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Workplace Melodrama--A Flair For The Dramatic
A flair for the dramatic is a theatrical term used to describe an actress or actor who has a talent for melodrama, characterized by intensely enacted interpersonal conflict and exaggerated emotions. The central figure in a melodrama is the hero, who spins his tale or portrays the justice of his cause in a positive light. Counterparts include the villain and the fool who are ridiculed and portrayed negatively.
Remember Aesop's Fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf? The story goes like this. A shepherd boy (self-styled hero) who was responsible for a flock of sheep had a habit of bringing out the villagers by screaming, Wolf! Wolf! When the villagers (fools according to the shepherd boy) came to help him, he would laugh at them and display a just-kidding attitude. The boy repeated his prank three or four times.
Unfortunately, one day the wolf (the villain) came and when the shepherd boy screamed in his usual melodramatic fashion that the wolf was killing the sheep, none of the villagers paid any attention to his cries. As a result the entire flock was destroyed.
One of the things that make Aesop's Fables so unique is that there is always a moral to the story. The moral here is that exaggeration (a form of melodrama) leads to lying, and if one exaggerates or lies too much, no one will believe it even when the person speaks the truth.
In the workplace, melodrama happens when a minor concern or conflict is embroidered and overstated in such a way that it becomes larger-than-life and blown way out of proportion to the original issue.
Many people often complain about the level of melodrama in their offices. They describe it as follows:
Handling Office Melodrama ? The M.O.D.E.L. Method
Having a flair for the dramatic is not always a bad thing. Sharing funny stories or entertaining co-workers with the antics of children or pets can relieve stress and promote stronger interpersonal relationships; but, it is best to steer clear of office melodrama and workplace drama kings and queens who like to cry wolf!
Althea DeBrule, entrepreneur and seasoned human resources executive, has focused for more than 30 years on helping people achieve their career goals. Creator of The Extreme-Career-Makeover? and a founding partner of RADSGroup Organizational Consultants, she is recognized for her bottom line and practical application of career development and management strategies in a way that penetrates hearts and compels action. She speaks and teaches with inspired talent, humor and contagious zeal at management conferences and leadership retreats nationwide, and has been featured in CFO Magazine, Strategy@Work, Human Resource Executive Magazine. Althea is the author of Bosses & Orchards, a compelling and candid book about how to make your work relationship with your boss succeed. To discover how you can take your career to a new level, visit http://www.extreme-career-makeover.com/
How To Get That Promotion
If you're looking for that promotion or pay rise then you'll need to be noticed by your employer, so here's a few tips to stand out from the crowd:
Staying In Shape
Why Lawyers Should Eat Bananas by Simon Tupman is a book that caught my eye both because of its unusual title and because I coach lawyers who are growing their practices. The book cover says it gives "Inspirational Ideas for Lawyers Wanting More Out of Life"
Taking Your Words Seriously
When we ordered the stained glass window as an accent piece for our home, the artist-proprietor told us he was a bit behind. "So," he said, "to be on safe side, plan on six months." That was two years ago. We still don't have the window. Each time we call or stop in, he has yet another plausible reason why our project isn't done, the appropriate apology and a new promise of a delivery date. What he doesn't have is credibility. Wishful promises don't cut it in small-town businesses or big-city corporations. It doesn't matter what role you're in. If you tell me you'll do something, I expect you will do it whether you're a business, an employee, a co-worker or my boss. You're the one setting my expectations, so why wouldn't I believe what you tell me? It baffles me. I've found in twenty years of management few people meet or exceed the expectations they set and they control. I'm not talking about deadlines other people set for you. I'm talking about the ones you establish. Maybe it's because few people take their own words seriously. If you do you can differentiate yourself at work. People who consistently do what they say they're going to do, without sandbagging, are memorable. They're the people with credibility. They're the ones you want to hire and promote and do business with. People fail to establish credibility without even knowing it. If someone tells me she'll provide information by Friday, but what she meant was "around Friday," she'll feel she met her obligation to me when she pushes send on her email Monday morning. I'll view her as lacking credibility when the information for a project I wanted was late. However, if she told me I'd get the information no later than Tuesday and delivered it on Monday, while her delivery date remains the same, her credibility soars. By managing the words that define what others can expect from you, you can surprise and delight your co-workers, boss, and customers. To do that, replace casual-speak and wishful promises