Workplace Drama is the pits.
It doesn’t matter where you work or who you work with, if people are involved, there will be drama.
Everyone deals with it, some on a daily basis. In fact, when I surveyed women across the world, the #1 issue they deal with (76%) is workplace drama.
If the drama is bad enough, it can erode your desire to go to work, or even cause you to leave an otherwise good job. It causes decreased productivity, HR nightmares, and a toxic work environment.
Why is that? Why do we have to contend with such a petty thing as drama in the workplace? In a previous article, we explored one reason behind the drama. Now we’ll look at another. The big “I”:
We all have it, which is why we have the drama.
You see, everyone is desperately insecure on some level. Everyone. Including you. Including me.
[Tweet “Everyone is desperately insecure on some level.”]
We have insecurity about our looks, our ability, our backgrounds. Anything is fair game when it comes to insecurity. So how does insecurity equate to workplace drama? Well, take a look at the progression.
1. Insecurity Breeds Fear
When someone is insecure about something, especially their abilities, it comes out in our workplace as fear. If I am insecure about one of my abilities, and I see someone else who excels at it, it makes me more insecure and fearful.
We fear because we are afraid someone will notice that we aren’t that good at something we are responsible for doing, or overseeing, or accomplishing.
We fear that when our lack is discovered: we’ll be exposed, or fired, or reprimanded, or discounted.
Instead of facing our fears and our insecurities, we mask them under self-protection.
2. Fear Breeds Self-protection
When we get afraid, our first instinct is to protect ourselves. It’s the way God wired us. If we feel attacked (real or perceived), we will protect ourselves from the attacker (real or perceived). If you were fearful that someone was out to hurt you in some way, you would do whatever it takes to protect yourself.
Self-protection can be a good thing. It can protect us from danger and harm. But when self-protection is rooted in our own insecurity, nothing good comes from it.
Self-protection can distort our judgement. Makes sense, right? We think were only trying to protect ourselves. But in the end our actions are unwarranted and often extreme. In enters the drama.
3. Self-protection Breeds Drama
If you are going out of your way to protect yourself, your reputation, or your job, then you have probably fallen into… The Drama Zone (cue the scary crescendo in background music).
The Drama Zone is entered when we justify our actions and behavioral outlashes on those around us based on our own self-protective mode, which is really just fear that came out of our own insecurities. Does any of this look familiar?
I recently had lunch with a young woman who was experiencing The Drama Zone in her workplace. After she told me the entire story, I looked at her and said, “She was scared and trying to protect herself. That’s why she did what she did.”
“I never thought of it that way, but it’s true.”, was her reply.
You see, I don’t think anyone sets out to be the Drama Queen or King in your workplace. They get off course with their insecurities and fear and self-protection. And next thing you know, they’re there in The Drama Zone, just trying to get out unscathed. They aren’t really sure how to do it, and you get caught in the crossfire.
This is where we as believers enter in. God has called us to be peacemakers. To build others up, instead of tearing them down. To speak God’s grace and love into the lives of others.
Workplace Drama is an opportunity for women of faith to shine the light. We know we are secure in God’s love and grace. But your co-worker doesn’t. An unbeliever has little security apart from their own self-protection. (And we all know what that leads to, right?)
There are many ways to deal with workplace drama in a way that pleases God. We’ll talk about those another time.
But for now, think about the big “I” of workplace drama. Think about the insecurity, fear and self-protection that your co-worker is exhibiting when they enter the Drama Zone.
Pray for God to give you a word that will help them feel more secure.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Your word could be the catalyst for changing your co-worker’s life.
Your words could be the other big “I”: Inspiration
What do you think?
Do you see insecurity as a key source of workplace drama?
What other sources have you encountered in your workplace?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.