Years ago I was talking to a friend who was very upset with her husband. They were transferring to another city and he had traveled ahead. I didn’t have a choice but to hear the details from her. She was that mad. Let the drama begin:
His responsibility was to get the carpets cleaned. He called the most famous brand of carpet cleaner and set up an appointment.
Being an ignorant man I asked what he did wrong since it seemed that he had done exactly what she asked. Well, it turns out she was upset that he had called the name brand carpet cleaner. When I asked if he was supposed to somehow know that was a mistake she said no. Hmm. Poor guy.
People play games all the time. Out of stress, passion, whatever. We’re humans.
Many leaders play games. Perhaps when testing the mettle of an employee. They withhold information. They change parameters mid-stream. They pit coworkers against each other to see who wins.
TV dramas make it seem that conflict and drama are normal. Plotting and scheming. Most important is withholding crucial information.
If the protagonist had all the information they should, the drama would break down.
How about if we eliminate the games and break down the drama through communication.
Technology allows us to communicate with anyone at any time. We could argue the disadvantages of this of course but the benefits…
Two minutes before a meeting you could transmit necessary data. When you think about what you forgot to mention at 2 AM you can send a message. Keeping people informed can make a huge impact on the drama quotient.
An example. You’ve chosen to have Bob do the client presentation on Tuesday because he did some specific research on the client’s industry a year ago. John as part of his growth plan has been doing this type of presentation.
One simple note to John could avoid a number of possible things. John could lose confidence feeling that he may have made a mistake. An unnecessary rivalry could develop between John and Bob. Relationships could be damaged for years because of this lack of communication.
Wait, you’re the leader. You don’t need to explain yourself.
Well, you decide. Explanation now or drama later. When we complain about not having enough time and break things down, an awful lot of time is spent on drama issues.
A big part of leadership is empathy and caring. Anticipating people’s reactions and heading off misunderstandings makes a difference.
To do this week: Ferret out any conflict/drama going on and make clear this isn’t an acceptable way to operate here. Check your contribution and how you can minimize it.
Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.