Getting Beneath the Surface

Have you ever been asked, “How are you doing?” only to have the asker already out of earshot by the time you turn to answer?

If we’re honest, we’ve all probably been that question asker at some point. We’re busy, and we have enough challenges to deal with in our own lives, so we exchange brief pleasantries to be polite. It’s not that we don’t care, but we also don’t really want to have to deal with the messiness of what’s going on beneath the surface. (more…)

We all probably know one person at work who always seems to be caught up in some sort of personal or office drama. You know who they are, and you know better than to get caught up in their latest turmoil de jour.

However, while we refuse to allow ourselves to get caught up in obvious drama, we tend to overlook subtle ways we can create drama of our own. I’ve listed four scenarios that I’ve noticed tend to stir up drama that, intentional or not, distracts from the main thing, creates discontent, and slows momentum. (more…)

Leaders eventually find themselves in the position where they must defend someone on their team. Stepping up to bat for our teammates is an expectation of the position. Even when the teammate is at fault, we do not throw them under the bus.

Yet, sometimes we become so close with our teammates that we are overly protective of them, unaware of a blind spot we have as we instinctively and immediately jump to their defense. Here are some tips to consider as you balance leading and, when necessary, defending the people on your team. (more…)

Every workplace has its fair share of drama, and that’s not always a bad thing. Changes – like new employees, new clients, or growth in general – shake up our world, keep us on our toes, and allow us to grow through the temporary chaos.

However, we can all probably think of a few teammates who bring the not-so-good drama to work. I’m talking about the kind of drama that drains us and distracts us from our jobs at hand. Do any of these drama personalities sound familiar to you, or maybe even sound like you? If so, here are some helpful tips for dealing with people who bring drama to your office.

Over-Achieving Olivia

  • Always positioning
  • Controlling, perfectionist
  • Does not place trust in teammates’ work/does not delegate
  • Likes recognition, can be a brown-noser

Tips for working with Olivia:

  • Explain that if someone can do the work 80 percent as well, give them that opportunity and coach them to get to 100 percent.
  • Make sure you are creating a culture where performance – not sucking up – is rewarded. Don’t acknowledge brown nosing.
  • Ask Olivia which team members she will include in her projects.
  • Reward Olivia when she includes others. Minimize recognizing her individual work and escalate her ability to bring a team together. (more…)

This Emerging Leader post by Kendall Markham is a follow up to her post last Thursday on working for a new leader. Great insights, Kendall!

If you read last week’s post on working for a new leader, you know that I’m the new kid on the block in a new job. As you can imagine, the learning opportunities that come along with starting a new career don’t end with learning how to work with my new leader; they extend to adjusting to the new personalities and new people who are now my new teammates.

As Linda mentioned in Monday’s post, encountering a bit of team drama is something new employees can expect. However, as the new employee throwing things off balance, you have the ability to resolve small challenges before they result in big problems by pausing, stepping back, and taking a look at how you can overcome communication and personality barriers before they seriously impact the entire team. (more…)