Tag Archives: drama

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project drama

Project Drama and Workplace Advancement

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What do project drama and workplace advancement have in common? They both seem to get attention. Are there other commonalities?

Career minded employees are hungry for opportunity. They often create some of the opportunities by attracting attention to their work.

Attention and Trust

Tesla recently smashed some windows on their new prototype truck. Was this a complete failure or was it really intentional to attract more attention?

Failure or success, it improved visibility. They received huge publicity and many preorders.

Many people would quickly suggest that means success. They only question some would ask is, “Can you trust the product?” If the glass breaks that easily, what else may happen?

Research suggests that customers who have experienced product or service challenges but have had their challenge resolved satisfactorily are actually more loyal than those customers who never had a problem at all. It may seem strange, yet it is true.

Project Drama

Back to the workplace. Does the squeaky wheel get the attention? The project that nearly fails as compared to the project that moved flawlessly from step-to-step? Which one received more attention? Which scenario creates more trust?

Many people wonder why Alice was promoted instead of Jane. After all, Alice’s work seems a little shaky.

We are in a society that is craving more and more attention. Social media feeds get flooded every day with attention seeking propaganda. Something as silly as “the cat meme” gets lots of attention. Smudge became popular overnight.

Onlookers often get irritated with attention seekers. Creating project drama is not a recommended practice. Yet, sometimes you have to toot your own horn and make some noise.

Breaking glass, literally, or metaphorically (glass ceiling, perhaps) also seems to attract some attention.

Does it help with workplace advancement? Does it inspire trust and create success?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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reporting problems

Reporting Problems, Saving The Drama And Delay

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Show up at the meeting and you’ll hear about the problem. Ask why the project is delayed and you’ll hear about the problem. Reporting problems seems to be the catch all action for buying more time. Is it the right action?

Most projects develop because someone has a problem.

We need to shorten the time from order to ship.

Customers are discovering damaged product because of the packaging. 

Sales are down because we lack essential features. 

Problems come in a lot of sizes, adding a problem to the problem is commonplace. Perhaps not because it is a stall or delay, but because the discovery brings us to additional aspects of the original problem.

When a problem is left unsolved it is usually because of difficulty with the solution. Easy problems are often fixed first. They are the low hanging fruit, the first problems grabbed and solved.

Problem Drama

Reporting problems is really the easiest part.

What if you bring solutions to the meeting instead? Solutions begin to shake out the flow of work. They initiate a frame around what will be done first, and what should be approached next.

Instead of solutions though, people often bring drama.

This problem is huge.

This problem will stop production, cost a lot of money, and start to erode the customer base. 

Often this type of problem reporting starts or ends with the phrase, “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

It is another way of expressing, “I don’t know any solution but this is huge and I can’t wait to see your reaction.”

Reporting Problems

Most people bring problems to the meeting. They seldom bring many solutions.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that the easy problems have already been solved and there is no need for addition discussion. There is seldom drama involved with an already solved problem. It’s over.

The second reason is that it feels easier to ask for help with an unframed problem. The presentation concept is, no one knows the magnitude and we need help.

A different way to report problems at the meeting is to do some of the investigative work first. Answer the questions that you know will be asked. Questions like how will this affect our customers, what is it costing us, and where should we start?

Reporting problems is the easiest part. Solving problems starts with a definition and a frame, otherwise it is mostly just drama and a delay.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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workplace drama

Workplace Drama and the High Costs Associated with Managing It

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Ask anyone in middle management or a front line supervisor about workplace distractions and you’re likely to hear about the drama. In what ways is negative and harmful workplace drama costing your organization?

Often front line staff view drama as just a part of their workday. In fact, some of them might be directly responsible for its existence. As a society we might get entertainment value from drama, in the workplace it often isn’t much different.

Management often chooses to ignore drama. It is true that sometimes ignoring it will help it to go away. If the drama doesn’t get any attention, if no one reacts, it might fizzle to nothing. In other cases, it might get louder.

Workplace Drama

What is drama costing your organization? Here are five of many problematic outcomes of workplace drama:

  1. Absenteeism and turnover. Certainly, drama easily connects here. Often someone is the aggressor, which might mean someone else is the victim. No news here, it causes absenteeism and turnover.
  2. Sabotage. Unfortunately, as the drama or conflict escalates so do the consequences. Unfortunately, employees may decide to sabotage another’s work or effort. In some cases, retaliation might be against the entire organization. Extreme drama might also invite theft or other ethical challenges.
  3. Reduced efficiency. When employees become more interested or more focused on the drama it is at the expense of productivity. Water cooler chats might increase and become unproductive. So might texting, emailing, and strategizing for the next (non-business) moves.
  4. Customers and clients. Nothing that takes energy away from serving the customer is probably going to end well. The ill effects of internal drama always affect the customer. In some of the worst cases the drama becomes about the customer. A loss most businesses can’t afford.
  5. Reputation and growth. Most organizations aren’t designed to plateau, the plan is for growth. While all the drama is taking its toll on the energy and excitement of progress, the organization becomes stuck or stalled. Worse, it might begin to decline.

Avoid the Costs

Drama might be entertainment in the movies or on reality television. Workplace drama likely has a cost that you want to avoid.

How your organization defines itself is based on culture. Culture is based on the ideologies and behaviors of its people and the decisions that are made.

Drama is a choice.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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