No one likes drama. Especially at work!
Eliminating Animosity and Drama in Your Workplace
As a leader, you cannot accept the drama, gossip, and animosity that sometimes brews in a place of business. It’s inevitable, no matter how much you would like everything in harmony. Drama happens. People may talk behind others backs (gossip), judge appearance, and then it bleeds into work activities, and work ethic.
One thing I have seen is that REALLY good people will not stay in a place where the environment is shitty.
First thing is first. Make sure that it isn’t you, the leader or manager that is the problem. If you are the source of the drama or negativity, you got some work to do. No one else will change you and in fact, most of the people that work with or for you will stop trying for fear that you will verbally beat the crap out of them. You need to look in the mirror, get introspective. Look at your stress levels, your work ethic and so on. You should be certain first and foremost that you are not the source of any of the things you don’t want to be represented in your workplace or in your life for that matter.
Then you’ve got some clean up to do. Here are 5 simple steps to eliminating and then keeping your “house” clear of drama.
- One of the first and best things you can and should do is to set clear expectations with your people. Do this right away. Do it upon hire, and then have the self-accountability to follow through when something does arise. (NOTE – I said when, because inevitably it will… this is not an if, but a when it shows up.)
- When you overhear something being said negatively, especially if it’s about another person. Approach it immediately, in the moment. Do not wait and let things fester or grow.
- Approach all concerns no matter how small – address these issues head on. Meaning that you may need to pull the concerned (gossipy, drama spewing) individual into a private office and have a one-on-one conversation. Sometimes, it’s just that people want to be heard and if you lend them an ear it can clear the air.
- If more than one party is involved (assuming it isn’t a volatile situation). Include both parties in a group conversation and help to mediate and steer it positively. So often, gossip and drama spread simply because of a different viewpoint. If you help to bring both or multiple people together through communication it can clear things up quickly. PLUS – it’s hard to look at another human, especially one that you work with daily, in the face and still be willing to perpetuate a crappy attitude.
- When it comes to drama or negativity, you may need to remind your team who is the boss. And I don’t mean in an authoritarian kind of way, I just mean remind EVERYONE that you don’t allow negativity, gossip or drama, and if there is a legitimate concern, YOU should be the one to address it head on. You don’t need peer resolution or a peer judgment team on these issues.
Keep in mind that even before approaching any of these steps, you must have integrity to follow through with what you say you will do. By setting clear expectations, and having the accountability to follow through if anger, negativity, gossip or drama do show up; you will gain the respect of your peers and your people and it will help maintain a positive and healthy environment where people can make the office their sanctuary. Their safe place because they know it will be upbeat, positive and they know what to expect.
- Set clear expectations
- Approach it immediately
- Address these issues head on
- Include both parties in a group conversation and help to mediate and steer it positively
- Remind your team who is the boss