Friday, August 14, 2009

Tips for Dealing With Drama Queens (and Kings) at Work

Some people end up with problems at work because of the company they keep. One drama-loving employee can cause collateral damage for an innocent worker. It can be anything from getting caught up in gossip, to getting suckered into engaging in inappropriate behavior, to being lied on by the individual, to being thrust into a clique with an enemy not of your choosing, to you name it.

Some people like drama. And, they like having company, while they do their damage. Here are some tips for dealing with these folks:

TIP #1: Don’t set sail on someone else’s drama cruise. If someone is trippin’ out in the office, let them have it. You can listen. You can laugh. But, don’t let them drag you into an office scandal or cause you to sully your reputation by association.

TIP #2: Learn to listen to people, to what they are really saying—not the surface communication. Watch people. Get a feel for how they get down! As the cliché states, actions do speak louder than words.

TIP #3: When you see people for who and how they really are, start putting people in boxes. For instance, certain people are cool for going to lunch, one or two may actually be people you can confide in, certain people can tell you what’s going on behind the scenes, etc.

TIP #4: Don’t expect that you can fully trust anyone. Assume that anything you say may be repeated, that people may secretly feel competitive with you, that someone is secretly jealous of you, etc. Stay on your toes, even with those you believe are friends. After all, it is work. You never know what motivations people may have that can lead to potential issues on the job.

TIP #5: Document the foul behavior of your coworkers…it could be the leverage you need—someday! If you know people are screwing in supply closets, reading or sharing confidential information, sabotaging others, etc., write it down and collect the proof. If you ever get called out on petty nonsense, you can certainly question why you are being called to task, while others are known to be running wild.

TIP #6: Just stay away from drama queen and kings unless work requires you to deal with them!


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