Saturday night I went to an event here in Los Angeles called Empower Women Everyday put on by Life Coach Celia Ward Wallace.
The conference room at the Marina Del Rey Marriot bursted at the seams with incredible women sharing, chatting, and yes…giggling. Once we settled in our seats with our peanut butter cups and sangria, we went around the room to introduce ourselves and share our stories.
I was disheartened, but not at all surprised to hear how common it is that women are not only undermining each other at work, but we are also inflicting drama related pain.
I have definitely been in the position working with other women in which they take very covert and subtle jabs at me or my work. These Drama Queens try to gain a higher social status by putting other women down, while gracelessly and desperately trying to hold on to the spotlight so that other women can’t shine.
Working with such a person can put you in what is called the drama triangle.
What is a modern woman to do with such a colleague?
Without getting too nerdette on you, here is a breakdown of the drama triangle.
There are three modes when in situations of conflict.
Victims feel like they have been wronged, put down or are helpless. Perpetrators are the ones who pressure or coerce the victim or maybe just flat out criticize, gossip or bad mouth. Rescuers feel like they must swoop in and save the day and receive credit and attention for doing so.
Here’s the kicker. Usually in situations of conflict there is a part of each of the Victim, Perpetrator and Rescuer in all of us. Sucks right?
By taking responsibility for your part in conflict you can flip the switch on these negative roles.
According to creator David Emerald, the opposite of these three modes are:
The Victim becomes a Creator by taking responsibility for herself and asks, “What do I want from the situation, and now what needs to be done?”
The Perpetrator becomes a Challenger who is focused on learning and growth and asks, “What is a positive alternative to putting someone down?”
The Rescuer becomes the Coach. The Coach inspires others to take action with encouragement and support and asks, “How can I be supportive with out rushing in to solve?”
It’s looks like this:
Victim–> Creator. Now what needs to be done?
Persecutor–> Challenger. What is a positive alternative?
Rescuer–> Coach. How can I encourage and support?
It is not easy to do this for ourselves. We can begin by looking at some of the painful drama that we are experiencing now, or in the past, and examine where there is room for a shift of consciousness around how we see our role in the drama.
I would love to hear about some of the ways you handled the office drama? Let me know in the comments below.
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