of what you'd like to have happen or believe can happen, with commitments of what will happen. But here's the key. You can't commit what you can't control. If I tell a member of my staff he'll get his review next week, but I only control when I finish writing it not when it's approved, the likelihood of me failing to meet an expectation I set with him is strong. But if the review is written, signed by my boss, and in for processing at the time I set the expectation, I'll meet it. Our delinquent artisan could have called three months into the project, told us he accepted an unusual opportunity to restore an historic building, was putting his other projects on hold until that was complete, and offered us the choice of waiting until he resumed work or getting our deposit back. He could have preserved his credibility and the relationship. Actions may speak louder than words. But it's our words that provide the backdrop for whether our actions measure up. If I'm your customer, your boss, or your co-worker, I'm taking your words seriously. I think you should, too. (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
How to Pick the Best Career For You , Part 2: From Exposure-to-Opportunity
Gain an audience by recognizing opportunity There's a sexier method to salsa into a great career with less tripping and more flair. Look for problems to solve and create a personalized solution. Find those challenges by spotting company movement of any kind, whether the change is good, bad or ugly. If you do this, you'll capitalize on an opportunity to be heard and get that coveted invitation to dance in the king's court.
Acceptance is the Answer to All Our Problems
Many people today have lost jobs after decades of service; many others suffer within jobs they can see no way out of. In order to survive a painful job loss ? indeed, any type of painful loss ? we must come to some acceptance. How does one find acceptance amidst the humiliation, shame, despair, fear, grief and uncertainty job loss can invoke?
5 Ways to Profit From No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind) is designed to reform and improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools. According to this reform act each state must measure every public school student's progress in reading and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during grades 10 through 12. By school year 2007-2008, assessments (or testing) in science will be underway. These assessments must be aligned with state academic content and achievement standards. They will provide parents with objective data on where their child stands academically.
Consulting: A Different World
I won't say I have a vast array of knowledge as a consultant...collectively I've only been doing it about 8 years. However, there are some things that I have observed that I think will be helpful to those of you who are new to the profession. We will first dispel the myths and address the realities associated with being a Consultant, then we will address the commandments of being a good and valued consultant.
Create a Network and Catapult Your Job Search
Networking is still known as a great job-search strategy, yet it eludes some individuals simply because they don't know how to go about it. Individuals also tend to shy away from networking because it's time consuming. Unlike online résumé submission or folding a résumé, stuffing it in an envelope, and adhering a stamp, networking requires far more time and dedication. The results, however, can be quite different than those experienced from traditional résumé submission.
Job dissatisfaction is a driving force behind individuals seeking employment elsewhere. When evaluating your employment it is important to distinguish between the work you do and your workplace.
Preparation is Key
Interviewing for a new job, or a promotion, can be a stressful situation. However, Preparation is the KEY! When preparing for that all important interview, take time to reflect upon your career experiences; and look for at least five good examples of your accomplishments and challenges--we will call them "bragging points".
Why You Need To Be An Intrapreneur
When a client asks me if I think he or she is a good candidate for starting a new business, I ask several questions (see our free assessment, "Are You an Entrepreneur?"). But the truth of the matter is that these questions are similar to ones that I'd ask someone who wants to move up in an organization or find a new position elsewhere. When people call an executive coach after deciding to make a change or being laid off, those who have treated their career like their own business will have a much easier time.
Tales From the Corporate Frontlines: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
This article relates to the Job Security competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. After a large scale cut in personnel, this particular group of employees needed some extra support. Examining the issue of job security measures how your employees view their job security within your organization. In today's often volatile or contingent labor market, it's crucial to understand the level of security your employees feel about maintaining their jobs. Studies show that employees who do not feel secure in their jobs are less likely to be committed to best assisting customers. Evaluating this competency can be especially useful if your organization has suffered recent layoffs or firings.
