One of the most unproductive thing which occurs at the workplace is drama between employees. We’ve all encountered it. Whether indirectly or directly, we’ve all had some experience with workplace drama. While it should be common sense that avoiding workplace drama is preferred, not everyone share this idea. Some enjoys engaging and instigating drama. Such a thing can be so detrimental to the moral of the staffs and team members. It can lead to loss of productivity and even attrition.
It is natural for us as human to enjoy drama. We love watching dramatic movies and seek out programs which invokes that feeling inside us. The entertainment industry relies on this to make trillions on an annual basis. But watching scripted drama performed isn’t enough for some of us. When the performance isn’t enough, we seek it out elsewhere. The most common place is the place we spend most of our time. Our workplace.
Take a look around at your workplace. I’m sure that you can probably spot out who the instigators of dramas are. There’s always one, and in many cases multiple, at any organization. If you can’t figure out who it may be around you, consider the possibility that it may be you. I kid. But kidding aside, there are most likely someone who is just generally known to spark or instigate drama. It is common knowledge and not something that really needs to be debated.
I will admit that having a bit of drama in our lives does make it more interesting. It gives it a little spice and adds a little interests or excitement to what may a dull routine existence. But drama in the workplace should be avoided whenever possible. It is a productivity killer and can heavily damage team moral. In order to avoid workplace drama, here are five things to look out for.
- Nosy– One of the characteristics that most people don’t like is someone being nosy. Being nosy is trying to get into other people’s business when you have nothing to do with it. Nothing to contribute and all you want is to know the details so you can talk about it. This is different from needing to have information so you can help come to a solution. Watch out for people who are nosy as they tend to also be the instigators of drama in the workplace.
- Gossips– Knowing things about others isn’t necessarily bad. Sometime we find out information without seeking it out. We just happen to come across it. Maybe we happen to see something while walking from one location of the office to the other. Or we incidentally overhear something while minding our own business. These coincidental events doesn’t make us bad and instigators of drama. But when we start retelling what we saw or what we heard to others, that becomes gossips. We then took that what we incidentally learned and purposely turned it into gossips. Avoid this as it does nothing to help.
- Embellish– What’s worse than gossiping is embellishing the story. When we take what we know, add it with speculation to enhance the story, we’re embellishing. Gossiping is already bad, but embellishing the story takes it to another level. It honestly only makes the situation worse.
- Taking sides– It is difficult for us to stay impartial when we are passionate about something. But when it comes to workplace drama, it is honestly best to avoid taking sides. Don’t engage in the drama. Let those who are directly involved work it out on their own. Taking sides will only escalate what already is a terrible situation.
- Participate– If at all possible, avoid participating in the drama. Avoid the conversations and avoid sharing your thoughts and opinion. You need to say what or who you think is right or wrong. Don’t feed into the drama. Stay away as much as you can.
Many of the workplace drama starts with a simple misunderstanding. It’s then fueled by others who are gossipers embellishing the story so they can be in the middle of the drama taking place. Don’t be that person. If it’s not your place to take part in resolving the situation, then stay out of it. Let the professionals like managers or HR do their job to resolve the situation. Stay away and avoid workplace drama.
Photo by: Mohamed Hassan
Denny Nguyen, a veteran IT leader and experienced operational manager with 15+ years working in the software and software related service industry. Currently, Denny oversees global operations of LogiGear including IT infrastructure and services, and facility worldwide and marketing and business development for the APAC region.
Started out as a test engineer, Denny has excelled his career into project management, IT management, account management, customer relation management, and marketing and sales management. In 2004, when LogiGear began to establish its present in Vietnam with two Software Testing & Research centers in Saigon and the third center in 2009 in Danang, Denny was instrumental and the key leader who was chartered to build out the entire foundation and infrastructure for LogiGear to grow for the next twenty years.