Trying to shut down drama in the workplace can be the same as squeezing a balloon full of water.
Squeeze it in one place, the water shoots out in another direction. Squeeze it there, it will shoot out somewhere else. There’s no containing it, unless you pop the balloon.
Telling people not to gossip, putting values on the wall of honesty and integrity, expecting people to trust because you’ve told them to, are well intentioned, but they’re not enough to create and sustain high performance.
When people don’t feel safe, they will invest energy and time into creating an environment that feels safe to them (Simon Sinek).
Sometimes drama and gossip feel safe. Drama fuels my need for connection, helps me feel part of something bigger, and can make me feel like I’m in control.
When we attempt to shut down behaviour we judge as wrong, we fail to uncover the real issue or need. The behaviour will inevitably show up somewhere else.
Trust reduces stress and sick leave and increases productivity.
Creating a culture of trust, where people feel safe to speak up, share ideas and make decisions requires us to pop the balloon and have the real conversations.
Conversations that unlock potential, challenge the status quo, empower confidence and inspire growth.