When Drama is Great for the Super Bowl but Not for the Workplace

If you tuned into the Super Bowl this weekend, you know it was a game to remember. Longest kick return in a Super Bowl. A great halftime show from Beyoncé. A power outage in the third quarter. My staff loves football, so they all were watching all of this unfold during the game and they were watching the commercials.

One of the ads that caught my attention was a commercial that Cars.com ran. It wasn’t the flashiest or the funniest of the night, but the message was right on – no drama. The spot opens with a young couple in a car dealership, and they seem a bit confused because the car buying process was too easy. It turns out they miss the drama – the tense negotiations and all the adversity they’ve come to expect from buying a car. The dealer doesn’t seem a bit surprised by their hesitation, and what he does next cures the couple of this attachment to unnecessary drama.

What a great reminder of how much excess drama we experience simply because we choose it. Drama shows up not just when buying a car, but at the grocery store, at home, and especially at work. I believe we have all grown so accustomed to drama that we cannot accept anything different – just like the couple in the Cars.com commercial.

Times of low drama can make us feel like something is missing, and it sure is easy to start filling in the gaps! It’s easy to complain; it’s easy to make excuses; it’s easy to feel like a victim. But it’s not good for us in the long run.

Luckily, we can eliminate most of the drama in our lives and become more productive, successful and happy. You can start by cultivating a greater awareness of your bad habits.

See if you can recognize the warning signs of drama in your own life and work:
•You complain a lot about your personal life, your co-workers, your boss and your job.
•You participate in office gossip.
•You judge others around you, keeping tabs on how their productivity compares to yours.
•You play the martyr when you are asked to do something beyond your job description.
•You enjoy being proven right, even if your prediction was a negative one.
•When things don’t go as planned, you find excuses and blame others or your circumstances.

Don’t worry if you see a lot of yourself in that list. We’ve all been there! The good news is that it is always possible to turn it around. The key is to start recognizing your behavior for what it is: drama.

Do you have any personal strategies for eliminating the drama at work or at home?

Cy Wakeman offers a Reality-Based approach to navigating today’s workplace, defying conventional wisdom with bold tips for business leaders and employees on how to “ditch the drama, restore sanity to the workplace, and turn excuses into results.

Are you a Reality-Based Leader? Take this assessment to find out.

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