Sitting on an airplane, I overheard a short conversation between two friends and one was giving advice about a recent event.
“It always seems that drama finds you. I am not sure if you like being in the drama or just damn unlucky”.
It made me think about a leadership project I was working on with a new client. The manager there, brought up that there was one person on their team who they always had issues with getting results.
“Glenn, they are a good person but they always have some drama going on. I feel bad but it is affecting the team. How do I fix this.”
This brings up a very important aspect of building a successful team. It is what I call the “Two E’s” when leadership and drama collide. Eliminate or Embrace
(Note: although we are discussing a work environment in this article, this process applies to all interactions with people, family or children. Drama happens everywhere and how you choose to deal with it affects results)
Too often poor leaders get caught up in the drama. They are embracing the distractions in order to feel like they are caring or listening to the team member. Some times the leader will even join into the drama so that the team members feel they are one of them or not a typical boss. Makes me think of trying to be in the cool group is grade school.
The problem with embracing drama is that it clouds how we get results from our team. Drama is a distraction and it wastes valuable time to deliver the desired performance.
Leaders need to eliminate drama when it occurs.
Let me share a few tips on how to eliminate drama and get your team back on track.
TIP: REMEMBER: Focus on the results needed and the action required to deliver the desired results. If the goal was specific and easy to understand then you should not have an issue moving through this process.
- Sit down with the person in question. Make sure to take emotion out of the question. Ask them first if they understood the goal. Have them explain to you what you were expecting. By doing this you can make sure that there is no misunderstanding.
- If they continue to focus on the drama surrounding their actions, calmly tell them that you need them to answer these questions first about the process and then we can discuss anything they want to later.
- Once they explain the goal, ask them to let you know their results. This way they are very clear admitting what was expected and what they have delivered.
- If they are in agreement that they missed the goal, then you need to ask them what they DID to deliver these results. This is very important. You have to get them to tell you in specifics what they did.
- Get the person to explain step by step their actions. This way you can help them to focus specifically on what they should be doing and where they may have missed opportunities. This will keep them from focusing on drama.
- Don’t allow them to get sidetracked by outside influences. Focus on what they DID or DID NOT do to get results. Keep them on track in a polite way.
- Reinforce what they did correctly. Then focus on retraining them in areas they were not successful. Follow the 8 Step Coaching Process so they see that you are invested in their success.
By following this process, you will have diffused the drama, got the team member focused on their actions and how they are in control of their results. If they choose to still talk about the drama, listen to them and then point out how they allowed unimportant things to distract them from their purpose. Reinforce the concept of actions create results. We want to focus on the actions that create the results we want.
Eliminate drama or embrace drama. The choice is important to your team’s success. Leaders need to understand how destructive drama can be. Following this simple process will allow you and your teams to self monitor in the future and diffuse drama together.
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(this was first posted on my Linkedin account)