocking you off your game. If the drama of someone else’s making is the reason that your sales are down or paperwork keeps piling up on your desk or you find yourself snapping at customers or clients with no good reason, then you need to learn the lesson that Bill Murray can teach.
Office drama. How to deal with it?
Thanks to the drama, your life, your office, your workplace has become a vinyl record where the needle has gotten stuck in the groove. Every day that you allow the drama to affect you, the record skips, the needle jumps and the same snatch of music plays again and again and again. That’s a very retro metaphor for explaining that your inability to put it behind it you is the result of being trapped on “Groundhog Day” like Bill Murray’s weatherman.
It took awhile for Murray’s character to accept that there was no way to move forward by accepting the status quo. What a different movie “Groundhog Day” would have been, indeed, if Murray had stuck with trying to do the same thing every day in order to get himself out of the repetitive drama not of his making.
And that’s a retro metaphor to suggest that the only way for you to deal with office drama is to move out of the circular pattern of repeating your role over and over. Step off the stage and become part of the real world again. And if you are the one who has been scripting the office drama, then you need to learn that you are the biggest obstacle blocking you from getting whatever it is you want that is the inspiration for your drama is you.
Office drama. That’s one way to deal with it.