My friend Marlene Chism has a book hitting the shelves this month and I want to encourage you to get it. It’s called Stop Workplace Drama, and it’s for anyone who leads a team or owns a business. I can tell you that Stop Workplace Drama would help those who are struggling with clarity or finding purpose, or those who are ready to leave the drama behind and take charge of their careers.
Below is an excerpt of a conversation I had with Marlene about her book.
When you say “drama,” what do you mean?
The working definition for the sake of the book is “any obstacle to your peace or prosperity.”
Both peace and prosperity are important for a person to experience success and well being. No doubt all of us understand the desire and importance for prosperity, but without peace, we are not able to fully experience success or share it with the world.
Let’s talk about the obstacles. What are the obstacles you see the most often?
An obstacle can be a person, a situation, or a mindset. For example, right now the biggest obstacle for many is the economy; yet there are those who do not see the economy as an obstacle but an opportunity. Therefore, an obstacle is really about perception. Actually, I want to make the distinction between two kinds of drama: the drama versus your drama. The drama is the situation or the circumstance and your drama is your experience of the circumstance, or situation. For example, your boat springs a leak; that is the situation. No drama around it; just a leak in the boat. However, your experience could be magnified into drama: it’s the boat maker’s fault. This always happens to you. Now, life is over, and so on. In other words, your experience of the leak is different from the actual event, and if you experience the leak in the boat as threatening, it becomes “your drama.”
Is the obstacle a form of resistance?
No, the obstacle is just the vehicle for you to either experience a breakthrough or experience resistance. Resistance is the non acceptance of what is, and in effect, the inability to see a possible solution.
You say in your book that there are three core components always present with drama. What is the first component always present?
There is always a lack of clarity. Anywhere there is drama, confusion, or upset, I can guarantee there is a lack of clarity. For example, if a manager avoids a difficult conversation, it is because there is confusion about what is more important—solving the problem or keeping the peace. In effect, you have confusion because of competing desires, which I refer to in the book as “The Integrity Gap.”
Okay…I want to get to the other two components in drama, but very quickly can you elaborate on The Integrity Gap?
One definition of integrity is to be complete and whole…lacking nothing, When you are out of integrity, it means you are divided, or another word for it is double-minded. When you are unaware of competing intentions, you will experience anxiety, confusion or a lack of peace, and this mental and emotional state will impact your personal performance in various ways. You may experience preoccupation, have insomnia, or be viewed as unreliable by others because your actions are not congruent with what you say you are committed to. When we are unclear, and divided in our intentions, we will experience the confusion, the anxiety and the unrest that comes from being incomplete.
What is the second component always present in drama?
You will always find a relationship component. Most of the time, we think this means relationship with other people, but sometimes the relationship is with something non-physical, such as your relationship with time, or your relationship with money, or politics, or authority and so on. In the end, everything is about relationship, and it starts with relationship to yourself: how do you see yourself? When you change how you see yourself, everything else also changes.
What is the third component always present in drama?
The third component always present is resistance. Resistance is the non-acceptance of what is, and the inability to see a solution. Until you release your resistance to “what is,” you will be stuck on the fence of indecision, or you will experience a lot of drama.
Talking about feelings does not sound like a business concept.
We may not talk about feelings in the business world, but denying that human beings are also emotional and spiritual beings does not change the facts. Much of our inner dialogue is made up of programming and half truths. In fact, once you start studying how the brain works, you realize that what you believe about yourself, religion, politics, and what is possible, is from past programming. The challenge is to dissect the lies and half truths we have once believed, and then reprogram in order to step into a new truth. This is where the role of “feelings” comes in. If you want to reprogram, you have to learn how to work with your emotions and your mindset instead of being ruled by them. When you learn this, you can step into a new truth. These principles work for the individual and in the business world.
Before her career as a professional trainer, speaker and author, Marlene worked in a blue-collar factory job for more than 20 years. The principles in Stop Workplace Drama are what Marlene developed and used in her process of reinvention. FYI: For a limited time, a free Book Club comes with the book. Check it out at www.stopworkplacedrama.org
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