Do What You Love, Love What You Do
Everyone dreams of a life full of love and adventure. But we fill ourselves with reasons not to follow our dreams. Instead of protecting us, they imprison and hold us back. Life will be over before we know it, so now is the time to really live life and love.
Salary Negotiation Secrets Revealed
Before you go into the interview, it is important to know what salary you want, what you need to live on, and what you will be prepared to accept. Spend some time working out your budget. Remember to factor into your calculations the remuneration you'll need in the future.
I was rushing through the white-tented terminal building at Denver International Airport when my attention was diverted ? as if often is -- by a storefront massage business. Checking my wristwatch, I calculated I had just enough time for a 20-minute chair massage.
Is Your Career Your Calling or Just a 9 to 5?
Do you remember your parents asking you what you want to be when you grow up? By the time I was in the 9th grade, my mother started asking me that same question until I graduated from high school. At that time I wasn't 100% sure what career path I would take, but I had several ideas.
8 Steps to Getting On-Track When You Start a New Job
Starting a new job can feel like moving to a new country. Your language skills may be modest. You have little knowledge of the laws, let alone the customs and traditions of the society you are entering. All you have is a passport and the goodwill of management as you enter unfamiliar borders.
Become A Personal Trainer
Every human body is different and a personal trainer will know exactly how to not just get a human body into proper shape but also shape the body into the desired form. A personal trainer knows that while guys may want to 'bulk up'; a girl might want to slim down. A good personal trainer will know what to do to get the desired look wanted by their client.
The Musketeer Approach
Stories of intrigue, treachery, politics, lies, double crosses, and power struggles fill the history books, much like they fill today's headlines. In the world of the 17th century musketeer, life depended on who you could trust. In the world of the 21st century employee, one's livelihood may. I'm not naïve to corporate politics, competition, or sabotage in the workplace. I've held my own in corporations where silos, turf wars and power brokers delivered indigestion, sleepless nights, and distrusting cultures. But I still don't get it. When people are more focused on what's happening in the cube next to them than on achieving corporate goals, everyone loses. When corporate politics fill emails with mixed direction stalling productivity, everyone loses. And when discretionary effort and new ideas are swallowed in pits of bureaucracy, guess what? Everyone loses. The way I see it, if the company fails, we all fail. So, I believe the Three Musketeers got it right: "All for one and one for all!" Each understood his fate as an individual was tied to their fate as a group. Trusting each other was unambiguous. One was in trouble, they all were in trouble. One needed help, they all provided help. One succeeded, they all succeeded. The fiction of Alexandre Dumas, set in the 17th century, seems a good prescription for the 21st century workplace. I know it's worked for me. Arriving at a new job, I discovered the boss who hired me was away, and no one expecting me. I found no office, no desk, and no information. The person I was hired to replace was in my job, and had no idea I was replacing her. Each week got worse. Information and requests flowed like water through a clogged pipe. I was out of the loop on important issues and viewed like the enemy. Turning to my boss for guidance was like stepping into a sink hole, as I discovered his credibility and the department's lacking. I realized if I was to survive, I had to find, win over, and/or develop a handful of people I could trust. It took a difficult year, but the payoff lasted an entire career. Gradually the group of trusted colleagues grew. We never thought of ourselves as musketeers, but by our actions, we became them. Unspoken rules of ethics and integrity prevailed. We looked beyond individual interests. We shared ideas, collaborated on projects, borrowed resources, and worked together easily and enthusiastically. We wanted the best for each other and the best for the company, each of us worrying about more than our own five acres. Unspoken commitments prevailed. If I was in trouble or asked for help, help was given. I was called upon to step up and provide help too. We all knew our musketeer roles required reciprocity. The bottom line was that helping each other succeed, helped each of us succeed. I don't know where I'd be today without the musketeer approach. My advice? Become a musketeer! (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Whats Stopping You from Getting Your Next, Good Job?
This question comes up often when I'm working with someone to help them move forward in finding their next job.
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