DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA

It is time to talk TEAM with Susan Leahy MA CSP and Freeman Michaels MA, the co-founders of Group To TEAM Leadership Solutions. This video blog talks about DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA. 

Drama is one of the great interrupters of TEAM. 

Everybody gets caught up in behaviors that are petty and produce drama. These behaviors detract from our ability to generate TEAM. It is essential, if we want more TEAM, that we identify these behaviors and work to eliminate them as much as possible. Some of the most common behaviors that lead to drama are:
• Gossip
• Win vs. Lose Mentality (or a “winners” and “losers” culture)
• Needing to be “right”
• Side Conversations (rather than “open”, transparent, dialogue)
• Using people as a scapegoat
• Colluding (drawing in and manipulating people to your “side”) 
• Playing adaptive roles
• Identifying a “designated patient” 

Designated Patient: 
The Designated Patient is an individual, within a dysfunctional organization, who gets cast in the role of the “problem” employee. This dynamic creates a fictitious feeling of team as it bands a group together with the goal of removing or fixing the “problem” person. The trap of having a designated patient is that it creates drama and erodes trust by maintaining secrets that are withheld from the “problem” person. The even bigger challenge comes when the “problem” person is removed from the group, and a new “problem” person is invariably designated to keep the dynamic in place. 

Questions:
• Have you experienced the “designated patient” dynamic in your career?
• Do you have a designated patient in your organization right now?
• Can you see how identifying a person as the “problem” puts everyone in the position of being “better” or superior to this person? 
• Can you see how this creates a winner vs. loser culture within your organization, especially when one designated patient is replaced with a new one?

Drama is something we are used to seeing. There are many examples of drama in our daily lives. We see drama on TV (especially “Reality Television”), in movies and in politics. 

In our Group to TEAM trainings we talk about how to eliminate drama so that you can start building high functioning TEAMs. This is crucial because if we are not able to identify and address the drama we will never get to TEAM. Drama creates defensiveness and encourages people within the group to play dysfunctional roles. One tool that we share, to move out of drama, is to do a self-check using the following terms. 
• Adaptive (taking on a role to adapt to external circumstances)
• Authentic (standing generous, open and curious - anchored in TEAM)
Am I being authentic?
Am I being adaptive?

It is important to realize how much we identify with our adaptive personality. Often our reliance on the antics of our adaptive personality keeps us from being authentic. The example shared in the video is that Susan can over use her positive attitude and start playing the role of “Little Miss Sunshine”, which erodes trust. Freeman can fall into the role of “Cleaver Boy,” which takes him out of true collaboration. Both of these roles keep Susan and Freeman from creating and maintaining authentic connections. 

What role do you play?

Identifying the roles we play is a major step towards authenticity. It is often easier to see the roles others play. There is a tendency when we start considering adaptive personality traits to want to “call out” others. We must resist this temptation and focus on ourselves first, before we start pointing to other people. This will inspire others to call themselves out. We cannot force anyone to stop being adaptive. But we can enroll and inspire others by modeling authenticity. 

We have all developed an adaptive personality to protect ourselves, defend ourselves and/or hide our insecurities. When we are in a group we end up playing roles. Often, we don’t just play these roles in the office but rely on them in our community and family interactions. Becoming conscious of the adaptive patterns and roles that we play is a major step towards creating and generating TEAM. 

In general, we must cut the DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA out of our lives, and become more honest, forthright and trustworthy in relationship with others. DRAMA is one of the major reasons many groups never elevate to TEAM.