Becoming Drama Free

We’ve all seen it at work, at church, in families, or in other groups. Conflict, gossip, territoriality, defensiveness, and withdrawal. Patterns of dysfunctionality like these persist often because we just don’t have the skills to deal with them or we are afraid that confrontation will just make it worse.

The Drama-Free Office considers four common patterns of behavior that can drag teamwork down and keep the organization from reaching its goals. Maybe you’ll recognize the Complainer (blaming others for their own problems), the Cynic (sniping about everyone else’s problems), the Controller (steamrolling and micromanaging), the Caretaker (overcommitting and rescuing).

As I read, I could think of multiple examples of all these types during my career. Then it dawned on me I could see examples of how at one time or another I have played all four roles as well. The authors therefore emphasize how we can get out of our own drama and into a more open, curious, and constructive posture. Interestingly, it struck me that the specific antidotes suggested for each drama type could be seen as virtual spiritual disciplines.

The book also offers clear, concrete suggestions for working with colleagues, subordinates, and even bosses who exhibit these patterns. We can’t bulldoze our way in these matters. The point is not confrontation but proceeding positively, affirming, and expressing gratitude wherever possible. With our own drama in check and with a goal of reaching concrete agreements, the door is opened to collaboration.

Author: Andy Le Peau

I've been an editor and writer for over forty years. I am passionate about ideas and how we can express them clearly, beautifully, and persuasively. I love reading good books, talking about them, and recommending them. I thoroughly enjoy my family who help me continue on the path of a lifelong learner.

2 thoughts on “Becoming Drama Free”

  1. Andy,

    This will seem random but in Write Better, you said that if there is a topic that we want addressed, to put it in a comment. This comment, therefore, is totally unrelated to your post but it is a topic that is stopping me from going forward with making my platform. I am working on a nonfiction book. I’ve been introduced to a bunch of things about writing and publishing from various sources, not least your book. One thing that is clear is that I need to make an author website and build a following. One puzzle here is what to put on a home page when you don’t have a relevant book cover to put on the home page. While I find it puzzling, I’ve been told that readers, even those reading non-fiction books, want to be entertained more than they want information. That suggests a home page graphic that is entertaining, even if it has nothing to do with the subject of my writing or my site. Is that an accurate characterization of nonfiction Christian readers? I’ve been trying to figure out what sort of graphic to create (or, rather, have someone create for me) that is about my subject in some3 way but I don’t think I can make that entertaining. What do you think? Thanks.

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